Home » My Hardwood Floor has White Spots ( Stuff): How to Remove

My Hardwood Floor has White Spots ( Stuff): How to Remove

Before you begin to panic over the inconspicuous look of your hardwood floor due to dried-up spills, stains, spots, marks or scratches, you need to understand that there are numerous options of removing these stains from your beautiful floors.

Here are some insights into how to remove white spots and scratches of varied severity from your wood floors. Just pay attention to every detail of each step and your hardwood floor will look like the white Spots or Scratches never even happened.

No doubt, white spots or black stains usually hurt the appearance of wood floors. Water spills and heat are usually the main causes of these white spots. Hot items such as pizza boxes, iron box or hot pan when placed the wood floors usually cause white patches.

Many wood floors are coated with polyurethane making them resistant to stain and damage. However after a given period of use, polyurethane wears thin making them susceptible to damage of water spills.  Water spills if not mopped on time usually get trapped under the finish resulting to white or grayish spots.

Things like perfumes, medicines, alcohol or juice spills can cause white spots or streaks. Wrong cleaning techniques and cleaning products can also wreck havoc on your wood.

In case you’re uncomfortable with the white marks on your wood floor, use the following simple procedure to get rid of them.

  1. Pour small amount of hydrogen peroxide onto a plastic cup.
  2. Soak a cotton pad inside the hydrogen peroxide
  3. Place the wet pad on the white marks and allow it to soak in the wood to bleach out the stain.
  4. After 5 minutes, remove the rag and wipe up any excess hydrogen peroxide.
  5. Allow the floor to air dry.

Alternatively, you can use mineral spirits instead of hydrogen peroxide. However you need to be careful to apply large amounts of mineral spirit as it can remove any wax that may have been applied to the floor in the past. Use the following procedure to remove white spots on your wood floor.

  1. Pour some amount of mineral spirit in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the mineral spirit on the floor and rub it thoroughly over the white spots using a non abrasive scrubbing pad.
  3. After 5 minutes of rubbing, wipe up the excess liquid using a clean rag cloth.
  4. Allow the floor to air dry for a few minutes.

Unfortunately, if the white spots are deep in your hardwood floor, mineral spirits or hydrogen peroxide won’t remove them. The spots will have to be sanded and the affected area refinished.

How do you get Surface Scratches out of hardwood floors?

Hardwood floors getting scratches is a common phenomenon. Sometimes scratches can appear like white marks or spots. Majority of these scratches are caused by movement of furniture during mopping, pets, presence of small rock particles and heat from hot pan or iron box when placed on the floor.

The best thing about scratches is that the process of restoring them is relatively simple and easy irrespective of the severity.  It is easy to get rid of surface scratches because only the top protective coating needs to be repaired.

Tools You Require:

  • Water
  • Soft cloth
  • Hardwood floor cleaner
  • Scouring pad
  • Polyurethane coating
  • Putty knife
  • Wood Filler
  • Mineral spirits
  • Protective coating
  • Fine steel wool
  • Wax wood repair stick
  • Hardwood Floor stain marker

Steps to Remove Light surface scratches with a wood Staining Marker

Stain makers are readily available in home supermarkets, hardware stores and paint stores. They also come in many different colors. Choose the one that matches with the color of your wood floor.

Step 1: Cleaning

Starts by cleaning the surface of the affected floor using a soft rag dampen with water and a quality wood cleaner. Make sure there is no debris, dust particles or dirt around the scratched area.

Step 2:  Spot Test

Test the marker. Before applying the wood stain to the scratch, test the marker on any other damaged area of the wood and see if it matches well with the floor. If it matches well then you can use it on your scratch.     

 Step 3: Applying the marker

If you are quite sure that the stain marker is a good match to your floor, run the tip of the marker over the area affected by scratches for a few minutes until the area is entirely stained. In case the scratches are still visible over the stained area, just rub off the excess stain using mineral spirit and go over the area again and again.

Steps to Remove Minor (superficial) scratches from wood Floor by Sanding

Step 1: Cleaning the Area with Scratches

By use of a hardwood floor cleaner and a mop, clean the scratched area of the floor in order to remove dust particles, dirt and debris. After cleaning allow the area to air dry for a few minutes.

Step 2 : Applying the Wood Wax

Rub a wood wax stick over the area with scratches for a few minutes. You can also use a plastic tipped putty knife so as help fill the wax into the scratches. You will also need to give the wood wax some time to dry and harden. You need to give it at least a day before you buff the area.

Step 3: Buff the Scratched Area

Buffing the area involves using a clean, soft cloth to rub over the scratched area forth and back. Usually, buffing helps to smoothen the scratched area, remove excess wax and restore the shine. Alternatively, instead of buffing, you can just add any finishes or sealer to the area after applying wood wax.

Steps to Removing Deep Scratches and Gouges from Wood floor

Step 1: Clean the Scratched Area

Starts by cleaning the surface of the affected floor using a soft rag dampen with water and a quality wood cleaner. Make sure there is no debris, dust particles or dirt around the scratched area.

Step 2: Rinsing the Hardwood Cleaner

Rinse the hardwood cleaner by dampening a soft rag cloth with water and wiping it down the scratched area of the floor. Allow the area to completely dry before going to the next step.

Step 2: Rubbing Mineral Spirits over the Scratches

Dampen a scouring pad with mineral spirits and gently rub over the scratched area of the floor. Then, wipe over the area with a clean soft rag and let the area air dry. If your wood floor is coated with a layer of polyurethane, the layer must be removed before you can fix the scratch.

Step 3: Applying the Wood Filler

Apply a small amount of the wood filler to your finger and then use your very finger to work the wood filler into the scratch or gouge.  Spread the filler in all direction to remove the air bubbles. In this step, always ensure that the color of the filler is similar to that of your hardwood floor. Also, avoid using wood putty to conceal the gouges or scratches, always use wood filler. Wood putty and wood filler are quite two different substances and using wood putty can alter the effectiveness of matching the filling to the color of the floor.

Step 4: Wipe off excess Wood Filler

After the filler has dried, drag the putty knife over the scratch, to ensure that the edges of the scratch and filler are flat and even.

Step 5: Sanding the excess Filling

Use a sandpaper (220 to 300 grit) to gently sand the area surrounding the scratch where excess wood filler has been spread. When sanding make sure you sand, following the direction of the grain of the wood or you sand while moving the sandpaper in circular motion.

How to Prevent White Spots forming on your Hardwood Floors

  • Clean or mop spills immediately they happen
  • Use recommended products for cleaning
  • Protect susceptible areas with area rugs 
  • Use pads on legs of your furniture
  • Completely dry the wood after cleaning
  • Check for molds and remove them immediately


Removing white spots or starches from your hardwood floor is a simple and easy procedure that does not necessarily require seeking the services of a professional wood worker. You only need to have the right equipment and you will be ready to go. When removing the wood stains, you need to follow the general guidelines for cleaning wood floors, only use products recommended for your flooring type and finish. More importantly, if your hardwood floors are badly damaged, the services of a professional wood worker may be necessary.

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