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How To Remove Persistent Water Stains From Hardwood Floors

If you’ve ever had hardwood floors or wooden furniture, you know about the dangers of staining. And there is nothing more dreadful to the material than water! Some of them are clear, some of them are dark, and most of them can be permanent. 

Unlike what some may believe, however, it is possible to remove them, even the older ones. Here are some of the best ways to get rid of these stains:

ATTENTION: Before starting, always make sure to clean the floors and wipe away the dust. This will help avoid any scratches or additional wear. 

Dark Stains

If water gets through the finish of the hardwood floors, it will then darken the actual wood. This means you’ll need to get through the finish layer. 

Steel wool. This is only recommended for people that have a good eye and can use their hands well. Slightly rub the stained area in order to remove the stain. Do it very lightly. Also apply pressure to unstained areas close to the stain, blending it in so there’s not a major bump.

Sandpaper. While the steel wool might not work for some, it’s unlikely that filing with sandpaper won’t help. Do it the same way as suggested for steel wool, filing through the stain and blending slightly to the unstained areas.

Vinegar. An ingredient common to every household, vinegar can help remove the layers of the stain. Just soak a damp rag and put it on the stained area, leaving it there for 5-10 minutes. You might need to apply it more than once to remove it completely, or for bigger stains.

Chlorine bleach. A more chemical and effective option would be using chlorine bleach. Since it might be a bit strong, start with a solution that’s four parts water and one part chlorine bleach. Apply it with a white cloth and let it work for around 10 minutes. Let the floor dry and see if the stain was completely removed. If not, do it again until it does, but strengthen the solution slightly every time.

Hydrogen peroxide. Some people might not like to work with chlorine bleach, and might want another chemical option. Hydrogen peroxide might be the way to go, since it is not as strong as bleach. Do the same as you would for chlorine bleach, but instead of starting with a 4:1 ratio, do two parts water to two parts hydrogen peroxide.

Apply finish, and finish! Now, the last step would be to apply finish that matches your floor to make it match again. Should there be any visible bumps, use 0000 steel wool to rub it away until it is evened out.

Light Stains

These are your run of the mill, superficial stains, most often ones left by moist glasses.

Pastes. There are many products you can use to remove it in a few minutes that work as a paste. Baking soda paste (1 part water, 1 part baking soda), salt paste (salt with only a few drops of water), even toothpaste. You can rub them gently and apply nail polish once you are done.

Petroleum jelly. Sometimes, these faster tricks might not work. Another alternative that can be easily bought is petroleum jelly. It can be applied and left to work overnight. You’ll just need to wipe it away the next morning!

With the right trick, the right amount of effort, and patience, you can get that water stain out in no time, and forget about cloths, mats, and rugs to cover them up!