How to Clean Discolored Vinyl Flooring [6 Methods]

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Have you recently started to notice your vinyl floor having weird stains? Stains, of particular, yellow or grey color? Is your vinyl flooring discolored? Does this mean that your vinyl floor is damaged and you have to replace it asap?

The answer is NO Because some methods will help you to clean discolored vinyl flooring.

Well, it is a difficult task to clean those stains but we can help and assist you with exactly what you need to do!

We are going to share various methods to deal with the discoloration and you can perform any of these methods to fix your vinyl flooring.

Let’s get started!

What are the chemicals that make up vinyl flooring?

Below are some of the basic chemicals that go in vinyl flooring. The composition of vinyl flooring varies for different types of vinyl flooring but the following are some of the commonly used raw materials:

  • Polyvinyl chloride
  • Plasticizers
  • Pigments
  • Stabilizers
  • Adhesives
  • Polyurethane coating
  • Fillers

What Exactly Causes these Stains to Occur?

From random food spills to furniture markings, these stains are as easy to occur as finishing up a cup of ice cream. They can be caused by:

  • Makeup powder
  • Crayons and markers
  • Food
  • Furniture
  • Footwear
  • Dragging things across the room
  • Moisture in air

Steps for Getting Rid of the Stains

Some stains are easy to get rid of but some just aren’t. There are few chemicals you can find in your house to decolorize your vinyl flooring. If there are some really stubborn stains on your floor, don’t worry because we have got your back! Just read along and you will uncover some of the easiest ways to vanish them.

Decolorizing using home products:

Baking Soda

baking soda

Please do not use a scrub pad or any kind of brush with sharp or hard bristles. This is because, once there is a scratch mark on the vinyl floor, there is no going back. Always remember that scratches can never be removed and the flooring has to be removed to get rid of the scratch. Follow the given steps to know how to use baking soda as a decolorizing agent.

  1. Mix baking soda with water to make a thick paste-like texture.
  2. Make sure you are wearing gloves throughout the process of decolorization.
  3. Only use a soft cloth or brush to rub the paste over the stains. Be careful to not rub too hard.
  4. Keep it for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Wipe off the paste with a clean and dry towel.

Make sure not to keep the floor wet for a long time as this could damage the vinyl coating

Lemon Extract

This could be the easiest way to deal with yellow stains mainly caused by oil or food particles. Follow the steps given below:

  1. Wipe off as many stains as possible with a damp cloth before using lemon extract.
  2. Cut the lemon in halves.
  3. Use each half to rub it against the stains while squeezing the juice out of it.
  4. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Wipe it off using a dry and clean cloth.

Lemon Mixture

lemon juice 1

This is an upgraded version of the previous one. It consists of a mixture of acids that neutralizes the stain-causing chemical. Follow the below steps to achieve the perfect concentration of the mixture:

  1. Pour 1 part lemon juice into a bucket.
  2. Add 1 part vinegar.
  3. Add 2 parts water.
  4. Use a dry semi-damp cloth to get rid of the residue.

The natural acidity of lemon as well as vinegar makes them the perfect combination for disinfecting floors as well. The smell of vinegar might gross you out but it will fade away after a few minutes!

Dish Soap

vinegar and dish soap

This technique can be used to decolorize not-so-stubborn stains caused by chalks, crayons, and markers. Follow the steps given below:

  1. Pour a quarter cup of vinegar into a container of your choice.
  2. Mix a drop or two of dish soap.
  3. Make sure to add warm water as warm water is more effective than just normal water when it comes to chemical killing.
  4. Simply spray or pour the mixture over stains and let it rest for a minute or two.
  5. Wipe it off with a clean and dry microfiber mop.

Decolorizing using strong chemicals:

Usually, strong chemicals are a big no when it comes to vinyl flooring but they can get the job done if used carefully.

Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol)

rubbing alcohal

This method can be used to get off stains caused by pen ink, permanent markers, hair dyes, or makeup liquids. Rubbing alcohol can be easily found in departmental stores or drug stores. Following are the steps to use rubbing alcohol:

  1. Dip a clean white cloth into rubbing alcohol.
  2. Rub it over the stained or colored area. The alcohol lifts the stain up by separating the stain from the vinyl coating of the floor.
  3. Repeat until the stains are gone.

