Removing stains from the floor is usually nothing more than a minor nuisance. However, dealing with discoloration or stains becomes more challenging when the floor is made of hardwood.
Since many floor cleaning products might be too harsh for hardwood flooring, you must be careful when approaching this task.
But don't worry! Below, you'll find a guide to removing stains from wooden floors. The best part? You'll mainly use two popular kitchen staples: white vinegar and baking soda.
Did you know that the color of the stain could tell you how deep it is?
Chances are your floor has either dark brown stains or white, discolored spots. Even if they seem different, these are both water stains.
However, there's a crucial difference. Light-colored spots appear when water stains the finish of your floors. On the other hand, black spots usually mean that the moisture has penetrated deeper into the wood and started to oxidate, causing the color to darken.
The following steps will help you remove most types of stains from your hardwood floor, including light-colored water marks and grimy stains. You could try it on dark stains, but those are likely set on the wood, and the results might not be so noticeable.
How to remove stains from hardwood floors without sanding
Vinegar and baking soda can be controversial subjects regarding hardwood floor cleaning. While these products could damage the wood if used carelessly, the truth is that using these kitchen staples sparingly for stain removal won't harm your floors.
Here's the step-by-step guide.
Step 1. Make a vinegar and baking soda solution
Vinegar is excellent for drawing stains out of surfaces. Plus, mixing it with baking soda (which traps pigment and grime) makes for a perfect natural stain remover.
As mentioned, vinegar and baking soda alone can be too corrosive to the floor's finish, but as long as you dilute them properly, you won't have to worry too much.
Mix ¼ cup of water, ¼ cup of dish soap, ½ cup of baking soda, and a splash of vinegar to create a fizzy solution. Yes, you will use water to deal with stains that might have been caused by moisture in the first place, but don't worry! It's only a small quantity to help dilute the ingredients.
Can I use store-bought cleaners on hardwood floors?
Going for a specific cleaner can never go wrong if you want a particular chore done, especially when the surface you're looking to clean is on the delicate side, like hardwood floors.
If you decide to go with a store-bought solution, all you have to do is follow the label's instructions and take the manufacturer's recommended precautions.
Note: To pick the right product for your floor, you need to know the type of finish it has. If you need help figuring out the finish of your floor, check out this video.
Step 2. Spread the mix over the stains
Dip a soft sponge or microfiber cloth into the mix to spread the cleaning solution over the stains. You don't need to scrub since the vinegar and baking soda mix causes a chemical reaction that breaks down grime while the soap traps it.
Note: You may be used to leaving cleaning products on the surface and letting them work. However, since you don't want vinegar working away at the wood finish, you should only leave the mix for as long as you rub it a couple of times.
Step 3. Wipe and rinse the solution
Do you remember that vinegar and baking soda can sometimes damage the wood? As mentioned above, leaving the mix unattended on the floor for long periods is one way it can happen.
So, since you don't want to leave the solution on the floor for longer than necessary, you need to rinse the spot once you're done lightly scrubbing the stain.
The good news is that rinsing is as easy as grabbing a clean cloth, dipping it in a bit of water, and thoroughly wiping off the solution. Moisture can also be a problem for your floor, so keep the cloth just slightly damp.
Step 4. Dry the hardwood floor
Since you've just finished dealing with a water stain, you definitely don't want to create more. So, once you're done rinsing the spot, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away all the excessive moisture.
Is the stain still visible?
If the stain remains even after cleaning it, it might be too deep to reach with regular cleaning solutions. When this happens, the best thing you can do is strip the wood's finish, sand the stain, and re-stain or re-varnish the wood.
This method involves more than just wiping, so leave it as a last resort—and maybe hire a professional to take care of it. However, if you're a handy person and are willing to give this method a go, you can look up a video tutorial online and do it yourself!
Can I clean hardwood floors with bleach?
Bleach is a strong cleaner and disinfectant that works for many stains, even some deep ones. This product causes oxidation when it comes in contact with grime, so it makes sense to use it to remove stains from your floor.
However, since bleach is corrosive, it can also remove or damage the wood's finish. So, this shouldn't be your first choice unless you're sure what you're doing.
If you want to try this method, ensure your floor's finish is bleach-safe and follow all the recommended precautions!
Rain City Maids knows how to keep your beautiful floors clean
Keeping your floors clean includes much more work than just removing stains every once in a while. However, not everyone has the time to sweep, vacuum, and mop the floors so often. Why not let someone else do the work for you?
Rain City Maids is the perfect choice for that! Our expert cleaning technicians carry out every cleaning task on our checklist with care and attention to detail.