Many people prefer hardwood floors
because of their unique character, beauty and elegance that it lends to the home. Being the natural and organic product it is affected by normal wear and tear of everyday living. 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.
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.
At first you can try to remove the stains with the techniques discussed here and then if still some of them remain you can call in the experts. 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.
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. Here the usual cleaning methods that you use for cleaning hardwood floors will do the job.satisfactorily. If you are using a hardwood floor cleaning product it is prudent to follow the manufacturers directions. You can remove dried food and milk spots with a sharpened blade or a putty knife.Then rub the spot with a dry cloth. For waxed finishes re-wax the surface.
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.
First 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.
If the finish itself is only affected, you can remove it with a nylon rubbing pad. Crayon and black heel marks can be removed by using solvents like mineral spirits if a water based cleaner does not do the work. A lacquer thinner will remove nail polish but it may remove the floor finish also. Some products like Goof-off will remove old adhesives and latex paint splatters. To remove gums you can chill them with any neutral spray product or ice , they get hardened and can be peeled out.
If a stain is not easily removed find out if there is any product is available to remove the specific types of stains from hardwood floors. In most cases the most stubborn stains can be got rid of by sanding the affected surface and refinishing it. However if you are unable to do so you can take the help of floor cleaning experts. Lastly if nothing is likely to work it you will have to remove the entire stained portion of the hardwood floor.