The beauty of hardwood flooring can be destroyed by unsightly stains, and this will tarnish the ambiance throughout your space. While some stains are unfortunately permanent, others may be removed carefully without damaging the floor. When you know how to get stains out of hardwood floors, you can maximize the life of your flooring and keep your home looking great in the process.
Before Attempting to Remove the Stain
Many substances can cause darker and lighter stains on wood floors. These substances range from water and other beverages to food, pet fluids, ink, mold and more. In addition to identifying the source of the stain, pay attention to the condition of the floor. When wood is not properly sealed or when the wood is in poor condition, some stain removal efforts may cause further damage to the wood.
How to Remove Dark Water Stains from Wood Floors
Dark stains may be caused by water as well as by blood, ink, rust and more. Bleach is one of the most common stain removal products for removing dark stains from wood floors. An excessive amount of bleach can ruin your floor, so you should proceed cautiously.
Choose the Right Bleach Product
Household bleach, such as what you may use when you need to brighten the whites in your laundry, can be used to tackle blood, ink and food stains. This is the weakest form of bleach that could be used on the floor, so you may want to start with this product. A mid-strength bleaching product is oxalic acid. It is effective at removing rust stains, black water spots and various other types of discolorations. The strongest bleaching product that can be used on wood floors is a two-part kit. This strong solution should only be used if the other two solutions are not effective.
Prepare the Wood
The bleaching product should be applied on bare wood. Therefore, you need to use a stripping product to take off the finish. An alternative is to lightly sand the stained area. When sanding, use enough pressure to remove the finish without scraping deep into the wood. Clean the area thoroughly before you begin the bleaching process.
Remove the Stain
If the bleaching product that you are using has instructions for this specific type of product, always follow those instructions carefully. If not, pour a small amount of the bleach product into a bowl. Use a towel or another protective covering to prevent spillage while you work on the floor. The bleach can be applied and rubbed into the floor using an old toothbrush. Allow the bleach to remain on the wood for a few days. If needed, repeat the process. Once the stain is removed, you will need to refinish the impacted area. Remember to seal the floor after your stain removal project is completed to reduce the risk of future damage.
Tips to Remove White Stains and Rings from Hardwood Floors
When wood floors are exposed to moisture, white spots or rings can develop. Before you attempt to remove these white stains, allow the impacted area to dry thoroughly on its own. In many cases, the white spots or rings will disappear as the wood dries out. There are numerous water mark removal products available in stores and online for you to use. However, the specific products or methods used are dependent on the type of finish on the floor.
If your wood floor has a urethane smooth finish, look for a water spot remover that is specifically designed for this type of flooring. You may need to use a scrub pad with your product to remove tough spots.
On the other hand, if the wood floor has a penetrating stain or a wax finish, you should initially try to remove the stain with a fine steel wool pad and wax. If you need more power, use fine sand paper to strip away some of the material. Then, use the steel wool pad with a wood floor cleaning product or with mineral spirits.
A few other stain removal options are available. One method is to use a hot iron. Cover the stained area with a clean, dry cloth. Turn the iron to a no-steam setting. Place the iron over the cloth for a few seconds. An alternative to this method is to apply a small amount of denatured alcohol to the area. You will need to wipe the area dry after a few seconds.
How to Other Types of Stains Wood Floors
From pet urine to peanut butter, various substances can cause staining and may require unique removal methods. For example, oily stains from butter and other substances may be removed with the use of lye, hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. These methods may be used to remove the oily substance, but you may need to know how to get stains out of hardwood floors to address deeper-level stains.
If your stain is from a non-greasy substance, such as some types of foods, you can skip these harsh chemicals. Instead, apply a small concoction of dish soap and water to the area. Regardless of the type of stain that you are cleaning, be aware that excess moisture can result in warping and other issues. Use any cleaning products sparingly in order to avoid damaging the floor irreparably.
Know When to Refinish or Replace Wood Floors
While these methods will remove various types of dark and light stains from hardwood floors, you may be faced with a truly stubborn area. If you have used appropriate stain removal methods properly and have not produced the desired results, you will need to take more drastic action. Depending on the condition of the floor, you may need to refinish or replace the wood floor. In many cases, you can focus your attention only on the affected area. Refinishing or replacing the entire floor is most beneficial when a larger area of the floor is severely worn or damaged as well.
Now That You Know How to Get Stains Out of Hardwood Floors
After you learn how to remove dark water stains from wood floors and how to address white stains effectively, you are ready to begin your project. Always proceed slowly, and make thoughtful observations as you go. Diligence will help you to maintain the integrity of the wood while also producing the results that you need to see.