Removal/Reduction Of Stains From Sheet Vinyl and VCT Caused By Disinfectant Cleaners


Repeated use of disinfectant cleaners can produce a stain on the surface of all floor coverings.  This stain normally is the most severe around the base of fixtures such as:  Commodes, bath tubs, shower stalls, etc., and under hand bowls, etc. where the cleaner drains onto the floor surface after the fixtures have been swabbed.

It can also occur over the entire surface of the floor but normally it is less of a problem due to foot traffic and thinner applications of the disinfectant cleaner.

The severity of the stains will depend on many variables, such as:

  • products used
  • concentrations
  • improper dilution
  • frequency of use
  • color of flooring
  • amount applied

These areas are best maintained with the use of sealers and polishes.  Their use normally aids in the removal of the stain buildup if the buildup is removed before it penetrates through the polish and sealer into the flooring surface.


Total prevention of the stain is almost impossible, however, it can be reduced by following good maintenance practices.  Be sure the manufacturers’ dilution instructions are carefully followed when mixing, do not apply more solution than required and mop up the puddles that form under or around fixtures after swabbing.  When the first sign of discoloration appears, remove the buildup by scrubbing or stripping with a 3M blue/green pad or equal, or equivalent brush.


For sheet vinyl and vinyl composition tile over two years old, strip the floor completely using a 3M blue/green pad or equal, or equivalent brush and a mop on/mop off no scrub stripper.

Wet vacuum, rinse thoroughly, and allow to dry.

NOTE: For vinyl composition tile less than two years old, use a 3M blue pad or equal and a regular stripper.  Wet vacuum, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.

If the floor has already been stained, it may require repeated stripping in the heavily stained areas.  Repeat the stripping procedure until all the stain is removed, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.

CAUTION:  The use of No Scrub/No Rinse type strippers can cause adhesive failure if used within the first two years of tile installation.

Updated on October 26, 2022