Causes of Yellow Stains on Vinyl Floors and How to Remove It

Do you have vinyl flooring in your home? If so, you may have noticed that it can start to yellow over time. It is a common problem that vinyl flooring homeowner faces. At the same time, it is a very frustrating issue.

Do you know what causes yellow stains on vinyl flooring?

Well, there may have so many reasons like chemical reactions and adhesive. There are some other reasons too. While these stains can be unsightly, they are not difficult to remove. There are ways to remove the yellow stains and restore your vinyl flooring to its original condition.

However, in this article, we will discuss the causes of these stains and how to remove them quickly. So, if you are having problems with yellow stains on your vinyl flooring, read on for some helpful advice!


Stains can come from several sources, including pets, spills, and tracked-in dirt. The good news is that most yellow stains on vinyl floors can be removed with a bit of elbow grease and the right cleaners.

Before you start cleaning, it’s essential to identify the type of stain you’re dealing with and its source. If the yellow stain is from a liquid spill, like soda or juice, you’ll want to remove it quickly. Also, If the stain has had time to set, you may need a stronger cleaning solution.

So, let’s find out the main causes of yellow stains on vinyl flooring and take action accordingly.

Leading Causes of Yellow Stains on Vinyl Flooring

Remove Yellow Stains on Vinyl Floors
Causes of Yellow Stains on Vinyl Floors and How to Remove It

There may have so many reasons for vinyl flooring turning yellow. But here, we will discuss the most common ones. So, let’s have a look at them.

Trapped Moisture

When the subfloor is not correctly dry or too much moisture in the air, it can seep through the vinyl flooring and cause yellow stains. If you have recently installed vinyl flooring, this may be the reason for the yellow stains.

This problem can occur if the subfloor is not correctly installed or a wrong substrate is selected without a moisture barrier. The moisture enters through the floor into the lower levels of vinyl beneath, in this case, causing it to deteriorate from the bottom up. There is a noticeable discoloration between the dry and unaffected portion of the surface and the moist area.

Mold and Mildew Growth

It can be another reason for yellow stains on your vinyl floor. If the room is not ventilated correctly, it can cause mold and mildew growth. And when mold and mildew grow on the vinyl floor, it can cause yellow stains.

If your floor is not moisture-proof or subjected to water exposure regularly, mold and mildew will proliferate rapidly. If you do not remove it as soon as you observe it, this will result in contamination, which with time causes the floor to discolor. It’s preferable to replace the contaminated flooring rather than attempt to fight mold and mildew growth.

Rubber Backed Floor Rug

The floormats or rugs with a rubber backing can also cause yellow stains on vinyl flooring. The reason is that when certain rubber materials come into contact with vinyl, it leads to discoloration. When these rugs are left undisturbed on the vinyl floor for a long time at the same place, it can cause the color of the vinyl to change.

So, if you have any rugs with rubber backing, make sure to remove them from time to time.

Floor Adhesives

While installing the floor, yellowing occurs if you use an adhesive that is not compatible with the vinyl flooring. Even if the installation is not done properly, the adhesive can react and damage the floor underneath. It will eventually be responsible for the yellowing of the floor.

Exposure to Sunlight

It is another major reason for vinyl floor yellowing. Suppose your vinyl floor is regularly exposed to direct sunlight and high heat for a long time. In that case, it can also cause yellow discoloration.

Ultraviolet rays due to sun exposure can break down the protective layer of vinyl floors. So, it damages the surface of the vinyl floor and causes discoloration.

Patio doors, huge windows that get much sunshine, and even the fireplace are all susceptible to this hue change.

Other Causes of Yellow Stains on Vinyl Flooring

Apart from the causes mentioned above, some other reasons can also cause yellow stains on vinyl floors. These include:

  • Use of wrong cleaners: Using harsh chemicals or cleaners that are not meant for vinyl floors can also damage the floor and cause yellowing.
  • Improper installation: If the vinyl floor is not installed properly, it can also cause problems like yellowing.
  • Poor quality vinyl: If you have used a poor quality vinyl floor, it can also lead to yellowing over time.

As you can see, there are a few different causes of yellow stains on vinyl floors. But don’t worry, they can all be removed with the right cleaners!

Ways to Remove Yellow Stains on Vinyl Flooring

There are a few ways to remove stains from vinyl flooring. You can use bleach and water, baking soda and lemon juice, or mineral spirit. So, let’s look at how you can use these ingredients to remove yellow stains from vinyl flooring.

1. Use Bleach and Water

Bleach can be one of the great cleaning agents to remove yellow stains from vinyl flooring. You need to take one part of bleach and mix it with ten parts of water. Apply this solution to the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes.

After that, scrub the area with a brush or cloth. If you want, you can use more bleach and scrub. Finally, rinse the area with clean water.

2. Baking Soda with Lemon Juice

Baking Soda with Lemon Juice

If you don’t want to use bleach, you can also try the baking soda and lemon juice. Take two tablespoons of baking soda and mix it with an ideal amount of lemon juice to make a paste.

Apply this baking soda solution to the stained area and let it sit for about 30 minutes. You can also sprinkle baking soda on the area and scrub the area gently with a brush or damp cloth. Rinse the area with clean water afterward.

3. Resort to Mineral Spirit

Mineral spirit can also be used to remove yellowing stains from vinyl flooring. You need to apply it to the stained area using a spray bottle. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub the area gently. Rinse the area with clean water afterward.

These are some ways you can remove yellow spots from vinyl flooring. Try out these methods and see which one works best for you. Whichever method you use, make sure to rinse the area well afterward.

Notes: Always wear gloves while doing these cleaning procedures.

