It can be time-consuming to get black stains off hardwood floors — even if you have been keeping them clean and ensure you mop them often.
It is easy to handle a regular stain before it has the chance to permeate the surface, dry, and mark the wood, but you will need to use special techniques to get rid of stubborn black stains.
What are the common causes of dark stains on wooden floors? Urine, vomit, and feces from pets and children, and everyday spills which occur from water, ink, blood, or food.
General lack of upkeep and misuse of detergents can result in damage to several wooden surfaces. In particular, the misuse of a steam mop is considered a key factor.
Steam can penetrate tiny crevices in wood such as small abrasions or tattered, threadbare finishes, and can result in immense damage to wood.
Unless your floors are sealed, it is advisable to avoid steam mops altogether. We suggest you refrain from using cleaning methods that leave a layer of water remaining on top of the wooden surface.
In the case of unsealed floors, we suggest you opt for alternative dry-cleaning techniques. Vacuum, dry mop or sweep your floors with a broom with gentle bristles.
Dampness can spoil the splendor of your wooden floor and lead to the growth of molds.
However, if you do not scrub your floors regularly, dirt and dust can destroy your wood’s beautiful finish. Unforeseen factors such as a leaking ceiling could result in water leaking onto your floor, leaving a moldy residue.
You are probably wondering, so how do I get black stains out of my hardwood floors?
Unfortunately, the only solution to an everlasting, sparkling hardwood floor is everyday care and frequent cleaning. To prevent long-term damage, clean up messes and spills immediately, as they occur.
The longer you leave stains, the harder they are to remove, especially if they have infiltrated deep into the surface of the wood. If the underlying wood has been damaged, it is particularly tricky to remove these dark rings.
What factors should you consider when removing a stain? It all depends on the source, how long it has been there, and how deep it has infiltrated into the surface of the hardwood. Follow these steps to remove dark stains from your wooden floors.
Removing Pet Mess From Wooden Floors
If you have pets, it is not uncommon to have to mop up urine and clean up feces or even vomit. Young pets are still learning to take these habits outside and older pets may become sick or incontinent. Whether it is a common occurrence or not, pet mess can soak into your wooden floors and result in unsightly dark stains.
Of course, pets are often quite discreet in hiding their mistakes from their owners. Some time may pass before you find the culprit of the bad smell, resulting in an ugly stain on your gleaming floors. Urine is the most damaging and the main issue with these stains is if they are not treated immediately, they penetrate the protective layer and sink deeper into the wood resulting in permanent damage.
Permanent stains in wooden floors are a result of chemicals such as ammonia, chloride, and potassium, commonly found in urine which react with properties in the wood. The best option may be sanding and revarnishing or getting new wooden floors altogether.
You may find numerous products advertised that can be used or even household remedies that are effective at removing or substantially reducing the stains.
Common remedies include beneficial ingredients such as vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda. When it comes to getting rid of the odor, white vinegar is suitable for refreshing and sanitizing the floor. Simply mix one cup of water with one cup of white vinegar and apply the mixture to the stain.
If this doesn’t remove the stain, you can make a paste using baking soda and white vinegar and then rub the paste on the stain. Once it has dried, using a clean, smooth cloth, lightly rub the solution and watch the stain vanish.
If all else fails, you can rely on Hydrogen peroxide to remove dark, stubborn stains and bad odors from hardwood floors. Simply soak your cloth in hydrogen peroxide and place it over the stain, leave it to soak for a minimum of 8 hours. For best results, leave it overnight to ensure the best chance at stain removal.
If the stain still does not budge, repeat the process and increase the length of time you leave the solution on the stain. Be warned, the bleach in the Hydrogen peroxide may discolor your floor and you may wind up having to sand down and re-varnish your floors.
Wood Bleach Products
When the dark stains in hardwood floors are too stubborn to be removed by home remedies, wood bleach products can be used.
If you don’t mind that your wood is lightened in the process, then wood bleaching products are a viable option. Here are the types of bleach you can use.
If the cause of the stain is from things like ink, blood, or food spills, a basic household bleach, containing chloride can be used to effectively remove the stain.
If you need to remove rust stains, dark wood discolorations, or damage caused by damp, you can use Oxalic acid by making a paste, applying it to the stain, and leaving it to dry. This is a toxic chemical that can be used as the last option to lift stubborn stains.
To effectively remove the finish from wood, apply wood bleach onto the discoloration and allow it to penetrate the affected layer. For best results, you may use fine sandpaper to gently take off the top layer only and avoid penetrating the deeper, unaffected layers.
