How to Remove Stains from Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floor is a beautiful feature of any home, it brings warm beauty to a home. Just like rugs, carpets, and any other type of flooring you must clean and maintain hardwood floors to keep them beautiful and ensure they last long. It is very easy to remove stains from hardwood floors immediately it happens rather than later when it has penetrated the surface finish and dries in the wood. Removing this stain will take some time, effort, and materials. 

How To Remove Stains from Hardwood Floors

Some of the things that cause stains on hardwood floor include;

  • Pet urine and poop
  • Water spots; this could be as a result of wrong use of a steam mop. Always go for dry moping if your hardwood is not properly sealed.
  • ink,
  • Bloodstains and 
  • Food spillage 

These are the leading causes of stains on floor.

The secret to an ever-clean and stain-free hardwood floor is regular cleaning and maintenance! Grime and dirt can tarnish your hardwood finish to something black if you are not cleaning it on a regular basis.

How to Remove Black Stains from Hardwood Floors

The best time to remove any spillage is immediately it happened, while it is still wet. This is because, the deeper the spillage penetrates the hardwood surface finish, the harder it becomes to get rid of. Black stains are the hardest stains to remove, because the wood underneath has been affected.

To remove black stains from hardwood floor, 

  • Simply rub a small amount of bleach on the stain. 
  • Leave it for some time, say one hour or less and then reapply another bleach solution on the stain. Let it set until the next day. 
  • Check to see if you have lightened or removed the black stain.

If your stain is showing up black, the damage has most likely penetrated the hardwood surface finish and set in. And at this point, you don’t have many options. Getting rid of black stains such as a grease stain on your hardwood flooring no matter how hard it seems can quickly restore it’s beauty.

Different Stains of a Hardwood Floor

The different stains found on hardwood floors include white and black stains. Here is the difference between black stains and white ones.

Black StainsWhite Stains
Occur when the stain has penetrated the woodIndicate that the stain is new and is yet to penetrate the wood
Hard to get rid ofEasily removed

How do You Remove Black Stain From Hardwood Floors?

Pet mess has always been one of the things pet owners have to deal with. Some pets’ urine (a dog’s for instance), when it soaks into hardwood floors is one of the very common causes of black stains on hardwood flooring. It would be easier if you removed the mess right away. However, in some cases, the urine is in a hidden part of the room such that you may not even notice it until it starts smelling. The surface finish used on most hardwood floors can only hold pet mess for a very short time before it penetrates into the wood.

Pet urine when it has penetrated into the hardwood floor becomes quite tough to remove. This is also because urine contains some elements which when reacted with hardwood will result to a permanent stain that may require sanding or replacement of the hardwood.

There are commercial products and home remedies that you can use to effectively remove pet stains from your hardwood floor. They include; 

  • White vinegar – White vinegar deodorizes and also disinfects, therefore it is the best option for removing the stain as well as the odor. To use, simply mix a cup of white vinegar with the same amount of warm water in a bucket. Use the solution to gently scrub the stain. 
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Hydrogen peroxide is also suitable for removing the dark stains and the lingering smell on hardwood floors. To use, simply wet a clean piece of cloth with hydrogen peroxide and put it on the articles’ stain for a couple of hours. Repeat as long as the stain remains. Using Hydrogen peroxide can bleach or discolor your hardwood floor and you may need to sand or refinishing your hardwood to get rid of the discoloration.
  • Baking soda – To use, mix white vinegar with baking soda to form a paste. Place the paste on the stain and leave it for some time to dry. Use a soft cloth to wipe the paste and the stain will disappear. You can also just sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the urine stain. The baking soda can remove urine from the wood when it reacts chemically with it. Repeat this process for better results.
  • Mineral Spirits – Mineral spirits might also help with removing the excess dirt that is ruining the surface of your floor. Use steel wool to gently scour the hardwood floorboards, going along the grain. Keep scouring until all the stain is gone.
  • A Mix of Bleach and Water – Isn’t it funny how some solutions you were using for something else can actually work with different issues, too? You must have used bleach to remove stains from your white clothing. But, guess what? You can also use it in removing stains from your hardwood flooring. To use this; all you have to do is mixt ½cup of bleach with 2cups of water, put it in a spray bottle, and shake very well. Spray this solution n the stain and wipe it out. Make the solution stronger if the stain is very hard to remove and repeat the process.

