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How do you get Dark Stains out of Hardwood Floors?

It can take you time figuring out how to remove black stains from hardwood floors. It is simple to deal with any stain immediately before it penetrates the surface finish and dries in the wood. Pet mess (urine, vomit, and poop), water spots, ink, blood stains and food spillage are the leading causes of stains on floor.

Poor maintenance and bad cleaning habits have led to many hardwood floors getting destroyed. One of the leading cause of water stains is incorrect use of a steam mop. Steam doesn’t have to penetrate between planks to cause damage, but rather in any small openings caused by scratches, worn out or thin finish.

You should therefore avoid steam mops if your floor is not properly sealed. This should also include any other water based cleaning methods that leaves a film of water standing on the surface. If your wood is not properly sealed, opt for other dry cleaning methods such as vacuuming, dry moping and sweeping with a soft bristle broom.

Growth of molds on hardwood floor caused by moisture can also destroy the beauty of your hardwood floor. Grime and dirt can tarnish your wood finish to something black if you are not cleaning on a regular basis. Ceiling leakage could also be leading drips of water to your floor and no sooner you realize a black stain is already formed. So how do you get dark stains out of hardwood floors easily?

Secrete to an all-time clean and durable hardwood floor is daily maintenance and regular cleaning. The best time to remove any spillage is immediately when it is still wet. Stains with age may take a lot of effort to remove depending on how deep they have penetrated. Black stains with rings around are even the toughest to remove since there is likelihood that the underneath wood has been affected.

Removing a stain entirely depends on the cause, how long it has taken and the depth into the wood. Here is a guide on how to remove dark/black stains from hardwood floors.

How do you Remove Pet Urine from Hardwood Floors?

Pet mess is something pet owners have always had to deal with. This is common especially if you have a young pet that has not mastered the potty training. It can also happen with the older pets accidentally, while sick or due to incontinence. Dog urine soaked into hardwood floors is a common culprit for dark stains on a wood floor.

It would be easier if you removed the mess right away. But sometimes it happens in hidden areas of your house where you sometimes notice after sometime or when you encounter a lingering odor. The finish used on most hardwood floors can hold the pet mess only for a short time before it penetrates into the wood.

Pet urine is the most difficult to deal with when it has taken some time. Its liquid nature makes it penetrate the wood faster. Urine also contains elements such as ammonia, chloride and potassium that can react with wood and in the process resulting to even a permanent stain that may require sanding or replacement of the wood.

There are commercial products you can use to remove pet stains from your hardwood floor. There are also home remedies that have successfully been used to clear the stain. They include; white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. White vinegar deodorizes and also disinfect, therefore the best to remove the stain together with the odor.

To use, simply mix a cup of white vinegar with the same amount of warm water in a bucket. Use the solution to gently scrub the stain. For better results you can mix the vinegar with baking soda to form a paste. Apply the paste on the stain and let it dry. Use a soft cloth to wipe the paste and luckily the stain will disappear.

Hydrogen peroxide is also suitable for removing the dark stains and the lingering smell on hardwood floors. Soak a piece of cloth in hydrogen peroxide and place over the stain overnight or at least 8 hours during the day. Repeat for longer hours if the stain is resistant. Hydrogen peroxide may bleach the section of your floor. To remove the discoloration, you may be required to do sanding and refinishing.

Wood Bleach Products for Black Stains

This is another method you can use to get rid of black stains from hardwood floors. Suitable to use when the stain is too stubborn to be removed by home remedies. Wood bleaching products are formulated to lighten wood and in the process removing the blemish.

Three common bleaching methods include; household bleach is a weak type of bleach that mainly deals with ink stains, food spills, blood and related stains, in this case, chlorine can be used. Oxalic acid is a moderate type that treats aged black discolorations, black water spots and rust stains. Two-part kit is the strongest and always used as the last option.

A wood bleach works best when you strip wood off its finish or sand the section so that it can penetrate well. While sanding always use a fine grit sandpaper to avoid getting into the wood but rather the finish. Wipe off clean before applying a bleach. After the bleaching process you will have to refinish and properly seal the surface for protection.

Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the label before use of any bleach on your wood. Safety is also important. Wear protective gloves to avoid direct contact with your body. Work in a well-lighted and ventilated room.

Wood floor Sanding and Refinishing

Some stains are difficult to remove regardless of the product you use. Example in when dealing with well-established molds and dried paint. Sanding and refinishing a hardwood applies to stains that have penetrated the finish and not deep into the wood but are hard to remove.

Use a fine grit sandpaper to sand and do not get deep into the wood. When you are sure that the stain is completely removed, you can proceed to refinish and seal the wood. The area you have sanded may look slight different from the rest of the floor. If the stain was caused by pet urine, the area may still smell bad, therefore, important to apply a deodorizing agent.

Replacing the stained wood

Some stains may deeply penetrate the wood and completely change its appearance or damage it. An example is a dark water stains that forms when water seeps down the wood for some time before you notice or the pet urine got absorbed and reacted with the wood. Replacing the planks or boards may be costly since you will need a professional to do it. A section may be replaced or the entire floor depending with the level of the damage.

Regular Cleaning

Knowing how to clean wooden floors can save you the cost and hustle of removing ingrained stains. Dirt can eat into the finish and becomes difficult to remove especially when let to sit for long.

Sweep your hardwood floor on daily basis to remove dust and loose debris. Consider mopping with your favorite cleaner on weekly basis. While doing so, avoid cleaning methods that may leave water pooling on the surface.


Removing dark marks from hardwood floor can be such a challenge. Always be watchful to deal with any spillage or mess on your floor immediately it happens. Some stains can nearly be impossible to remove when they take time or happen repetitively. Hardwood floors are an expensive investment that you should always protect. Regular cleaning with the right methods can really add beauty and life to your floor.

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