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Marmoleum

How to Maintain Marmoleum

by Forbo

Your Marmoleum floor is designed to last for many years. It is easy to clean and with a little care and attention it will continue to look great throughout its long life — now that is serious fun! Learn how to clean and treat your new marmoleum.

Flooring takes more punishment and requires more diligent cleaning than any other finished surface in a home. A bit of attention to the proper cleaning and care procedures starting right after installation will make the maintenance of your Marmoleum floor simple and enable it to look beautiful for decades.

We recommend the use of our environmentally responsible cleaner and finish to ensure proper care of your Marmoleum. However, any pH neutral cleaner will work well in its properly diluted solution. Like the environment, Marmoleum does NOT respond well to the use of high pH, aggressive chemical cleaning agents traditionally associated with vinyl floor coverings. These types of cleaners should always be avoided.

Question

What do I need to do after my Marmoleum is installed?

Answer

You can use the floor at once. If you wish, sweep or dry vacuum the floor but wait at least 2-3 days after installation before wet mopping or moving heavy furniture. This gives the adhesive time to "cure" and become more resistant to moisture and indentation.

Question

What then?

Answer

Your floor may look fine and you may feel there is no need for any cleaning or maintenance at this time. However, adding a floor finish at an early stage will make cleaning easier and less frequent in the long run. We recommend the following procedure:

  1. Sweep/dust mop, or better still vacuum the floor.
  2. Damp mop the floor with Marmoleum Floor Cleaner at the correct dilution. Do NOT flood the floor or use too much water. If there are any spots of surplus adhesive these should be removed by rubbing with a nylon kitchen pad.
  3. Rinse the floor with a clean mop adding one tablespoon of vinegar per 5 liters (8 1/2 pints) of water. This ensures any alkaline residues are neutralized. Marmoleum is made from natural raw materials and harsh alkalis or high pH (such as Ammonia or similar products) should be avoided.
  4. Allow to dry.
  5. Apply 2 thin coats of Marmoleum Floor Finish. Use a clean lint free cloth, or better still, a well squeezed out fresh mop head (if the same mophead for cleaning is used ensure it is thoroughly cleaned) and apply the finish evenly, working backwards. Make sure you do not apply polish to wall base, carpets, furniture etc. ALLOW THE POLISH TO DRY BETWEEN COATS (usually between 30-40 minutes). If you prefer a higher gloss level apply a third thin coat.

Question

How often should I clean my floor?

Answer

This will depend on how much use it gets and whether dirt has been trafficked in from outside. Sweeping/dust mopping or vacuuming is likely to be the most frequent procedure. If the floor is muddy it can be cleaned with a damp mop, making sure the dirt is rinsed out of the mop and not spread back on the floor. If soiling is tenacious use Marmoleum Floor Cleaner as previously instructed. After several such applications, you may wish to apply one or more additional thin coats of Marmoleum Floor Finish to restore the gloss level. Do not over apply finish to areas (such as along wall base) which are not walked on as this just causes unnecessary build-up of polish. The need to apply Finish will vary dramatically according to circumstances, from perhaps every couple of months to annually.

Question

What if my floor is really dirty with ingrained dirt?

Answer

Adhered dirt will have to be removed with friction. A scrubbing sponge (i.e. SOS, Scotch-Brite) or nylon brush is ideal. On larger floors you can use mechanical methods. Small rotary floor machines and wet vacuum cleaners such as the Bissel system are very good at cleaning and removing the ingrained dirt. After cleaning, allow to dry completely before reapplying the Marmoleum Floor Finish.

If the soiling is severe, the old finish may have to be removed. To do this, follow the instructions on the bottle of Marmoleum Floor Cleaner.

Question

Accidents can happen. If I stain my Marmoleum, what should I do?

Answer

The vast majority of spillages can be cleaned off your Marmoleum
satisfactorily. Any prior application of Marmoleum Floor Finish, will make it even easier. With spillages or "accidents" with pets:

  1. Act quickly.
  2. Scrape or blot as much as possible.
  3. Mop with diluted Marmoleum Floor Cleaner.
  4. Damp mop with clean water.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 if necessary.

If the stain persists, as it may with glue, varnish, paint, ink, tar, cosmetics, shoe polish, some wines, coffee and some other substances, the solution is to remove the surface finish and the stain with it. Rub the stained area with a nylon kitchen pad and undiluted Marmoleum Concentrated Floor Cleaner. Leave in contact with the floor for 2-3 minutes then rinse with clear water. Repeat if necessary. Once dry, apply a small amount of polish.

Some Helpful Hints...

DO...

  • Mop up spills as soon as possible, prevent SPOTS from becoming STAINS.
  • Remember to rinse the floor before applying polish.
  • Use a clean mop head.
  • Try to clean your Marmoleum on a regular basis.
  • Make use of suitable door or barrier mats to help minimize dirt and grit getting into the home.
  • Protect your floor from sharp furniture legs by placing furniture caps or similar protectors on them. If moving a heavy object across the floor, place a piece of carpet (or similar) underneath it.

DON'T...

  • Mix cleaning chemicals unless specified by the manufacturer.
  • Apply wax, Furniture polish or silicone products onto the Marmoleum.
  • Apply finish to a floor with surface dirt. It merely seals the dirt in.
  • Apply thick coats of finish. Two or three thin coats are better than one thick one.
  • Use too much water.

Natural color change: Ambering

Marmoleum is made from natural raw materials and many of it's most desirable performance attributes (durability, anti-microbial properties) are the result of the continued oxidation of the linseed oil over it's life. During the manufacturing process this oxidation may result in a yellowish cast, known as ambering, on the product when it is initially taken out of it's packaging. This visual discoloration is only TEMPORARY.

When exposed to light, the ambering disappears. The process may take only a few hours in bright sunlight but longer with artificial light. Applying a finishing over the ambering makes NO difference--it will still disappear with exposure to light.