How to Get Stains Out of Hardwood Floors

If your client’s hardwood floors are stained with pet stains, red wine, etc., what can they do to remove them?

How to Get Stains Out of Hardwood Floors

You first want to encourage them to act quickly if the stain was recent.

Because wood flooring is porous, liquids can seep into the wood grain and get absorbed, which makes it harder to remove the stain.

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From there, you’ll want to give them some tips on what techniques and products to use (and which to avoid). We break down some of our best tips below.

What to Use for Getting Stains Out of Hardwood Floors

Before you get started cleaning out a stain, check to make sure you have the right products. Always use a hardwood floor-approved cleaning product, such as the Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. Products like this are specially formulated for hardwood floors and are designed to not damage the

finish, but you have to make sure that it’s compatible with the specific type of finish on your floor (waterbased vs. oilbased, wax, European hardening oil, etc.).

Make sure to use a microfiber mop – this will prevent the finish from being scratched or abraded.

If the stain is too deep / soaked into the wood, the client might have to call in you (the contractor) to refinish the area. In some cases, it’s impossible to get out and you’ll have to replace the affected board. Watch our tutorial on replacing a hardwood floorboard:

What NOT to Use for Getting Stains Out of Hardwood Floors

  • Abrasive Cleaners: Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads on hardwood floors, as they can scratch the surface and strip away the finish. 
  • Heavy-duty Chemicals: Strong chemicals, like bleach or ammonia, can damage the finish on hardwood floors and should be avoided. White vinegar is sometimes recommended as a hardwood floor cleaner, but it should also be avoided because it can damage the finish. In fact, most of the cleaners you’ll find at a local grocery store can actually damage a wood floor finish, unless they are specifically formulated for wood.
  • Steam Cleaners: Steam cleaners can cause warping and other damage to hardwood floors, so it’s best to avoid using them.

Prepare Your Client for Floor Maintenance

The best way to ensure your client doesn’t damage their hardwood floors is to prepare them with some cleaning and maintenance tips when you finish the flooring job. If they keep the right products at home, they won’t need to worry about resorting to abrasive cleaners. Plus, it could save you from having to refinish the floor.

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