Black stains from pets mess indicate that there is a heavy build-up of dried uric salt crystals. Urine burns the tannins in the hardwood because it is acidic, thus it’s best to avoid getting these types of stains but if you already have black urine stains on your wood floors, you can try getting rid of them without having to refinish your flooring. Even though in some cases your only option might be just that.

Using Bleach For Removing Black Stains From Hardwood Floor

Wood bleaching products are formulated to lighten wood and in the process remove every black stain, this is another very easy method you can use to remove black stains remove your hardwood floors. 

If you want a wood bleach to work very well for you, then you must remove your wood finish and you may even have to sand the section so that the wood bleach can penetrate well.

Three common bleaching methods include; 

  • Household bleach is a weak type of bleach that mainly deals with ink stains, food spills, blood, and related stains. In this case, chlorine can be used. 
  • Oxalic acid is a moderate type that treats aged black discolorations, black water spots, and rust stains. 
  • Two-part kit is the strongest and is always used as the last option.

Remember to refinish the hardwood surface and properly seal it after the bleaching process. 

Always read the manufacturers’ instructions on the label before using any of the bleach on your hardwood. 

Also wear protect gloves to avoid direct contact with your body and work in a well-lit and ventilated room. 

How to Clean Hardwood Floor

Regular cleaning of hardwood floor prolongs its life and beauty. Hardwood flooring lasts long when it is properly taken care of!

Steps on How to Properly Clean Your Hardwood Floor;

  • Clear the area – The first thing to do when you want to clean your hardwood flooring is to clear the area of every furniture. You may want to use a furniture pad on your furniture to prevent them from scratching the floor.
  • Dry-mop or vacuum the floor – Do this using a dust mop to remove dirt, dust, pet hairs, and other debris that can scratch the floor. Do this at least once a week. Don’t use anything that will damage the surface of your floor.
  • Mop the floor – Do this periodically for deep cleaning using a liquid cleaner and make sure you read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You can also make your own homemade cleaner by simply mixing vinegar and water with a few drops of liquid castle soap.
  • Buff the floor with a cloth – Damp mop the floor to remove the residue cleaner and wipe out excess water with a clean dry towel because allowing the water to sit there will damage the floor. Remember, to use a very soft and absorbent cloth for buffing.
  • Doormats – Place doormats at the inside and outside of exterior doors to prevent dirt and damage to your newly cleaned floor.
  • Avoid scratches – You can achieve this by using floor protectors under furniture and by putting rugs or carpet in high traffic areas.

Wood Floor Sanding and Refinishing

Use sanding and refinishing methods when tackling stains that have penetrated the finish but not yet deep into the hardwood. Some of these stains though they have not penetrated into the wood are difficult to get rid of no matter the product you apply. 

For this kind of stain, simply sand it with fine-grit sandpaper. Be careful not to sand deep into the wood. Refinish and seal the wood when the stain is totally gone.

Applying any deodorizing agent if the area you just sanded still has a smell.

Replacing Stained Hardwood Floor

When a stain completely changes or damages your hardwood floor, it is advisable to hire professionals who will change or replace the flooring for you. This might cost you something considering that you have to pay the hired professional but it’s still better, you can either choose to change a section of the hardwood with the damage or the entire flooring.


Hardwood floors are beautiful and are definitely worth the upkeep they require. And you can prolong the life of your floors by never leaving standing water on it, tackling spillage immediately it happens and also by sealing them with products made especially for indoor wood.  Regular cleaning of a hardwood floor with the right methods can add beauty and prolong the life of your floor.

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