How to Clean Asphalt Tile

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Asphalt tiles are made from a mixture of resins, fillers, asbestos fibers and pigments. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, they were developed for use in areas where linoleum did not perform well. Asphalt tiles are tough but abrasive cleansers, and high-solvent strippers and polishes can damage them. Routine maintenance can help avoid the need for commercial products. When you do need to do a thorough cleaning, make sure you buy a product that's safe for asphalt tiles.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor stripper and cleaner
  • Clean rags
  • Dust mop or stick vacuum
  • Mop
  • Fabric softener
  • Mineral spirits
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Clean up spills when they happen. If the spill dries, put a little floor stripper and cleaner designed for use on asphalt floors on a clean rag, and wipe it up.

  • Use a dust mop or a stick vacuum as needed to pick up animal hair, dust balls and crumbs.

  • Damp mop the asphalt once a week with a mild detergent and cool water. Go back over the floor with the mop after rinsing it to make sure there is no detergent buildup.

  • Shine the floor with a mixture of 1 cup of fabric softener in half a bucket of water if it becomes dull, or use a commercial product designed to shine asphalt floors.

  • Clean heavily soiled floors with a floor stripper and cleaner. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Remove crayon marks with a clean cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Lipstick marks can be cleaned with a cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol. Most other stains can be treated with floor stripper and cleaner.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't use polishes that aren't designed for use on asphalt tile. If there's too much solvent in the product, it can cause the floor color to bleed. Don't put too much water on the floor. The water can seep between the tiles and loosen the adhesive. Inks, mustard, permanent marker, shoe polish and hair dye may permanently stain the floor.

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