How to Get Sticky Residue Off Vinyl and Linoleum Floors?

How to Remove Sticky Residue Caulking from Vinyl Floors

While vinyl and linoleum floors are inexpensive, they are also relatively easy to clean thanks to their water-resistant surface.

Linoleum is quite durable, more natural, and contains fewer toxic materials compared to vinyl which is cheaper and has a wide range of color choices.

Vinyl is also quite good-looking and requires little in the way of maintenance.

It’s little wonder that so many homeowners prefer this material for their flooring.

However, one issue that plagues both linoleum and vinyl flooring is when a sticky substance is present.

Because removing such a substance that has considerable adhesion may also pull up part of the floor.

At first, it may seem like that sticky substance such as caulking is here to stay.

But there are some household items you can use to loosen the substance from a vinyl or linoleum floor. By drying the substance, you can also reduce its adhesion.

What follows are some easy steps and methods you can take using inexpensive products to remove a sticky substance from your vinyl or linoleum floor without damaging the flooring itself.

Removing Sticky Substance from Vinyl and Linoleum

Because vinyl is permeable, it can actually absorb some of the sticky substance and discolor the floor.

This means that you will need to remove it quickly if possible.

Any subflooring you have must be free of linoleum glue because it might cause discoloration as well.

If you lay a vinyl floor over a linoleum floor that has been pulled up, be sure to remove all the glue. Otherwise, it might discolor the vinyl and most manufacturers will not cover that in their warranty.

Before you begin stripping the sticky residues, purchase a good pair of gloves that are waterproof.

This is because you will be using chemicals that may irritate the skin, so be careful.

Here are some common products you can use to remove sticky substances from vinyl and linoleum flooring.

  • Cotton cloths
  • Plastic Scraper
  • Warm Water

You are now ready to remove the sticky substance.

Keep in mind that the scraper will probably lift most of it up so you can then apply one or more of the products listed below.

Method 1- Dish Soap & Water

If you have a non-abrasive sponge, then using mild dish soap and water may do the trick.

Rinse the area with distilled water first and wipe dry.

Next, apply the dish soap and water with a clean cloth and put in a little elbow grease to remove the remaining substance.

Alternatives to dish soap include a melamine or white eraser that is free of sulfur.

This may remove small sticky substances simply by rubbing them into the area.

However, the issue here is that the eraser may damage the gloss finish on the flooring.

As an alternative, you can apply cooking oil to a clean cloth and gently rub the area.

This may remove the gum and any adhesion without damaging the glossy finish.

Method 2- Cleaning Agent

Vinyl flooring is designed to resist most cleaning agents, but you should apply them to a small part of the floor that is unseen first.

If it is not discolored, then use it on the sticky substance.

Bleach is a good example of a cleaning agent that might discolor a vinyl floor.

Apply the cleaning agent to a clean cloth, then apply the cloth to the sticky substance.

Be sure the cloth is wet with the detergent, but not too wet.

Be sure the cloth is clean because a dirty cloth might scratch the flooring.

You will need to wipe the area until all of the sticky substance is removed.

Use circular motions to help prevent streaking.

Once the sticky substance has been removed, rinse the area with warm water to remove all residue.

Method 3- Floor Cleaner

Glue can be challenging for linoleum surfaces, but there is a simple solution for vinyl flooring.

Mix warm water with a floor cleaner or soap and apply it to the area.

This should remove the glue and caulking rather easily.

If you are still encountering some resistance, then use a hairdryer or heat gun to help lift the glue from the floor.

Method 4- Nail Polish Remover

If you have nail polish remover, you have acetone which is the chemical most often used to remove adhesives.

Remove as much of the sticky substance first with the plastic scraper.

Although the scraper is made of plastic, it can damage the floor if you provide too much pressure.

Once you have lifted up as much of the sticky substance as possible, add a small amount of nail polish remover to a damp cotton cloth and gently wipe it on the remaining substance.

You may want to test the nail polish remover on a small part of the floor first that is generally hidden from sight.

In some cases, the acetone may discolor the surface. So, if that happens then you will want to use another substance.

Otherwise, the nail polish remover should remove the remaining sticky substance from the surface.

If you do not have any nail polish remover, you can purchase acetone at a local hardware store.

Acetone is a good thing to keep around in removing any glue or sticky substance.

The Bottom Line

Generally speaking, the better you keep your vinyl or linoleum floor clean, the less likely it is for a sticky substance to truly stick.

Regular cleaning keeps your flooring looking good.

And if a sticky substance is on the floor, address it quickly before it has a chance to really dig into the surface.

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