Floors Cleaning kitchen floor

Published on February 19th, 2018 | by Henri


Stripping stains from vinyl floor

Q.  I have a 37-year-old vinyl linoleum in my large kitchen. It is discolored and white and gray with a green and yellow pattern in every other block. I would like to strip it down to the original whiter finish.

One day I discovered that a potato from a bag that sat in the corner had gone bad. When I picked it up, the floor was stripped of the discoloring and looked great. Do you know what “acid?” the decaying potato produced? Was it oxalic acid? Do you know what I could use to resurface the floor like this other than using decaying potatoes?

One can not find any decorative vinyl floor covering anymore! So I don’t want to replace it. Many thanks.

A.  What a discovery! If a rotten potato did such a great job, I’d stick to rotten potatoes. Hard to handle, but what success!

Potatoes contain several acids, including amino, oxalic, salicylic, ascorbic, phosphoric, phenolic, etc., but it would be difficult to determine which one, or a combination of them, is responsible for removing the discoloration.

Probably the easiest and best cleaner is ammonia in water. You’ll need a lot of ventilation. You can also try CLR or TSP-PF.

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