How To Get Stains Out Of Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are undoubtedly one of the gorgeous flooring options, adding a level of sophistication and beauty not found in many other materials. However, they aren't waterproof, and they can get stained. Luckily, removing stains from hardwood floors is achievable as long as you know what kind of blemish you're dealing with and how to address it properly.

The first step to clean up any stain is to try to prevent it from setting in. While spilling a glass of juice or coffee may seem innocuous enough, hardwood is hardly water-resistant and porous. Your harmless spill could lead to a permanent stain if not attended to as soon as possible. Lay down an absorbent towel and soak up as much liquid as you can. If you act quickly enough, it may not leave a stain. If it does, there are ways to remove them, and we'll walk you through the process. 

Pet messes and red wine

One of the most common stains you may encounter if you have pets is urine stains. The biggest issue with these isn't just the appearance but the odor. After soaking up the mess, sprinkle the area with baking soda, letting it soak up the liquid and odor before vacuuming it. If it's still smelling, mix water, one cup of white vinegar, and grapefruit oil, and scrub at the stain. If the blemish is still visible or smelling, soak a towel in hydrogen peroxide and scour the affected area, then add a soaked paper towel on top of the stain. This method may discolor your floors slightly.

Another common stain that can be hard to remove from hardwood floors is red wine. It may not be an issue if you act quickly enough and have a finish on your floors. However, it can easily penetrate the wood grain if not cleaned immediately. The first method for stain removal requires salt, pumice, baking soda, and lemon oil. Spread the salt onto the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes, and in the meantime, mix the pumice and baking soda in a two-to-one ratio, adding lemon oil until it forms a paste. Then, rub the paste onto the salted stain for another 10 minutes. If that doesn't work, try soaking it in white wine vinegar. You may need to sand and restrain the affected area if neither works.

Coffee and paint

Coffee stains are another big one that can damage your hardwood floors, and while coffee is hardly as pungent as wine or pet messes, the smell of stale coffee certainly isn't pleasant. If you already have a darker wood stain, the coffee may not make that much of a color difference, but you should still do your best to lift it from the wood grain. You'll need wet paper towels, detergent or dish soap, and white vinegar. Soak the coffee, add the soap to damp paper towels, and scrub at the stain. Next, dry off the stained area and pour white vinegar on top. Let it sit, clean it off with clean paper towels, and fix the wood with a touch of wood polish or stain if the wood is discolored.

One of the trickier stains is paint. Ideally, you can catch the paint spill or splatter while it's still wet and wipe it off, but if not, wait for it to dry and try to clean it off with a putty knife or plastic card. Then, try dish soap and water to clean it off, though this will only work on water-based paints. Isopropyl alcohol and lemon juice may also work, mainly if applied with a plastic bristle brush. Heating the paint with a blow-dryer can also help loosen it up. If nothing else works, paint strippers or thinners likely will, though these are flammable and may damage your floors.