How to Prevent Yellow Stains on Vinyl Flooring

The best way to protect vinyl floors from yellowing is to clean them regularly and avoid using rubber-backed rugs. You should also keep them out of direct sunlight.

If you have kids or pets at home, you need to be extra careful about cleaning your vinyl floor. Kids and pets can track in dirt and grime from outside.

So, it is essential to remove their shoes before they come inside the house. You should also keep their nails trimmed so that they don’t scratch the floor.

Vinyl floors are very easy to maintain and clean. But if you don’t take proper care of them, they can start to yellow over time. So, here we are giving you some tips on preventing yellow stains on vinyl floors.

Cover the Windows Properly

Since sunlight is one of the major reasons for vinyl flooring yellowing, you need to make sure that you cover the windows adequately. It will help protect the floors from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

You can use curtains, blinds, or shades to cover the windows. If you have large windows, you can install tinted film on them. It will help reduce the amount of sunlight that comes into the house and thus protect your vinyl floors from yellowing.

Change Furniture Position

To prevent yellowing vinyl due to furniture leg or rubber-backed rug, you should often change the furniture’s position. It will not let the yellow stain occur since furniture or a rug won’t stay in the same place for a long time.

So, re-positioning standing floor accessories will help the areas get enough light and air, preventing one area from yellowing. It will also help in the even distribution of weight and protect your floor from scratches.

However, you can also use furniture pads or casters to prevent scratches or stains on the floor.

Clean the Subfloor Before Installation

It is very important to clean the subfloor properly before installing the vinyl floor. If there is any dirt or dust on the subfloor, it can cause the yellowing of the vinyl floor over time.

Sometimes the use of wrong adhesives or not removing the adhesive residues can lead to the yellowing of the vinyl floor after the new installation. So, it is very important to remove the adhesive residues completely before installation.

You need to ensure that the subfloor is completely dry before installing vinyl flooring. And after installation, you should use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air. Make sure that the vinyl is installed correctly.

Use Special Vinyl Cleaners Only

Another way to prevent yellow stains on vinyl flooring is to keep them clean. You should sweep and mop them regularly so that dirt and dust don’t have a chance to build up.

You will find different commercial cleaning products in the market specially designed for vinyl cleaners. You can use them for everyday cleaning purposes. But before using any cleaner, you should always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Some people also recommend using homemade cleaners to clean vinyl floors. You can use vinegar and water to remove the dirt and grime from your floor. But you should be careful while using this mixture as it can damage the floor if used in excess.

After cleaning the vinyl floors, you should always dry them with a soft cloth so that there is no residue left behind. If you leave the floor wet, it can yellow over time.

So, these are some things that you need to keep in mind if you want to prevent yellow stains on vinyl floors. If you follow these tips, you will be able to keep your vinyl floors looking new for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What Causes Discolored Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring discolored can be caused by many things such as dirt, spills, and sunlight. However, the most common cause is trapped moisture. That’s why how much you clean, it will look dirty, and the actual color will be gone.

The bottom layers of vinyl can be damaged when the substrate is improperly installed or treated without a moisture barrier. Moisture can get into the lower layers of vinyl and cause discoloration between where it accumulates and where it stays dry.

Q: Can You Use Vinegar on the Vinyl Floor?

To clean your vinyl floor, you can use a vinegar-and-water solution. Here, you have to mix a generous amount of apple cider vinegar with one gallon of water.

It will become a powerful yet safe home remedy for cleaning most of the stains from vinyl floors. It would help if you cleaned your floor at least once a week with this solution for best results.

Q: Why is Your Bathroom Floor Turning Yellow?

If your bathroom floor is made of vinyl, it’s likely that the yellowing is due to a chemical reaction. Vinyl is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and when PVC is mixed with oxygen, it creates something called oxidation. This process turns the vinyl yellow. The floor can also turn yellow if the wax coating starts to fade.

So, how do you remove these pesky yellow stains from your bathroom floor?

There are a few things you can do:

  • Use a cleaner that contains bleach or ammonia. Be sure to follow the directions on the label, and always ventilate the room well when using cleaners containing these chemicals.
  • Scrub the stains with a stiff brush. It will help loosen them so they can be easily removed.
  • If the stains are still stubborn, you may need to sand them off. Be sure to use fine-grade sandpaper, so you don’t damage the vinyl.

Once you’ve removed the yellow stains, clean the floor well with soap and water. It will remove any residual chemicals that may be left behind.

Q: Can You Use Rejuvenate on Vinyl Flooring?

Luxury vinyl floors need their own cleaners to maintain their shine. That’s why Rejuvenate created pH-neutral vinyl floor cleaner tailored for these surfaces. You can use it on any vinyl plank flooring to remove grime and dirt and other residues that leave behind.

Most importantly, it’s gentle enough to use every day, resulting in no undesirable film or residue.

However, Rejuvenate’s luxury vinyl floor cleaners are also easy to use. You just need to spray it on vinyl floor tiles. Then clean the stained areas using a microfiber mop, and you’re done! Wait 10 minutes after cleaning to make it dry, and you’ll notice brighter flooring!

Wrap Up

So, there you have it! Now you know about the causes of yellow stains on vinyl floors and how to remove them easily. If you have any other tips or tricks on removing yellow stains from vinyl floors, be sure to share them with us in the comments below! And if you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends! 

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Melia Karneva

This is Melia Karneva, a mother of two young gentlemen. A stay-at-home mom, she loves nothing more than cleaning and cooking for her family. Her true passion, is writing, which she pursues with great zeal. She loves putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) in her spare time. Karneva thinks of herself as a Renaissance woman - she can do many things but doesn't like to brag about them.

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