Your place: Is linoleum stained or just in need of light

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Q: Many areas of my linoleum floor have embedded stains, which I am unable to remove using various common household cleaners.

I would like to restore my floor to a like-new condition. What do you recommend?

A: If your floor is very old, I imagine most of those stains could be there to stay.

On the other hand, Armstrong, which has been making linoleum floors for decades, recommends two of its products. If you are willing to spend some money, they might work for you.

One is Armstrong Satinkeeper Resilient Low Gloss Floor Finish. (A recent check online showed it priced at $12.99 to $17.50 for a 32-ounce bottle.)

The other is Armstrong Shinekeeper Resilient Floor Finish, which cannot be used on low-gloss floors. (Prices online were in the $12.99-$16.99 range.)

Vendors near you can be located on the companyís website, www.armstrong.com .

You can find linoleum-maintenance tips at the website, as well, but I wanted to share something I found there that is pretty interesting.

"Drying room yellowing" ó sometimes referred to as "seasoning bloom," "drying room film" or "stove yellowing" ó is a natural phenomenon that occurs during the manufacturing process of all linoleum.

As linoleum cures in the drying room, a yellowish cast may develop on its surface due to the oxidation of the linseed oil.

This is not a product defect. Any change in the linoleumís appearance because of this yellow cast is temporary and disappears after exposure to either natural or artificial light. The time required for the yellow cast to disappear ranges from a few hours to several weeks, depending on the type and intensity of the light source.

Typically, the yellow cast disappears more quickly with exposure to natural light. It will not disappear on areas that are not exposed to light.

Application of floor finishes will not interfere with the dissipation of the yellow cast.

So now you know.

One thing Iíve learned over the years is that regular maintenance keeps small problems from getting bigger. Give it a try.