Wooden floors have the ability to enhance your home beyond what carpeting can. They add warmth and a sense of belonging. You take care of your wood floors with proper maintenance and cleaning care. You are careful with shoes, furniture and other things that can damage hard wood flooring. Occasionally accidents happen, water or other liquid spills don’t get cleaned up right away and they leave stains or something was drug across the floor and left a scratch. Here are some tips for removing scratches and stains from wood floors.
Before discussing and giving tips for removing scratches and stains from wood floors, it is important to understand types of stains. There are two different types of stains. White stains and black stains. White stains are caused when liquids only penetrate the finish and black stains have gone past the finish and soaked in to the wood beneath. Determining the type of stain will affect the difficulty level of getting rid of the stain. White stains are easier and less time consuming than black stains.
Tip 1: Determining Scratch or Gouge
Before tackling the scratch determine if it is a scratch or a gouge. Repairing scratches in your wood floor is not a difficult chore to take care of. Depending on the depth and length of the scratch it can take just a few hours to complete.
Tip 2: Use Soft Steel Wool and Lemon Oil
White stains can simply be taken care of with soft steel wool and lemon oil. Soak the fine steel wool with the lemon oil, this is not to polish the floor but causes the steel wool to scrub away the stain without damaging the wood beneath. When the steel wool is completely soaked, gently scrub away the white stain. Wipe up oil left on the floor with a dry, clean, soft cloth and you are done.
Tip 3: Bleach Black Stains
Black stains require a little more time and effort to take care of, a couple of days in fact. The first thing to do is remove the finish and scrub the black mark with bleach and a scrub brush, an old tooth brush will do the trick. Let it sit for a couple of hours and then repeat the process, this time letting the bleach sit for about 12 hours, preferably at night when there is less foot traffic. If the mark has not lightened by the end of that 12 hours or so, try wood bleach. Once the stain is lightened it is a matter of matching the stain and reapplying both the stain and the finish. At this point, you might want to consider refinishing the entire floor. The value of the home increases when the wood floors have been refinished.
Tip 4: Use Mineral Spirits
Light scratches can be cared for by using soft steel wool and rub along the scratch going with the grain of the wood. Remove the finish and sand down the scratch. Moisten a soft clean clothe with mineral spirits and gently clean the sanded area. Let the area dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Tip 5: Refinishing the Repaired Scratch
Refinishing the repaired scratch can be a little tricky when it comes to matching the stain. You will probably have to practice to get the exact color you need. To this acquire a piece of scrape wood that is the same type as your floor. Use this as your practice board.
Tip 6: Match the color and Stain
Once you have got the correct stain color it is time to practice some more. Using a soft paint brush and be sure to pick the appropriate size for the job. A three inch brush is probably more tool than the job requires. A nice soft 1/2” angel brush will do, depending of course on the size needing to be covered. Practice, on the same piece of scrape wood from before, getting just the right amount of stain on the brush. Too much stain will cause a darker spot than the rest of the floor and not enough will end up being lighter. Practice, practice and practice some more until it is right, then refinish the area. Let dry for about 3 or 4 hours, depending on the directions of the finishing products, keeping foot traffic down in the area.
The above mentioned tips for removing scratches and stains from wood floors, can help you have a neat and clean floor for many years.