How to Remove Yellowed Stains from Commercial Tile Flooring


Bruny asked: My bathroom floor is turning yellow really bad by the toilet and bathtub. It’s commercial tile flooring. It is not linoleum or vinyl. I have used Clorox to clean up, bleach and water, and other floor cleaners, but nothing has worked. I think using the bleach made it worse. The color is almost orange.

Most commercial tile flooring is a thick, hard vinyl tile. The vinyl is durable and can tolerate harsher cleaning methods. There are several causes for yellowing on the tile floor. The first is a natural reaction that happens when sunlight reacts with vinyl. The second is discoloration of the wax coating that is on top of the tile. To remove these stains and discoloration, use the method below.

You Will Need:

  • Sponge mop
  • Scrubber
  • Large bucket
  • Hot water
  • Ammonia
  • Powder dishwasher soap
  • Soft cloths or old towels
  • Floor wax

Steps to Clean the Floor:

  1. Fill a bucket with one gallon of hot water.
  2. Add one cup of ammonia and ½ cup of dishwasher powder to the water.
  3. Mix until it is well combined and the dishwasher powder has dissolved.
  4. Turn on your bathroom exhaust fan and if possible open some windows or set up some fans to ventilate the workspace.
  5. Now we will work in small sections of the floor to clean and remove the stains.
  6. Use the mop to sponge a good amount of the liquid onto the surface. If it puddles, that’s fine, you want plenty to work with.
  7. Scrub the area gently with a scrubber. There are mops with scrubbers on the edge that work well for this.
  8. Mop up the remaining liquid.
  9. Repeat until all sections of the floor have been stripped and cleaned.
  10. Once the floor is cleaned to your satisfaction, mop up any remaining liquid.
  11. Dry the floor with old towels or soft cloths.
  12. Once the floor is completely dry, apply a fresh coat of floor wax.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • There are commercial wax strippers available as well that will remove the existing wax. They are readily available from hardware, home improvement and flooring stores.
  • If the wax stripping and cleaning does not remove the stains, then it may be a chemical reaction that is occurring in the tile itself. This may not be possible to remove and may require replacing the tiles.


  1. Jose says:

    I just came onto your post and found it quite interesting. I am also associated with tiles in the UK, swimming pool tiles and tile suppliers, and I love to enjoy the stuff on the topic, as it’s rarely found on internet. Thanks again for writing such a good post.

  2. Ginger says:

    I always thought that mixing ammonia with bleach (dish washing powder) would result in very toxic fumes.

  3. Cathy says:

    Is there any remedy for tile discoloration due to a toilet cleaner? Hope you can help me.

  4. Elly says:

    Are there any plant materials that can be used as alternative chemicals to clean yellow tile instead of ammonia?

  5. Melanie says:

    You can try using alcohol. If the stains are from the wax, then the alcohol may be able to remove them.
    Source: Isopropyl Alcohol MSDA – Remove old layers of sealed wax on the surface with isopropyl alcohol

Leave a Comment