How To Guide

Wooden flooring isn’t exactly renowned for its easy maintenance. Discover how to remove any stains on your wood flooring in this article.

Written by: Yarl Christie

Published on: July 01, 2020

How to Remove Stains from Wooden Flooring

Let’s face it, you can’t beat the aesthetic appeal of a luxurious wooden floor. However, while it may look great, wooden flooring isn’t exactly renowned for its easy maintenance.

As it can’t be exposed to high levels of moisture, keeping it free from stains can be a challenge. Even floors which come with a tough lacquer or oiled surface can wear down over time. This leaves them vulnerable to staining which can prove tricky to get off.

How to Remove Stains from Wooden Flooring

If your wooden floors have developed stains over the years, don’t worry there are ways to clean them. Here, we’ll look at some of the best ways to remove stains from wooden flooring to keep them looking brand new.

Different Types of Stains

Did you know there are different types of stains that can impact wooden flooring? They are typically separated into two different groups – white and black stains.

White stains affect the surface of the floor, resulting in discolouration of its finish. Black stains on the other hand, affect the deeper layers. They tend to be darker in colour and require a lot more effort to remove them.

These are the most common types of stains that can affect wooden flooring and both of them are water based.

Removing White Stains From Wood Floors

Removing white stains is much easier than it is to remove black ones. However, that being said it can sometimes be a case of trial and error as to what works. Each type of water stain is different, so you may need to experiment with different cleaning methods to remove them.

The most effective methods of cleaning these white stains is to use mineral oil, mineral spirits or baking soda. Mineral oils can be applied with a soft microfibre cloth. You simply need to apply a small amount, leave it absorb for a few minutes, then apply it again using this method several times. You should start to see the stain gradually disappearing over 24 hours.

If you’re opting to use a mineral spirit, you’ll apply it the same way you applied the mineral oil. It tends to penetrate deeper into the wood so ensure you only use a very small amount. It will take 24 hours for it to dry and reveal the results.

Another option is to mix baking soda with water. Rub the paste into the stain with a microfibre cloth and leave it for 24 hours. You can then apply a little furniture polish, allowing it to be left to dry out overnight.

If these solutions don’t work, you’ll find many other natural methods online. Some homeowners recommend using toothpaste, while others swear by mayonnaise. Don’t be afraid to try numerous natural solutions until you find one that works. However, we also recommend contacting the manufacturer prior to using natural remedies to ensure they are safe to apply.

Removing Black Stains from Hardwood Flooring

If you’re dealing with deeper black stains, you’re going to need to work a little harder to remove them. With these types of stains, it’s usually best to sand them down.

You may only need to sand down the surface layer, in which case you can simply re-finish it once you’ve removed the stain. If the stain has penetrated too deep into the wood, the sanding method may not be suitable. Make sure you check with the manufacturer how much the floor can be sanded down to avoid having to replace it entirely.

How to Remove Black Stains from Wooden Flooring

As a last resort, some experts recommend adding chlorine bleach to the stain. However, this can be extremely risky as the bleach will lighten and stain the floor. So, if you do decide to try this method, be sure to use a very minimal amount of bleach and regularly check on the stain to see how it is reacting to it.

If the black stain is penetrated too deeply within the wood, it would be worth considering replacing the plank entirely.

Removing Non Water-based Stains from Wooden Flooring

We’ve covered white and black water-based stains, but what if your stain isn’t water-based? The good news is stains that are caused by things such as grease and nail polish, will typically come off with a little water mixed with dish detergent. Simply rub the mixture over the stain with a cloth and you should start to see it fading.

How to Remove Non Water-Based Stains from Wooden Flooring

Remember to only use minimal moisture as too much will cause the floor to swell.

These are the most common ways to remove stains on wooden flooring. However, we highly recommend you contact a flooring specialist prior to trying anything recommended online. If you use the wrong cleaning products, it could cause the warranty of the floor to become void. You could also end up causing more damage to the floor, resulting in a more expensive fix being required.

You can see our collection of wood floor cleaning accessories here

Also browse our engineered wood collection here or solid wood flooring range here if you are looking to replace your floor altogether.

About The Author

Yarl Christie

Yarl is the Managing Director of Stories Flooring. started his career in the flooring industry by becoming a floor fitter at the age of 18 (2004). Yarl finally decided to move with the times and set up an online flooring store (Flooring Yorkshire, 2018). He works closely with the business managers and resource team to source new products from wholesalers, which in turn brings down the sale price. This enables Stories Flooring to be one of the leading UK flooring retailers.