Linoleum is made up of several natural materials, including linseed oil, that can oxidize and change color over time. This can happen especially if the floor is covered by rugs or isn’t exposed to enough light or sunlight.
Many people think that once a linoleum floor starts yellowing, the only solution is to replace the flooring. There’s a much simpler and less expensive way to brighten those floors up, though. There are a few methods to get rid of those yellowed areas, including introducing sunlight (removing rugs), a bleach and vinegar method, and a baking soda method.
The bleach and vinegar method is the most labor-intensive, and requires a few steps. First, mix up a cold water and bleach solution with a quart of bleach in one gallon of water, and apply to the floor with a saturated lint-free cloth. There should be a layer of bleach water solution on the entire yellowed area. Allow the layer to soak for 30-45 minutes, then soak up with cloths and rinse the floor with cold water. Fill up a bucket with a white vinegar and water solution which is a ½ gallon of white vinegar to a ½ gallon of cold water. Saturate a mop with this white vinegar solution and mop the entire floor. Rinse with cold water again, and your floor should be brighter and cleaner with fewer yellowed spots. You may need to repeat the process a few times over the course of a couple weeks to totally eradicate the stains. If you have floor rugs, be sure to move them around regularly, as keeping them in one place will cause the yellowing process to begin all over again.
Another method is the baking soda method. In this method, you would put a layer of cold water all over the linoleum and then sprinkle baking soda on the yellowed areas. Allow the baking soda to sit for a bit, then take a soft cloth and buff away the yellowed stains. Rinse your floor thoroughly after buffing with cold water, or you can use a cleaning solution to fully remove any last bits of baking soda. This method is simpler, but may require quite a few repetitions to get all the yellowed stains removed from the floor.