How to clean Congoleum floor without buying their brand cleaner?

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Scooby Doo

New Member
Apr 30, 2023
I have new Congoleum floors (sheet) in my mobile home. Congoleum sells a proprietary cleaner called Bright n Easy or something like that, and it's very expensive. I know the floor is not straightforward to clean, can't be steam-mopped, and so on. Is there any cheap way to do it? I heard dilute vinegar? Thanks for any info.


Will work for food
Supporting Member
Mar 6, 2011
If it's any normal kind of sheet vinyl, I would expect any floor cleaning solution to work. No Murphys oil soap or waxes. Most residential stuff is no wax.
To be sure the floor lasts a long time no wax doesn't mean no care. Daily sweeping and regular mopping lightly like with a Swiffer keeps the grit off the floor and that's what causes the finish to go away.
Most vinyl flooring these days have a pretty tough wear layer.
I think a lot of times it's like when Eveready used to say to only use Eveready batteries in their flashlights.
.....yeah, right. 😁
I can't imagine the traditional ratios on vinegar, Pinesol or other common cleaners to be an issue.
Last edited:
Mar 17, 2021
Fort Wayne, IN
1/4 cup of ammonia to a gallon of hot water. This is a really good daily neutral cleaner that won't leave behind any residual that could lead to a buildup and dulling.

If you have to get more aggressive for heavy soiling like a spill or something sticky, then you can up the ratio to 1/2 cup of ammonia to a gallon of hot water.

If you have an area with stubborn soiling agitate the solution with a soft nylon bristle brush like you would clean a shower with and let it sit for about 3-5 minutes. Just don't let it dry on you. After it dwells for that time, then mop it up with a microfiber mop and clean water.

I strongly recommend using a microfiber mop with this solution, like a swifter or similar. A microfiber mop head has several 100 times the surface area of a traditional cotton string mop. It will do a much better job getting down into the embossing and lifting the dirt up than a string mop. Those tend to ride over the top of the embossing and rely on the solution to hopefully get the dirt to come up.

I recommend avoiding steam mops, even if the flooring manufacturer says they are ok with your flooring. They simply get to hot and the likelihood of damaging the floor or shortening the life of the flooring is pretty high.

I'm not a fan of vinegar, because it's acidic in pH and can vary from vendor to vendor on what that level of acidity is. Ammonia is slightly alkaline which is what today's vinyl flooring tolerates well. You can buy a whole gallon at dollar general for about $2 and it will last quite a while. I keep a gallon of it in my "tool bag" and when I have to look at a maintenance complaint, it always goes with me.

Many of the "neutral cleaners" out there use this same basic chemistry along with some scent and charge a pretty penny to put their name on the bottle.

I also highly recommend avoiding things that contain citrus oils or scents. While they can release dirt from a surface and have a pleasant smell, they are terrible for leaving an oily residue behind that will build up and dull. They can also damage things like latex and rubber which are commonly found in rug backings. This can lead to staining or actual damage to the rug.

If you need to disinfect then I'd use a hydrogen peroxide based disinfectant rather than the older quaternary or phenolic based disinfectants. Those can leave behind a buildup over time if not rinsed completely. Johnson Diversy makes a hydrogen peroxide disinfectant called Alpha-HP that works very well. The buildup from the quats and phenol gets incredibly slippery if the floor gets wet. In extreme cases of buildup, I've even seen it appear as an oily substance that will show footprints. Hydrogen peroxide doesn't do that.

I would also add one word of caution, never mix bleach with ammonia as it can create a poisonous gas that can literally kill you. So, if you use bleach to clean other areas, make sure you don't do so while you're cleaning your floor. You don't want the two mixing together when they are liquid.

Hope that helps!


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