How do I clean water base paint off of linoleum floors?

  18 answers
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Oct 18, 2021

    Items Needed:

    • Sponge
    • Razor blade
    • Rubber gloves
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Dish detergent (powdered or liquid)
    • Paint thinner
    • Bucket
    • Cleaning eraser


    1. Wipe it up. If you are lucky enough to catch the spill while it is still fresh, you should be able to wipe up most of the mess with a little bit of water and your sponge. You don't want to have the sponge be too wet, so after dunking it into your water filled bucket, and then wring it out until the sponge is damp. It can also be a tad helpful to add a couple of drops (liquid) or teaspoons (powdered) of dish detergent to the water. Take your time when wiping up the mess, and work your way from the outside in on the fresh wet paint.
    2. Use some alcohol. For dried paint, use some rubbing alcohol. Considering that the rubbing alcohol could damage your hands (or at least dry them out) you may want to wear some rubber gloves while doing this. Dampen a sponge with the alcohol, and then begin scrubbing the floor where the stain is located. Work from the inside out, wiping in a circular motion when you are doing this. Periodically rinse out the sponge with water, and then reapply a little bit of the alcohol and continue to scrub away at the stain. Paint thinner will also work in this same manner, but should be used with caution (it could potentially harm your floor or countertop).
    3. Apply the eraser. If you are still having some difficulty in removing the stain, you may want to use one of those cleaning erasers to do the job. Simply get the eraser wet and begin scrubbing away. You should have no problem whatsoever in getting rid of the stain, but you may need to use a couple of different erasers to get the job done.
    4. Scrape it off. Unfortunately there are some particularly difficult stains out there, and latex paint can be one of those. Using a razor blade can work wonders when cleaning paint off of linoleum. However, you want to be particularly careful when you are doing this since you could accidentally cut into the linoleum. Carefully slip the razor blade under the stain and use it to pry the paint off of the floor. Repeat the process until you have removed all of the paint from the linoleum.


  • Carefully use a razor blade to scrape it off. Add water to help loosen it.

  • Janice Janice on Oct 18, 2021

    Dried paint can usually be removed by using a scraper. If not, soften the paint with rubbing alcohol and then scraping and wiping away. There is also a paint removing product for these types of problems called "Ooops". It works well.

  • Em Em on Oct 18, 2021

    If it is just splatters you can pick off with your fingernail.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Oct 18, 2021

    you can use a rubber scrapper and it should take it off or even use Goo BGone

  • William William on Oct 18, 2021

    Use Goof Off to soften it then scrape off with a credit card or thin stiff plastic. Razor blade can cut into the lino if your not careful. You can try nail polish remover in a small spot to see if it takes any color in the lino off.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 18, 2021

    I would use a plastic scraper unless you are very confident in your razor blade skills. It will be easy to gouge or cut it. Scraping and water would be the only things I would use because many of the items to remove paint will also damage the color on your flooring.

  • on Oct 18, 2021

    I've had good luck just using a 3M scrub pad and water.

  • Mogie Mogie on Oct 18, 2021

    Step 1 - Wash the Stained Area

    Place warm water in a small bucket. Add some detergent to make a soapy solution. Avoid detergents with a pH higher than 7, as these can cause discolorations on your linoleum. Use a rag to clean the stained area with the soapy solution. Exercise patience. It should take about five minutes to know if the detergent has worked. In most cases, the detergent should be able to remove latex paints. Remove soap from the floor with a rag dipped in plain water. For stubborn paint, proceed to the next step.

    Step 2 - Apply Rubbing Alcohol

    Put on rubber gloves to protect your skin from possible irritation from the alcohol. It is also a good idea to wear safety goggles. The fumes from the rubbing alcohol may cause eye irritation. Saturate a rag with rubbing alcohol. Place the rag over the stained area. Press the rag firmly onto the stain. Leave the rag in place for about 30 minutes. The rubbing alcohol contains chemicals which strip the paint from the linoleum.

    Step 3 - Scrape Away the Paint

    Lift the rag and discard. Examine the area to see if there are any traces of paint. Use a scouring pad to clear residual paint from the linoleum. Scrub gently with the pad. Too much pressure will leave scratches on your linoleum. It is best to use short strokes, going in one direction only. Avoid back and forth motions, as they’re likely to leave marks on the floor.

    Step 4 - Clean the Floor

    Mix some warm water and mild detergent in a bucket. Dip a rag into the solution. Wring the rag to remove most of the water. Rub the affected area in a circular motion with your wet rag. Use another rag dipped in plain water to rinse the linoleum well. Wipe the area dry with a clean rag. Give the linoleum about one hour to air-dry.

    Step 5 - Apply Sealer

    It is a good idea to apply a sealer once you’ve eliminated the paint stains. Obtain a suitable sealer from a hardware store. Apply the sealer with the help of a paint roller. Two coats are best for higher protection from stains.

  • Dee Dee on Oct 18, 2021

    Get scratch free Brillo or SOS. Take as much dried paint off with a plastic scraper. Do not use a magic eraser it will scratch your floor. Alcohol my dull the finish try it in an inconspicuous area. Get Awesome or Simple Green to wash the floors when finished.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Oct 18, 2021

    Hello. I would moisten a paper towel and let the paint area soak. Then use old depleted gift card or credit card to scrape away the now loose softened paint. This is how I clean my pallette .

  • Betsy Betsy on Oct 18, 2021

    Hi Teckiepooh: You can use a washcloth dampened in warm water. Set it over the paint for a bit, maybe 5 minutes and then scrape off with a plastic putty knife. Or, you could use Goof Off, just be sure it says it's o.k. to use on linoleum or plastic.

    Good luck

  • Simple Nature Decor Simple Nature Decor on Oct 18, 2021

    Use Krud Kutter

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 19, 2021

    Soapy water and a sponge

  • Seth Seth on Oct 19, 2021

    I find latex based paints will soften when they are heated. Sometimes I just rub it with my finger and the friction produces enough heat to get loose enough to peel off or I use a 3M type scrub pad gently. Soak a towel in super hot water and just let it sit on the paint for a while.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Oct 20, 2021

    You should be able to to scrap it off with your nail don’t use anything metal it will cut it

  • Annie Annie on Oct 21, 2021

    Water based paint should come of with some rubbing. I would be super careful using anything too sharp.

    Maybe try putting some hot soapy water on the paint? Just let it sit there, since the floor is lino, it won't hurt it. After soaking use something like a hard plastic spatula or a plastic putty knife. Really gently, scrape from the outer edge, see if you can begin lifting the paint off that way.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Oct 24, 2021

    You need something plastic to scrape it with so you won’t scratch the floor it should come off.