A reader writes: “In moving furniture around, we have scuffed the linoleum floor and even dented it in a few places. What are your recommendations?

In this case, I learned the floor came with the house, which was built approximately 10 years ago. It probably is one of the newer name brand products that promote themselves as being anti-microbial and biodegradable. They also are photosensitive and easily damaged. The reader indicated that he scrubbed it with dishwashing detergent and applied one to three coats of a low solids (probably around 12 percent) polish to give it a shine.

I suggest you check out the product manufacturer website for guidance on using a neutral detergent since the dishwashing detergent may be attacking the floor oils more than you think. I also suggest that you use warm to cold water and promptly rinse with cold water. As to using the 12 percent solids mop on finish, you may be doing more harm than good. As I understand most linoleum products they need to be able to breathe and three coats of this product may be sealing in moisture and can result in deterioration and weakening of the product.

I suggest you test, test and test again before proceeding on the entire floor since you can actually do more harm than good in some cases. Find an area that is either covered or not noticeable for your tests. Remember to give the area time to respond since not all results will be immediate.

As to the scrapes, it may be that you are simply scraping the finish which should be repairable quite easily. As to the dents, I suggest you use some kind of chair/table slides to spread out the weight. A couple of ideas that might work for small scratches are an old fashioned pencil eraser (or the one inch blocks used by kids). Another idea is to test a chemical sponge (moistened first – wear gloves – read label directions carefully) and gently rub a spot to see what happens.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net