How To Remove Stains From Hardwood Floor

How To Remove Stains From Hardwood Floor?

How to remove stains from hardwood floors might not seem that easy. But with a few household items, you can conveniently get rid of them. 

We have developed this guide to help you deal with those rings, spots, and stains from wood floors. So, read on to tackle those tough stains. 


How To Remove Water Marks from Hardwood Floors?

If you are looking to remove those watermarks from wood floors, follow a few simple steps. But first, identify whether you have black stains or white stains. 

White stains from wood floors are associated with the surface's discoloration. It only happens to the hardwood floor finish.

They are slightly smoky and mainly occur on new hardwood floors.

There are black watermarks as well. These watermarks tend to penetrate deep into the wood and need a thorough process.

Now there are three different ways to remove stains.

Water Marks from Hardwood Floors

With mineral oil

  • First of all, apply a thin layer of this oil with the help of a soft microfiber cloth. 
  • Now let it be there on the surface for several minutes and repeat the process. 
  • You will see the oils will start to break down water stains within 24 hours. 

With mineral spirits

  • You can use that soft microfiber piece of cloth to apply the mineral spirit to the affected surface.
  • These spirits will be more effective against a tough water stain. But you need to leave them on the surface for several minutes and repeat the application process.
  • After that, leave them to fully dry for about 24 hours and rinse with clean water to remove the water stain. 

With baking soda

  • You can paste baking soda and water. Make sure you add one part of baking soda into two parts of water and make a thick paste. 
  • Apply this paste directly to the water stain with the help of a microfiber cloth. Now leave it for about 24 hours. 
  • After that, apply furniture polish on the stains from wood floors and leave them to dry overnight. 
  • You will see that the stains from wood floors will fade away pretty conveniently.
water on hardwood floor

How To Remove Water Ring Stains from Wood floors?

With Mayonnaise

  • You can begin by blotting the stain using a paper towel.
  • After that, you can apply a thin layer of mayo right over the area with the help of a rubber spatula.
  • Allow it to sit for a few hours in the affected area, or you can leave it overnight.
  • In the morning, wipe it off, and your sin will hopefully be gone.

With Vaseline

  • Vaseline or petroleum jelly can also penetrate the wood surface and won't damage it. Therefore, you need to begin the process by blotting the stain and then using a dry towel or sponge to apply a thin layer of Vaseline.
  • Allow it to stay on the affected surface overnight.
  • Wipe it away in the morning as the Vaseline would have already penetrated the wood surface and would have extracted the water out.
  • If the stain is still there, repeat the process. 

With Toothpaste

  • You can begin the process by rubbing some non-gel and white toothpaste on the stain using a dry cloth.
  • Just make sure you don't use hard hands while scrubbing, or you will end up damaging your wood. 
  • Rub it in a gentle circular motion but the direction of the grain. 
  • You will notice that the stain will start to lift.
  • Just wipe the excess toothpaste away with the help of another clean piece of cloth.
  • In the end, you can apply some furniture polish on the affected area to get that shine back. 

With Steel Wool

  • Steel wool can be effective against most stains from wood floors, but you must be careful with wood. Just go for a ball of fine quality steel wool so you don't end up damaging your area. 
  • You only have to rub some mineral oil and rub it with steel wool into the affected area. 
  • Just make sure you move in the direction of the grain
  • After some gentle rubbing, you will notice that the stains from the wood floors are starting to fade away. 

With Olive Oil and Vinegar

  • You need to mix equal parts of white vinegar and olive oil and make a runny paste. 
  • Now take a sponge or a dry rag and start rubbing the oil onto the affected area. 
  • Just make sure that you make your rubbing movements in the direction of the grain. 
  • Now wipe the excess amount of that paste away with the help of a clean cloth. You will notice that the stains from the wood floors begin to fade. 

How to Remove Dark Stains From Hardwood Floors?

If you are looking to remove dark stains from hardwood floors, you will have to remove the finish on top to gain access to the stains from hardwood. 

These hardwood stains are deep into the wood, and you need to be more thorough in your cleaning process. The two most effective methods of tackling these dark stains on wood involve sandpaper and bleach. 

Sand the Black Marks

  • To remove dark stains, you can begin the cleaning process with the help of 100 grit sandpaper.
  • In the areas where water hasn't gone too deep, this method will work quite fine to remove the stain. 
  • Just make sure to rub the sandpaper in the direction of the wood grains.
  • You can feather those edges of the treated area with the help of steel wool. Doing this will allow you to blend the finish into its original form. 
  • Make sure to apply several coats of wax, varnish, or lacquer to match the finish precisely after you are done with those dark stains. 

With bleach

  • Going for bleach is the last resort to remove stains from wood floors. You have to use it on the area where the stain has worked its way deep into the wood. 
  • You need to apply a thin layer of chlorine bleach right on those dark stains. You will immediately notice that the stains from hardwood have reduced up to an extent.
  • The bleaching process can take several hours. But once the process is complete, you need to remove it with the help of a damp sponge thoroughly.
  • Once you are done cleaning the bleach, you can not apply a thin coat of white vinegar and then remove it with a damp sponge. 
  • White vinegar will prepare your wood surface for the finish. It will also prevent any further discoloration.
  • You can apply several finish coats to match the original one and get the desired results when you are done with the dark stains. 
dark stains hardwood floor

How To Get Grease Stains Out of Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floors look pretty nice, but grease can make them ugly. If you have got your hardwood floor messy with grease, you can use a few methods to remove stains. Vinegar will be highly effective in getting rid of grease stains out of the hardwood. 

