Removing Stains from Hardwood Floors

When it comes to stains on hardwood flooring, time is of the essence. The first thing you should do with any stain is wipe it up with a damp cloth. For stains that are hard to remove or marks that have been there a while, you might have to remove the stained boards and add new ones which means redoing the entire floor. That’s the worst-case scenario, though. Try out these solutions before you call in the cavalry.


All you need to do is use a hair dryer on a high setting for 15 minutes on the wet area or until any trace of water is gone. If that doesn’t work, apply an oily substance (petroleum jelly or mayonnaise- yes, mayonnaise) to the affected area and let it sit overnight. Wipe it away with a clean cotton cloth and your transparency should be restored!

Scuff Marks

It’s not a stain, but just as annoying to remove. If a damp microfiber cloth doesn’t work, try using a pencil eraser or clean tennis ball. If there’s an actual scratch in the wood, cut an almond in half and rub the meat part on the scratch (the oil should fill in the scratch).

Pet Urine

Accidents happen when owning a pet. You want to try and soak this mess up before it sinks in. Using an “enzymatic” commercial spray is helpful, which you can find at any local pet store. If it sits for too long and soaks into your subflooring, well, it’s done. That’s when you’ll need your cavalry.

Permanent Marker

Everyone’s worst nightmare, but it shouldn’t be! Erase that Sharpie with 90% isopropyl alcohol. Pour it onto a clean cloth and rub gently on the stain. If alcohol doesn’t work, use a white (not gel) toothpaste on a clean cloth. After rubbing the stain, wipe the spot with a damp cloth.

To prevent a haze on the floor, rinse the area with water and dry. If a haze still forms, put a dab of olive oil on a cloth and rub; good as new!

Stains on dark hardwood

Using a black tea solution can help remove food and grease stains from medium-to-dark wood floors. Brew five or six black tea bags in a quart of water. When the tea is cool, dampen a microfiber cloth with your solution and place it on the stain for one minute. Wipe after with a paper towel. Repeat until the stain is gone!

For more hardwood floor tips, see the original article!

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