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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Floor Stains

By Dr. Laundry December 9, 2008

Q. I had a plant sitting on my linoleum floor. Water percolated thru the dirt and onto the floor leaving a stain. Can I remove it using Clorox?

A. While not a floor specialist, here’s my opinion/approach:

This could be a tough one if the plant/water have been in contact with the flooring for an extended period. You may have penetrated the surface coating and the stain may reside under that layer. A couple of things to try:

  • Try a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution on a test spot to see if it can “bleach” out the stain. If successful, start at the outside and work to the inside of the stain. Rinse well after treatment.
  • If the peroxide is not strong enough, test a diluted liquid bleach (1 tbsp/gal) solution.
    • Place a drop on the stain; wait 1–2 minutes; blot the area and allow to air dry — no color change means you can try it on a larger area.
  • If these fail, you probably will need a rug or something to cover the spot.