how to get stains out of wood floors

Essential Tips on How to Get Stains Out of Wood Floors

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Many homeowners prefer wood flooring because it’s beautiful, durable, and easy to clean. However, they are not resistant to dirt, stains, and water damage.

If you have stains on your hardwood floors, don’t worry! You can get those out with some simple steps. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to get stains out of wood floors without too much work or trouble!

Common Causes of Stains on Wood Floors

Removing wood stains may require a bit of work, and it’s best to identify the cause of the stain to come up with the best fix. There are many common causes of wood floor stains, and they include the following:

Pet Urine

Pet urine and vomit that has sat on wood floors for too long will leave a yellowish-brown stain that is very difficult to remove. Fresh pet urine stains can be easier to remove with household products like baking soda and white vinegar. To remove pet stains that have been allowed to dry, you might need to use a stronger cleaning solution like bleach.

Food Spills

Food spillage is a common cause of wood flooring stains. Food and drinks like berries, red wine, and mustard can cause different colored stains on wood floors.

The key to getting these types of stains out is to act quickly! If the spill is still wet, try using a paper towel or a dry cotton cloth to absorb most of the spilled liquid. If the spill is dry, then you can try using a vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment to remove any crumbs or bits that might be stuck in the wood.

Once you have removed as much of the food as possible, use a wet cloth to clean the area and dry it with a clean microfiber cloth.


Wood floors can be damaged by water that has been left to sit on a wood surface for too long, especially if the wood has not had time to dry out completely. If you notice any stains caused by standing water, then try using an absorbent towel or paper towels and blotting them up as much as possible. You might need to repeat this process over a few days until the wood has completely dried out.

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew can leave dark spots or a black stain on your wooden floors, particularly if your floors are often exposed to excessive moisture. Moisture is a breeding ground for black mold and undermines the beauty of hardwood floors.

Failure to regularly clean grime and dirt can cause wood surfaces to have dark marks or black stains.

Additionally, using a steam mop excessively could cause dark water stains on your hardwood floor. Steam can enter into small openings like worn-out thin finishes or scratches. Thus, avoid steam mops and consider another cleaning method if your floor is not sealed. Use a vacuum cleaner or merely use soft-bristle brooms to clean your floors without damaging the wood’s finish.

How to Get Stains Out of Wood Floors: Easy Instructions

Below are the instructions on how to get stains out of wood floors.

  • Blot the stain with a white cloth. Do not scrub or use any brush, as this will only push the stain further into the wood.
  • If the stain is fresh, blot it with a dry cloth until absorbed.
  • Pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide onto a clean cloth and dab it onto the stain.
  • Let the hydrogen peroxide sit on the stain for about five minutes, and then wipe the stained area clean with a damp cloth.
  • Apply wax formulated for hardwood floors. This will help repair any damage done by the stain and restore shine if it has dulled after being cleaned.
  • To prevent future stains from seeping into your wood floors, ensure they are thoroughly dry before walking across them in wet shoes or bare feet, as this can cause watermarks to appear on them over time
  • You may need to do these steps several times before the stain is completely removed. If the stain persists, you can try using wood bleach or ammonia, but wood bleach works best.

How to Get Dark Stains Out of Wood Floors

If your wood floors have a dark stain that seems impossible to remove, you might need to use wood bleach. However, be very careful when using wood bleach for removing dark stains as it can cause damage to the surface finish if not used correctly.

Pour the wood bleach into a small container and dip a clean cloth into it. Next, gently rub the wood bleach onto the stained areas of the wood floor and then let it dry.

Use a clean cloth to wipe the wood bleach off of the wood until all signs of it are gone. Do this process three times or as needed, but do not apply more than necessary as it can cause damage if overused.

Remember to apply wax to the wood floor after the bleaching process. This will help protect your hardwood floors and give them a shiny finish.

How to Get Water Stains Out of Wood Floors

If you are experiencing water stains or watermarks on your wood floors, there are a few things that you can do to remove them.

The first thing that you should do is remove the water stains as soon as possible. This will make it easier for your wood floors, especially if they are made of teak wood.

One of the easiest ways to get rid of white stains on wood flooring is to get rid of excess water on wood flooring with an absorbent paper towel or mop.

Another thing that you can do is use baking soda or salt – depending on what material your wood floors are made from. If they’re made out of wood like teak wood flooring, you should use baking soda.

Apply the baking soda or salt on the wood floors and let it sit for a while, preferably overnight. Sweep off the residue and then mop with clean water the following day. This will bring back the wood grain patterns and make your wood floors shine.

If you do not want to go through all of this hassle, apply a small WD-40 on water stains. Let it sit for 30 minutes or so (this depends on how deeply embedded the stain is) and then remove using paper towels to get rid of excess WD-40.

Another thing that you can do is use a wooden floor stain remover to remove dark water stains from your wood flooring.

If none of the methods above work to remove the water stain, then it’s time for professional help because there might be some severe damage done to stained wood if your flooring has been exposed to water for a long time.

How to Remove Stains From Oak Floors

When removing stains from oak floors, you need to be careful. If you are not, wood damage can occur, which will require costly repairs later on.

When cleaning your floors, always start with a gentle or non-abrasive cleaner first to see if that is all needed for the job. You also want to avoid using hot water as it opens up wood pores and allows more dirt to be trapped inside.

If that doesn’t resolve the issue, use a wood floor cleaner specifically designed for wood floors and follow the directions carefully to get your oak floor back to looking its best again. Once finished, allow the wood to dry thoroughly before exposing it to any further wear and tear. Always sweep or vacuum first to get rid of any loose dirt or debris that may scratch the wood.

Finally, regularly polish the entire floor with hardwood floor wax to help protect the wood and keep it looking shiny and new.

FAQs on Wood Stain Removal

How Do You Fix Badly Stained Hardwood Floors?

If the wood is already severely stained, it may be necessary to hire a professional wood flooring company to remove the stain.

How Do You Get Urine Stains Out of Wood Floors?

Apply white vinegar on top of the urine stain and allow time for it to soak through so that you can rub gently with a cloth or an old toothbrush. Repeat as needed until the wood stain is gone, and then rinse well with clean water before allowing it to dry completely.

Will Hydrogen Peroxide Damage Hardwood Floors?

Hydrogen peroxide can remove wood stains, but only on unsealed wood floors.

Can I Use Oxalic Acid to Remove Lasting Wood Floor Stains?

Yes, oxalic acid can help lift out stubborn water stains and rust stains from wood floors. Remember to wear protective gloves, eyewear, and clothing when using this chemical.

How Do I Get Rust Stains Out of Wood Floors?

Use wood bleach to remove rust stains. Apply it directly on the wood stain and leave for an hour before rinsing with clean water.

How Do I Get Ink Stains From Wood Floors?

Ink stains from wood floors can be challenging to remove. The best way to get rid of ink stains is to use a wood cleaner and wood polish.

Enjoy Shiny and Stain-Free Wood Floors!

Wood flooring is a significant investment, and it’s essential to take care of it so that it looks its best for many years. We hope that through our tips on how to get stains out of wood floors, you can keep your oak, teak wood, mahogany, or cherry flooring free from unsightly discolorations and look shiny and new!

If you found our cleaning tips helpful, let us know in the comments. Check out our other blog posts for more floor maintenance tips and tricks!

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