Not too long ago on Facebook, I got a question about acrylic flooring that had become cloudy.
First I want to note that acrylic is a broad chemical term that simply means made of polymers or resins. So acrylic flooring can come in many forms, but in general people either mean linoleum, laminate, or Pergo style flooring. (Linoleum, laminate, say that five times fast)
The basic care is the same for all of these flooring types since they are made of similar, although not identical, material.
Cloudy or dull finishes on acrylic flooring is caused by tiny nicks and scratches that get filled with dirt, over time. You ask where do the nicks and scratches in my linoleum come from? Outside. (You can also chemically etch -scratch- the surface of your flooring and create that delicious cloudy haze, too)
That’s why using doormats is so important. Relatively people, relatively. I’m not saying saving your linoleum is the same as saving a life, but you will end up saving some cash in the long run and who doesn’t want to do that?
If doormats are of primary importance, daily sweeping and or vacuuming comes next on the list. Why? Weren’t you paying attention a moment ago? We’re getting rid of the grit that scratches the flooring. I still love my Roomba, but I did spring for an upgrade. We’ve talked about all kinds of vacuums over the years here at Home Ec 101, but I do want to point out that woot.com – that link up there in the header often has refurbished Dysons for an excellent price. Be careful though as checking in at woot can become addictive. I may or may not have quite the t-shirt problem.
So much to our chagrin we find the solution to our problem -cloudy, dull flooring- comes through preventative maintenance.
Well, crap, you probably wouldn’t be here if your acrylic flooring wasn’t in rough shape.
You can apply an acrylic floor finish to restore shine. I won’t lie, it’s a complete pain in the butt.
You need to thoroughly clean your flooring, vacuum and sweep as though your life depended on it. Then you’ll need to strip the old finish -and you absolutely must consult the manufacturer’s guidelines before doing this or you could easily cause permanent damage or void a warranty. Yuck.
Then apply an acrylic floor polish -again with going by your manufacturer’s recommendations- carefully following the directions.
And then, once your floor is all shiny and pretty -it’s never going to look brand new again, quit hoping for that- you can start following my original advice and invest in some door mats and regular upkeep. Because really? After all that work, you don’t want to have to do it again in just a few months.
Be sure to use a very mild and dilute cleaning agent when you do damp mop your flooring to prevent that chemical etching I mentioned earlier. Why? Because I said so.
Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.