Why is My vinyl Flooring Turning Yellow?

Vinyl floor yellowing can either be caused by a chemical reaction between rubber on your shoes and the floor itself, or it could be as a result of an adhesive used during installation. Vinyl flooring yellowing is not a result of mold or moisture.

When choosing flooring for your home, Vinyl flooring is no doubt one of the best in the market. Vinyl flooring is rich in aesthetic value, it is durable, water and stain resistant, easy to clean, and maintain, plus it comes at a cheaper price.

However, there are challenges that may be encountered in the long run. One of the problems you might notice with your vinyl flooring is discoloration/yellowing especially areas under the mats (rubber-backed rugs) or under the furniture.

Cleaning these spots using regular home cleaners may seem not to remove the yellow spots permanently. But first what is the cause of this yellowing on your vinyl flooring?

Causes of Yellowing on my Vinyl Flooring

`vinyl floor turning yellow

These are the most common causes of yellowing on vinyl floors.

Rubber-backed rugs.

Rubber and vinyl produce a chemical reaction that makes your vinyl flooring turn yellow. In technical terms, this yellowing on vinyl flooring is called “antioxidant staining”. The longer it sits there the more stubborn it becomes. 

When buying rugs for your home if it has to be a rubber-backed rug look for the ones that are labeled “non-staining rubber backing” It is however better to stay away from any rubber-backed rags just to be safe.

Floor adhesives.

Before installing your vinyl flooring, contact your manufacturer if anything is not clear. Some floor adhesives will react to vinyl flooring and cause yellow stains.

Using the wrong adhesive will cause yellowing through the entire flooring with time and you might end up replacing it because even after cleaning them they reappear back again.

Note: If the stain is black, gray, pink, or blue you’re dealing with a mold problem. It is an indication that moisture is rising from the concrete and attacking your vinyl flooring.

So, how do you permanently remove the yellow stains on your vinyl flooring?

How to Remove Yellow Stains from Vinyl Flooring

This yellowing might prove stubborn to permanently remove from your vinyl flooring but if you keenly follow the following steps, it should remove the yellowing.

Be careful not to use abrasive cleaners and also a method that will be a health hazard to the residents of your home. Some chemicals have allergic reactions, use one that everybody will be comfortable with.

Mineral Spirits

Pour mineral spirit in the spray gun and spray on the affected areas. Scrub until the yellow stain disappears. If the stain is persistent, replace the cloth and rub until the yellow disappears. You’ll notice that the stain is on the cloth and the floor has regained its original color.

Rinse your floor with a wet microfibre cloth and aerate the room until you cant smell the mineral spirits.

What you’ll need:

  • Gloves.
  • Mineral spirits.
  • Soft microfibre cloth.
  • Spray gun.

Bleach and Water

Mix one part bleach and three parts of water in a bucket depending on the size of the area with the stain. Dip the soft microfibre cloth in the solution and start scrubbing the affected area. If you’re not satisfied add more bleach and repeat the procedure until the stain disappears.

Rinse the area to remove any moisture and open all doors and windows.

What you’ll need:

  • A bucket.
  • Gloves.
  • Water.
  • Bleach.
  • Soft microfibre cloth.

Baking Soda

Clean the affected area with water to remove any loose dirt/debris that could be resting on the floor. Sprinkle baking soda on the yellow areas and let it rest for about 15 to 20 minutes or longer depending on how stubborn the stain is.

Dampen the soft microfibre cloth with water and wipe off the baking soda checking whether the stain is gone. If it is still there repeat the procedure several times until it completely disappears.

What you’ll need:

  • Baking soda.
  • Soft microfibre cloth.
  • Clean water.
  • Gloves.
  • Bucket/bowl.

Other products that can be used to clean the yellowing stains on your vinyl flooring are:

  • Acetone based nail remover
  • Turpentine.
  • Rubbing alcohol.
  • Non-abrasive scrubbing pad.

5 Ways of Preventing Yellow Stains on Vinyl Flooring

In most cases after dealing with the yellow stains on your vinyl flooring they might show up again or if you have not encountered them yet follow these ways to make sure you don’t encounter them.

  1. Make sure you always expose your vinyl flooring to natural light. Remove all the rags and let light hit the floor. Natural light protects your vinyl flooring from the yellow stains and wears them if they were present.
  1. Avoid using any rags that have a rubber backing. Always ask for vinyl flooring friendly rags or stick to woven rugs.
  1. Clean your vinyl flooring with neutral detergents and regularly remove all the rags for some time. This way you will notice any stain as soon as it appears and deals with it before it becomes stubborn.
  1. Treat your floor regularly with an ammonia-free solution and rinse with a mixture of water and white vinegar. 
  1. Place mats outside and inside all entrances to prevent dirt and asphalt sealers from being tracked into the house.

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