Always remember, too much alcohol could damage the flooring and if once damaged, there is no way to completely recover the damaged part. It is a must to wear gloves while handling rubbing alcohol.


wd 40

Water displacing spray is a decolorizing spray compound containing-

  • 45-50% low vapor pressure aliphatic hydrocarbon
  • <35% petroleum-based oil
  • <25% aliphatic hydrocarbons
  • 2-3% carbon dioxide (propellant)

Cleaning Using WD-40

  1. Take a soft white cloth and put some WD-40 on it.
  2. Now rub the cloth on the area and gently scrub the cloth in circular motions.
  3. Keep scrubbing gently until the marks are there.
  4. If the marks are not going away, then they aren’t marks but scratches that you can not get rid of.

It can easily be available at departmental stores and on Amazon as well. Make sure to read the instructions written on the can before using it. It is mainly used to remove scuffs and if they don’t disappear after using the WD-40, they are probably scratch marks which, as mentioned earlier in the article, cannot be helped with.


As mentioned before, scratch marks and dents on your vinyl flooring cannot be helped just by pouring decolorizing agents over it. These dents and scratches are permanent and can only be prevented by taking some precautions. Make sure to implement the following points to take good care of your floors:

  • Felt pads: These are nothing but thick circular-shaped pads that you can stick to the foot of heavy furniture which helps to drag while changing positions. It is easy maintenance, easy protection, and very much affordable. They do come in different sizes. They do collect dust and debris, so make sure to change them every one to two years. Felt pads are available online as well as in departmental stores.
  •  Rugs and doormats: Rubber materials can cause yellow stains on resilient floors. Not only the rubber but also wheels of furniture and other heavy objects when dragged over rugs can cause stains too. Make sure that you are regularly cleaning the bottom part of the rugs and the floor beneath them as well.
  • Molds and fungi: If you live in an extremely moisture-prone region, you must take care of fungal growth beneath the vinyl flooring. Molds might not be visible above the flooring but they certainly do stain it from underneath. Because the oils in the adhesive of the flooring can attack vinyl, all adhesive residue must be properly treated before installation. This entails either complete removal of adhesive or scrubbing the residue until it turns transparent.
  • Sweep often: Remember to only use soft bristle brushes for sweeping.
  • Vacuum weekly: Just make sure not to use the carpet attachments as they can cause scratches on the floors.
  • Do not steam mop: Using intense heat can cause bubbling or wrinkles in your floors while steam mopping.

These were some of the home remedies to get rid of stains and get back your sparkling vinyl floors.

Here are some tools you can use for regular deep cleaning floors

  • Broom with soft or blunt bristles.
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Microfiber mop
  • Putty knife to scrape up the gup or paint but always be gentle so you don’t damage the floor.

Advantages of Vinyl Flooring

  • It is relatively less expensive than hardwood floors.
  • It is perfect for heavily trafficked areas of your home.
  • It is fast and relatively easy to transport and install.
  • There are tons of colors, designs, and patterns to choose from when it comes to vinyl flooring.
  • Vinyl flooring can be used over floors made of cement, granite, tile, laminate, etc.

Disadvantages of Vinyl Flooring

  • Vinyl floors are prone to gouge so it is important to not drag around heavy stuff.
  • Having pets with long nails might not be a great idea either.
  • Remember, scratches can fade away a bit but they will never vanish.
  • When it comes to installation, it is difficult to remove if glued down once.
  • It can be easily punctured with very sharp objects.
  • It is not biodegradable, so if you truly care about mother nature, you know what to do!
  • Vinyl flooring can show fading and discoloration with excessive UV exposure.


The above-mentioned points must have given you an all-around and complete knowledge about vinyl floorings! Besides all these generalities, you must consider your own personal requirements as well. But we highly prefer vinyl flooring because of its extraordinary features and long-lasting ability. We hope you can make up your mind on whether vinyl flooring is a ‘go’ or ‘no go’ for you. Anyway, we wish you all the best!

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