How to Get Rid of Stains on Wood Floors
Cleaning wood floors is not always enough to remove set in stains that mar the effect of the hardwood. Getting rid of the stains often depends on the type of stain, the item that is staining the floor and whether the stain is darker or lighter than the wood around it. While it will take some care and caution to remove the stains, the end result is a beautiful floor.
Start with Baking Soda
Depending on the nature of the stain and how long it is set in the wood, the best way to eliminate the stain will vary. A new stain that has just set is often possible to remove with baking soda mixed with a small amount of water to make a paste. Let the paste sit on the new stain for a few minutes and then gently wipe away with a clean cloth. This is the best solution to deal with immediate staining from spills like wine, grape juice or coffee.
Baking soda will not work on set stains that have seeped down into the wood. It is only useful to prevent the stain from setting shortly after spills or messes occur.
Vinegar is a type of natural bleaching agent that can help remove stains if it has not set in the wood for long periods of time. In most cases, the best vinegar to clean the stain is white vinegar. Simply wipe up the mess from the floor, spray a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water on the floor and allow it to sit for a short time. Wipe away and watch the wood.
Vinegar is similar to baking soda. It is most effective when used shortly after spills to prevent the stain from setting in the wood and requiring complicated removal methods. Vinegar will not work on stains that have set for a period of time because the stain has moved past the wood sealant.
The best way to remove stains from wood floors is through sanding away the stain. Depending on the wood, the size of the stain and how deep the stain has set into the wood, the project might be possible to manage on just the stain or it might require working on the whole floor.
When sanding the floor, start with a heavy grit sandpaper to remove the sealant. Follow up with a medium grit paper to remove any remaining sealant that was not removed by the heavy grit paper. Fine sandpaper is used after the sealant is removed to gently sand away part of the wood.
Staining and Refinishing
The last part of removing the unsightly stain is using a wood stain that matches the rest of the floor when dry and applying it to the spot. After applying two coats of the stain and allowing it to dry, coat a wood sealant over the spot. Sealant usually requires three coats, but directions and suggestions will vary.
Removing stains from wood floors usually requires sanding and refinishing. In some cases, an even look will require refinishing the entire floor.