It is easiest to remove stains when they are fresh and are on the surface of the finish only and the staining material has not had time to penetrate deeply. The usual cleaning methods that you use for cleaning hardwood floors will do the job.satisfactorily. |
Just like stains on cloths hardwood floor stains become more difficult to remove as they get older and penetrate deeper. A watermark on your floor can be removed by sanding and refinishing the spot. Many other minor stains can be removed by cleaning with an oxalic acid solution. Oxalic acid is a bleaching agent and hence it can remove some stains.
Most people having hardwood floors usually take steps to preserve but still it is affected by the vagaries of everyday living. They are usually easy to clean and maintain.Being the natural and organic product it is affected by normal wear and tear of everyday living.
However, stains pose a problem for cleaning. In spite of all the care you might take to prevent stains they happen nevertheless and you are forced to deal with them. Also you can't help it if you are moving into a house that was already lived in and the previous owner has left a lot of stains on the hardwood floor. Removing stains from hardwood floors takes some effort.
The most common stains that usually occur on hardwood flooring are ink stains, water stains, nail polish, gum, dark pet urine spots, coffee and juice stains, gum, etc. Obviously it is not possible to remove all the stains using the same method. Many of these stains can be removed easily if you know how, so read this before you decide to replace the stained piece.
Dab the stained area area with the oxalic acid solution. If the stained is not removed by bleaching the first time you can try a few more times until the stains are all gone.Be sure to use protective gloves as the oxalic acid might irritate your skin. After you have bleached out the stain with oxalic acid you must return the original acidity of the floor by rinsing the treated area with vinegar, the one used in your kitchen will do the job satisfactorily.
After you have restored the acidity of the surface you must wipe the area of excess moisture and let it dry completely by leaving it alone. However you are not finished yet because the result of you above efforts will be a bleached stainless spot with the original finish. You will have to sand the spot and finally you will have to apply an oil based stain on the bleached surface matching the original look of your hardwood floor. Cigarette burns if not too deep can be removed by rubbing with steel wool lightly moistened with soap and water. Dry and re-wax.
Coffee, juice, ink and urine stains usually penetrate the wood finish if left there long. Of course it is best to remove these as they happen using normal hardwood floor cleaning procedures. However if the stain is stubborn and has penetrated the finish then you can first try to remove it with a pH neutral cleaner.and if that fails with oxalic acid and vinegar. Otherwise you may have to sand the spot out and refinish the surface.
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