How To Clean Discolored Vinyl Flooring

By Harold K. Hardesty Updated July 31, 2021

Get rid of the old yellow stains easily

How To Clean Discolored Vinyl Flooring

Do you notice that your vinyl flooring is discolored or has yellow stains? Does this mean that your vinyl floor is damaged and you need to replace it completely?

Not necessarily. Cleaning discolored vinyl flooring may be the solution.

In this article, I’ll share some tried and tested methods to clean the discolored vinyl flooring and make them spotless. I also added some maintenance tips so that you can avoid discoloration.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Why Vinyl Floors May Discolor?

Over the years, the vinyl floor can lose its original color. In some cases, it may be due to poor maintenance or exposure to direct sunlight. However, sometimes, other factors are involved too:

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Why Do Yellow Stains Appear on Vinyl Floors?

The common reason behind yellow discoloration on vinyl tile is years of use. With a few precautions and regular maintenance, you can keep the vinyl surface free of discoloration.

How to Clean Discolored Vinyl Flooring Using Homemade Cleaners?

Since vinyl flooring cannot withstand harsh chemicals, I’ve discussed easy homemade recipes for cleaning solutions in this section.

1.Baking Soda and Water

For this method, you only need two cleaning products: Baking soda(1) and water.

Besides being an abrasive cleaner, baking soda is also a deodorizer. Therefore, if you’re dealing with a smelly food stain, like that of old tomato sauce, baking soda can make your house smell fresh.

2.Dish Soap and Apple Cider Vinegar

It may sound like a weird combination, but when you add both of these ingredients, they form a very potent mixture that can remove stains from vinyl flooring.

Apple cider vinegar is a powerful cleaner but still quite gentle on the floors. Meanwhile, the dish soap will help lift stains.

3.Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

For this DIY cleaning method, you can easily get the ingredients from your kitchen. While lemon’s color lightening properties restore the floor’s finish, baking soda acts as a dirt cleaner.

While this mixture may do wonders for fresh stains, it may not be effective in breaking up older messes. In that case, you should try the next method.

4.Rubbing Alcohol

As I’ve mentioned above, a common cause of staining on vinyl flooring is makeup. For makeup and ink stains, you can use rubbing alcohol. Furthermore, if the stains have gotten stubborn over time, rubbing alcohol won’t have any trouble removing them either.

When using alcohol, beware that it’s flammable. Thus, it would be best if you didn’t use it on floors close to the source of fire, such as the kitchen or the fireplace.

Plus, wear protective gloves to avoid contact with skin.


If you don’t have bottled lemon juice at home, you can use a raw lemon instead to clean the vinyl tiles.

Lemon is a whitening agent. That’s why it helps remove old stains from vinyl flooring while disinfecting the surface too. You can also use it to remove grime from your kitchen faucets and countertops.


Since white vinegar is present in almost everyone’s pantry, it’s an easy-to-access cleaning solution for vinyl flooring.

Since vinegar does not leave behind streaks or suds, you don’t have to rinse the flooring with clean water later.

However, if the smell is too bothersome for you, add a few drops of any essential oil to this cleaner.

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Discolored Vinyl Flooring Maintenance Tips

Here are a few tips for maintaining a vinyl floor:

Goodbye, Yellow Stains

Although it’s durable and long-lasting, maintaining vinyl flooring is vital to keep a fresh appearance. If you don’t care for it, the material will quickly lose its luster. For instance, exposing the floor to water and sunlight can damage it.

You must clean vinyl floors with mild solutions and avoid rubbing them too harshly. While all methods in this guide are helpful, my favorite is the one that involves baking soda and dish soap.

Let me know which of these cleaning solutions for vinyl floors did you find the best.

About the Author

Harold K. Hardesty

Harold is a Flooring Specialist at TheHouseWire, educating people on the flooring by writing guides about the topic. He is a well-seasoned flooring specialist with experience in the industry for nine years.

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