Ensure the surface is clean before applying your bleach and after application of bleach and sanding it down, remember to apply a new finish and reseal the surface. This will protect it from future stains or discolorations.
Before using bleach products on your wood, always consult the instructions on the bottle or leaflet inside the packaging. When working with toxic substances, always take the necessary safety precautions. Wear good quality rubber gloves to protect your skin and avoid breathing in harmful fumes by working in an aerated room.
Sanding and Refinishing Wooden Floors
Some stains such as molds and paint that have been there for a long time, become ingrained in the wood. These are near-impossible to take off, irrespective of the product or method used.
Unfortunately, Sanding and refinishing wood only works for stains that have just penetrated the top layer of the wood and have not penetrated too deep. These stains are difficult to remove but not impossible when using the right techniques.
Utilize fine-grit sandpaper to sand the top layer only and avoid getting too deep into the wood. At the point when you are certain that the stain is eliminated, you can continue to refinish and seal the hardwood.
The color of the sanded part may appear a shade or two different from the remainder of the wooden floor. You may need to deodorize the stained area if it was as a result of a pet mess and still has an unpleasant odor.
Replacing the Discoloured Wood
If the stain has permanently damaged the wood and you are not satisfied with its appearance you may need to consider replacement as an option. For instance, if you end up with dark water stains from water penetrating deep into the wood over time or the chemicals in pet urine had penetrated beneath the finish and damaged the wood.
You may need to consider the cost of hiring a specialist to refurbish or completely replace the wooden boards. Depending on the amount of damage, a few boards may need to be replaced or even the complete floor.
Clean Floors Regularly
Floors left wet or dirty for a long period are harder to clean as the dirt becomes ingrained or even permanently stained. Therefore, cleaning them regularly is the best solution. This guide will help you to learn how to clean wooden floors and save you the expense and hassle of removing embedded stains.
Ensure your hardwood floors are swept daily, this ensures dust and dirt that have blown in from windows and doors is cleared away. Mop your floors at least once a week. It’s a good idea to use a mop system that does not leave water pooled up on the floor and dries off within a few minutes.
Black Water Stains
Blackwater stains are extremely stubborn and can be tricky to treat. Discolorations become visible on hardwood furniture when the liquid has soaked deep into the wood beyond the protective surface layer. For best results use a regular or wood beach to remove these stains.
The first thing you need to do is remove the finish, which is the top layer protecting the wood. If the piece of furniture is antique, you will need to decide if it’s worth doing this as tampering with it may devalue the piece. If this is not an issue then let’s continue with the bleach application process.
Take your wood piece and gently use sandpaper to remove the finish.
Ensure you are wearing protective gloves going forward.
Rub some basic domestic bleach into the stains by using an old paintbrush or nailbrush.
Wait a couple of hours for the bleach to evaporate.
Reapply bleach for the second time.
Leave the piece of furniture to soak in and dry overnight.
This method usually eliminates black water stains effectively and as soon as the stains have disappeared, you reapply the finish to the hardwood. Unfortunately, in some instances, this process is unsuccessful, and you have no alternative but to resort to using wood bleach.
Wood Bleach Application
Commercial wood bleach is the best solution for removing stubborn black water stains
Remove the wood finish in the same way as you did before. Mix and then using a toothbrush apply the wood bleach to the hardwood.
Let the wood bleach stand for approximately four hours.
Make a solution of one cup water and half a cup of vinegar and apply it to the wood using a soft cloth or sponge. This solution will neutralize the wood bleach.
This method should remove the stain and then you can dry the wood and apply the finish once again.
Toothpaste can remove black stains as well as white water stains efficiently. Rub toothpaste on the watermark using a circular motion to lightly massage the wood. Be careful that you don’t push too hard or you may remove the finish.
Removing Heat Stains
Heat marks typically look white on your wooden furniture. Here’s a guide on how to eliminate them from varnished wood surfaces:
Mix a paste using white toothpaste and some bicarbonate of soda. Using a cloth, gently rub the paste into the wood until it heats up. Immediately wipe it clean and dry with an unused damp cloth. If necessary, repeat these steps until the stain has disappeared. For best results, ensure you maintain the wood and keep it in good condition by applying a good furniture polish or oil product regularly.
Eliminating unsightly stains from your hardwood floors and furniture can be a tedious task. Clean wood floors regularly and always sweep and mop up spills or mess immediately when they occur. It is important to do this before stains become set and as a result near-impossible to remove.
So essentially, rather avoid the costly exercise of replacing wooden floors due to negligence. Look after your Hardwood floors, it’s worth it in the end to have beautiful, shiny wood floors and furniture that you can be proud of.