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Ask The Experts

ICAN/ATEX: How can I remove finish buildup from grout lines?

September 17, 2012
KEYWORDS buildup / finish / grout / linoleum / vinyl
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Many cleaning professionals visit the International Custodial Advisers Network (ICAN) Ask the Experts page for insight and, every business day, we deliver advice to better help you perform your job.

Monday's Question:

How do we remove finish buildup in the low spots and the molded grout lines of a sculptured pattern vinyl linoleum flooring?

Monday's Answer:

Before we get to the how-to, let’s be clear that there is no such thing as vinyl linoleum.

floor strippingVinyl and linoleum are two vastly different products, so the first thing you must establish is which one you are dealing with.

The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) states that, “Vinyl will melt if a lighted match or cigarette lands on it, linoleum can’t.” You should know the facts, so try a test on a piece somewhere out of the way.

Vinyl sheeting will withstand heavy stripping with a high-alkaline stripper better than linoleum, so you do need to test. Avoid the abrasive pad, hot water, high-alkaline approach on linoleum.

Most likely, the low spots contain a double buildup of floor finish. Whenever heavy coats are applied, the finish tends to settle into the low spots and embossed grout lines. So, instead of planning ... Gary Clipperton, president of National Pro Clean Corporation

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