How to polish linoleum kitchen flooring

Updated February 21, 2017

Linoleum flooring is a durable floor covering commonly used in high-moisture or high-traffic areas of a home, such as the bathroom or kitchen. Linoleum has a built-in shine that is easily maintained with a light, occasional polishing. The basic procedure for polishing your floor is easy to complete and will quickly restore the linoleum's natural shine.

Clean the linoleum floor thoroughly prior to waxing. Use a mixture of warm water and ammonia spread over the floor, using a mop and scrub brush to strip the old wax, if necessary, from the floor's surface. Allow the floor to dry completely before proceeding. Keep the room ventilated.

Spread a liberal amount of linoleum polish over the cleaned and dry floor. Work in small areas approximately 5 feet square to apply the polish.

Attach a polishing pad to a floor buffer, and begin working the polish over the floor surface in a slow, back-and-forth motion, making certain to completely cover the floor area. Apply more polish as needed to spread a smooth, even film of polish, and use a clean cloth to wipe off any polish that may spatter on the baseboards or cabinets.

Repeat Step 3 until the entire kitchen floor area has been coated with polish, and then attach a buffer pad to the floor buffer and cover the entire floor area again to polish the linoleum to the desired shine.


If a simple water-and-ammonia solution does not remove the old polish, there are numerous profession-grade, wax-stripping products available at hardware or home improvement stores. Additional coatings of polish can be added for a more durable protective coating on the linoleum surface in high-traffic areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bucket
  • Ammonia
  • Mop
  • Scrub brush
  • Linoleum polish
  • Floor buffer with polishing pads and buffing pads
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About the Author

Paul Massey has been writing since 2009, drawing on a 35-year career in the construction industry. His experience includes 15 years as a general building contractor specializing in architectural design, custom homes, commercial development and historic renovations.