Rubber-backed mats or area rugs --- the kind you would naturally use in a kitchen or bathroom -- can cause linoleum to discolour, leaving a yellow, orange or purplish stain. The stain is caused by a chemical reaction between the rubber and the linoleum. This kind of stain can be extremely difficult, and often impossible, to remove. However, there are a couple of strategies that are worth trying, and if they fail, there are a number of noncleaning solutions to the problem.
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Remove the Stain
This cleaning procedure could remove the stain, especially if it is not very dark. Vacuum the floor to remove all loose dirt. Wet the stained area of the floor with clean water applied with a sponge. Sprinkle baking soda on the wet floor, and let it sit for 20 minutes. Gently scrub the stain with the sponge. Do not use a scrub brush, steel wool or anything else that would scratch the surface of the floor. Rinse the floor, and dry it with a towel. Another possible cure is to expose the stained area to sunlight. Remove the mat or carpet for several days, and see if the stain lightens at all. If it does, leave the area uncovered until the stain is gone.
Remove the Wax
You may find that if you have applied several coats of wax to the floor, you can remove the stain by stripping the floor and rewaxing it. Vacuum the floor to remove loose dirt, wash it and strip off the wax according to the instructions for the type of wax you used.
Replace the Linoleum
If you cannot clean the stain away, you can remove and replace the linoleum, which will work best if the flooring is tiles, rather than sheet linoleum, which is extremely difficult to match when making a repair. Loosen the adhesive holding the linoleum tile to the substrate by heating the tile with a hairdryer. Use a utility or exacto knife and a straightedge to cut between the tiles you need to remove, carefully keeping to the seam. Pry the tiles up with a putty knife. Use the appropriate solvent to clean the substrate of any remaining adhesive, apply new adhesive with a putty knife and set the new tiles in place.
Get Another Mat
If all else fails and you do not want to replace the entire floor, get a mat or piece of carpeting that does not have a rubber backing and cover up the stain.
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