Hardwood floors are natural and organic in nature, and have the tendency to get damaged or stained even due to everyday use. There is nothing more upsetting than seeing an ugly stain on shiny wood flooring. Removing stains from wooden floors depends on the type of stain and the duration it has been there. There are many ways one can use to remove stains and marks from the hardwood floors. Here are a few hardwood floor stain removal tips that are not only easy to follow, but a must-know in order to keep that floor shiny.
Tips for Removing Stains
The tips will vary as per the types of stains. They are as given below.
The first thing that should be done in case a liquid has spread on the floor, or, for that matter, in case any spill, is to mop it up immediately. The longer the spill stays on the wooden floor, the tougher it is to remove. Most liquid spills seep through the sealant and enclose moisture within the wooden panels, causing a white discoloration. These discolorations are difficult to remove once they set in. Always have a commercial wood floor cleaner at hand. After wiping the spill, add small dose of vinegar in water and use this to wipe the spot.
This can be removed by re-sanding and re-coating the spot using bleaching agents like oxalic acid. Rub sandpaper or a soft steel wool brush onto the mark. Don't press too hard or even rigorously scrub it, else you will have to deal with scratch marks too! The bleaching agent will gently remove the stain. Once it is removed, mop the area with a solution of water and vinegar and dry it completely. The floor may have to re-coated with a layer of wood finish to restore its shine.
Candle drippings need to be tackled differently. Never try to wipe it immediately, as it will just end up spreading. Let the wax harden, one can simply apply an ice cube or ice pack on the wax to harden it. Using a nonabrasive tool, such as a thin, blunt butter knife, gently scrape up the wax. Buff the wood with a soft cloth, to clear out all the tiny wax particles.
Oil stains left from food spills should be first absorbed with paper towels. Later, wipe with a hydrogen peroxide saturated cloth and let dry.
These should be tackled by hardening. Place an ice cube or very cold water on the grease spot, and then scrape the hardened grease with a blunt knife. Mop dry with cleaning solution.
Children often drop milk and food on the floor. For these, as with all other techniques, clean and mop it dry immediately. However, for dried spots, scrape from the outer edge toward the center of the stain, with a sharpened razor blade, taking care not to scratch the floor. Once the hardened stain is cleared, clean the spot with a slightly dampened cloth.
Gum and Crayon Marks
It's also common to find chewing gum and crayon marks on wooden floors, if you have small children around the house. These are easy to tackle; place a plastic bag of ice covered with a cloth over the stain for it to harden, and then scrape off with a sharpened blade. Be careful not to scratch the wood's surface finish.
These can be removed using nail polish remover. However, as nail polish has chemicals in it, it will bind with the surface floor finish. Hence, they should cleaned using solutions that will not damage the layers of surface finish. For removing paint and varnish stains from wood, gently rub a cloth dampened in a formulated paint remover.
These marks are tricky to deal with, as they are sticky and the color tends to be left behind. The floor should be immediately moped with a cold sponge. For dried blood stains, add a commercial wood cleaner to your cold water solution.
- Most of the time, regular wood floor maintenance will save a lot of trouble and time, by keeping the stains from setting in.
- Hardwood floors can be kept clean by regularly vacuuming, and then damp mopping with clear or cleaning solution water.
- They should not be cleaned with excess water, and must be completely mopped dry.
- To restore shine to the floor, try damp mopping it with half-a-cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of wood furniture polish in a gallon of warm water.
- Before using any untested cleaning solution, it's always recommended to first test it out in a corner, or a spot behind a door.
- A better way to ensure a-no-stain-wooden-floor would be to place colorful rugs on the floor. This would also enhance home décor, and cut down the number of stains to clean.