If you see dried up moisture from a spill on a hardwood floor, you may start to panic. However, there are actions you can take that don’t involve you replacing the floor entirely. What you need to do depends on the type of stain and the nature of the spill. Here are some tips for you to eliminate the stains from your hardwood floor as if they never happened.
The appearance of the ring
You will be able to determine what’s required for cleaning by evaluating the color of the ring. A white stain is a sign that the stain is easier to remove. The color also tells you the location of the stain. In most cases, the stain will either be in the finish or the surface layer of the floor. If the stain is black, this usually means the stain has penetrated the floor’s finish.
What type of floor do you have?
See if the stain can disappear on its own. If it still persists, there are several different methods you can try. Kits are available online and in stores that specifically handle these tasks, so it’s wise to start there and consult a flooring professional.
First you must determine whether your floor has a penetrating finish or if the floor has a surface finish. Penetrating finishes has a barrier but are not completely sealed, therefore prolonged moisture could stain the wood beneath.
Hardwax & Oil Finishes
For wax-finished or oil-finished floors, use #000 steel wool and wax and gently rub on floor. If this doesn’t work, use fine sandpaper and apply lightly once more. Once you’ve sanded the stain down, use the steel wool or mineral spirits to clean the area over. After that, let the floor dry, stain and wax and buff by hand.
In order to eliminate your stain, you can buy cleaners that are specifically made for urethane finishes. If your stain is located in a troublesome area, you can use a cleaner and scrub pad that are safe to use on your floor.
If this doesn’t work, you can cover the stain with a dry cotton cloth and rub with a hot iron set to no steam for just 2 to 3 seconds. Then apply denatured alcohol and rub over the stain for just a few seconds.
For stains not caused by water
Stains that are caused by grease should come off with dish detergent mixed with hot water applied with a soft cloth. If you have a grease stain on your floor with a wax or oil finish, use kitchen soap with a high lye content or use hydrogen peroxide. Use ammonia and keep applying layers until the stain is gone. Once this is done, let the spot dry and buff new oil by hand.
Always check with your flooring manufacture for approved methods before trying home remedies as your flooring warranty may be voided from misuse.
There are some basic rules of thumb to follow when removing stains. Firstly, make sure to apply only a small amount of moisture and dry thoroughly. If you’re using a cleaning product, make sure that this product is safe to use on the finish of your floor. If you have a particularly stubborn stain, it’s best to call a professional as they have the expertise and tools to take care of the job efficiently. If these methods do not work, a pro could perform a plank replacement instead.
However you take it on, it’s good to know that you may not have to deal with irreparable damage as long as you apply a little ingenuity.
About the Author
Dylan B. is a marketing representative for Unique Wood Floors, a Minnesota-based company offering premium hardwood flooring sales.