Apart from that, you can also use soapy water and baking soda to remove stains. And in the end, use a degreaser or a cleaner to bring it back to life and get those stains out of the hardwood. But based on how bad your stain is, you will have to go for different methods to remove stains from wood floors based on trial and error. 

Microwave your vinegar-water mixture bowl

The first step to get rid of grease stains from the hardwood floor is to make a mixture of water and vinegar. There are 2 different ways of doing this. 

Just mix equal parts of vinegar and water within a small bowl. Or you can make the mixture and then microwave it. Due to the acidic nature of vinegar, it can work brilliantly as a cleaner. Vinegar can cut through grease and oil, and it won't leave any residue. 

If you are looking to remove stains from wood, vinegar is pretty compelling. Due to its disinfecting properties, vinegar is common for cleaning carpets and floors.

Therefore, it will work for removing stains from hardwood as well. But you need to make sure to dilute the vinegar using water because concentrated vinegar might end up damaging your wood finish. 

Vinegar might be a pretty good cleaner, but there are a few things that you shouldn't clean with it. These include the likes of floor tiles made of stone, marble countertops, and egg stains. These are extremely sensitive and might cause more damage than anything else. 

Wiping the grease with vinegar

The next step is to wipe the grease with vinegar. You will need a sponge mop or a clean piece of cloth for scrubbing with vinegar. Just make sure you don't oversaturate your mop or piece of fabric. 

There will be excess moisture, which might lead to gapping, splitting, or cupping the wood. To remove stains from wood, even if they are oil or grease-based, vinegar is beneficial. 

It will help if you wipe the area, particularly in circular motions to allow your piece of cloth to absorb as much moisture as possible. Keep in mind you only need to go for a soft piece of fabric. This is because you don't need any scratches on your hardwood floor

Making a mixture of soapy water in a bowl

The next step is to make a mixture of soapy water in a bowl. You can use any mild dishwashing soap and mix it in warm water for maximum results. This dishwashing soap is an alkaline product that can cut through grease and oil, mainly if you mix it in hot water. 

Soap molecules have a hydrophilic end attached to water and a hydrophobic end attached to the grease. This will result in the grease breaking into smaller drops that suspend in water. Therefore, you will be able to clean the grease off the wood surface. 

Wiping the area using soapy water

Now it's time to wipe the greasy area on your hardwood floor with soapy water. You can dip a clean sponge or cloth into the soapy water mixture and gently start brushing the stained areas.

Make sure not to oversoak your sponge or cloth using water. This is to avoid any extra moisture on your wooden floor. Just leave it there for five minutes, allowing the soapy mix to soak the grease. Then, you can wipe the area using a dry piece of cloth and remember to use a clean one to prevent any dirt or debris from sticking to your hardwood floor. 

Sprinkling baking soda

Now it's time to sprinkle some baking soda to remove any remaining grease stain. And there are two ways of doing it. 

You can sprinkle baking soda on a wet piece of cloth or sponge. Now rub the material on that stained area and keep rubbing until the stain vanishes.

The second way of doing it is to sprinkle baking soda directly on the stoned area. And then wait for at least an hour to allow the baking soda to soak the grease. After that, gently wipe the area with your cloth dipped in soapy but warm water.  

Baking soda is frequently used as a cleaning agent. It has a mild alkali that tends to dissolve grease and oil into the water. Apart from that, it is a natural deodorizer as well. It has acidic molecules of odor into an odor-free state. 

We advise you to mix baking soda with the water before cleaning the surface. This is because baking soda without any dilution tends to damage the wooden floors. So, it would help if you waited until your mixture loosens the grease residue, and after that, you can gently scrub the area.

Saturating the area with degreaser

The last step involves decreasing the area for an extra finishing touch. You will only need to put a few drops of degreaser on the stoned site and allow it to soak for about ten minutes. This degreaser is a cleaning agent, and it can dissolve oil and grease pretty well. 

It can make it easier by changing the state of the substance. Most of the degreasers have solvents and chemicals in them. So, you need to follow the instructions carefully as they are available in various forms. You can use them either for wipes, solutions, or sprays.

cleaning hardwood floor

How To Remove Old Stains from Hardwood Floors?

For removing the stains from hardwood, you first need to remove the finish from the wood surface. You can use steel wool but make sure you go gentle.

Now it's time to make a warm mixture of vinegar and water. Start scrubbing it gently on the affected area using a piece of cloth. Leave this mix on your wood surface overnight.

The next step is to make a soapy water mixture and scrub it with a clean cloth. You will see that the water stains from wood floors begin to fade. So, leave this mixture on your wooden surface for a couple of hours. Sprinkle some baking soda now and start scrubbing the affected area. It would help if you left it overnight.

Now go for any wood finish and coat as many times as possible to match the finish. 

You can repeat the process if the water stains from wood floors haven't disappeared. But do the finish coat in the end when they fade away.


No matter what type of stains are on wood floors, you can get rid of them without using any harmful chemicals. These toxic substances are not suitable for household use. Else, they will damage your wood surface.

If you're using bleach for cleaning, make sure to go for mild bleach. Any harsh bleaching process can permanently damage your wood floor. 

The best practice is to clean any food spillage right away. Because when the food spillage dries up, the stains become much harder to remove.

Plus, make sure you always use a soft cloth and try going for warm water. Otherwise, warm water will make every cleaning process more effective.