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

Before you begin to panic over the conspicuous spots on your hardwood floor due to dried-up spills, stains, spots, marks, or scratches, you need to understand that there are numerous options to remove 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.

Pay attention to each step and your hardwood floor will look like the white spots or scratches never happened.

White spots or black stains damage the appearance of wood floors. Water spills and heat are usually the main causes of these white spots.

Hot items such as pizza boxes, irons, or hot pans placed on the wood floors can cause white patches.

Many wood floors are coated with polyurethane to make them resistant to staining and damage.

After a given period of use, however, polyurethane wears thin, making floors susceptible to damage from spills.

Spills, if not mopped on time, get trapped under the finish, resulting in white or grayish spots.

Things like perfumes, medicines, alcohol, or juice spills can cause white spots or streaks.

Worse yet, the wrong cleaning techniques and cleaning products can wreak 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 a small amount of hydrogen peroxide into a 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. You need to be careful when applying large amounts of mineral spirits as it can strip off 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 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 cloth.
  4. Allow the floor to air dry for a few minutes.

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 problem. Sometimes scratches can appear as white marks or spots.

The majority of these scratches are caused by the movement of furniture during mopping, by pets, by the presence of small rock particles, or by heat from hot pans or irons placed on the floor.

The fortunate thing about scratches is that the process of restoring them is simple and irrespective of the severity.

It is easy to get rid of surface scratches because 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 maker

Steps to remove light surface scratches with a wood staining marker

Stain markers are available in home supermarkets, hardware stores, and paint stores.

They also come in many different colors. Choose the one that matches the color of your wood floor.

Step 1: Cleaning

Start by cleaning the surface of the affected floor using a soft rag dampened 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, you can use it on your scratch.

Step 3: Applying the marker

If you are 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 stained.

In case the scratches are visible over the stained area, rub off the excess stain using mineral spirits and go over the area again.

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

Step 1: Cleaning the area with scratches

By using 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 use a plastic-tipped putty knife to  help fill the wax into the scratches.

You will need to give the wood wax some time to dry and harden: 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.

Helping to smooth the scratched area, buffing removes excess wax and restores the shine.

Alternatively, you can add any finishes or sealer to the area after applying wood wax.

Steps to removing deep scratches and gouges from a wood floor

Step 1: Clean the scratched area

Start by cleaning the surface of the affected floor using a soft rag dampened 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 by dampening a soft rag cloth with water and wiping it down the scratched area of the floor.

Allow the area to dry before going to the next step.

Step 3: Rubbing Mineral Spirits over the Scratches

Dampen a scouring pad with mineral spirits and rub it over the scratched area of the floor. 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, it must be removed before you can fix the scratch.

Step 4: Applying the wood filler

Apply a small amount of the wood filler to your finger and use your 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, ensure that the color of the filler is similar to that of your hardwood floor.

Avoid using wood putty to conceal the gouges or scratches; instead, make sure to use wood filler.

Wood putty and wood filler are two different substances and using wood putty can alter the effectiveness of matching the filling to the color of the floor.

Step 5: 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.

Step 6: Sanding the excess filling

Using sandpaper (220 to 300 grit), sand the area surrounding the scratch where the wood filler has been spread.

When sanding, make sure you follow the direction of the grain of the wood or sand while in a 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 mold and remove it immediately


Removing white spots or scratches from your hardwood floor is a simple and easy procedure that does not require seeking the services of a professional wood worker.

You just 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.

if your hardwood floors are badly damaged, the services of a professional floor installer may be necessary.

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