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Effective Ways to Remove Wine Stains from Your Hardwood Flooring

Accidents can happen, especially if someone has gotten this buzz that wine is ever famous for. 

Whether it was a mindless wave of a hand, a bottle or glass slipping onto the ground, or someone tipping a glass over, hope is not lost, and you can stop the wine from staining your beautiful flooring with the following steps. Wood Floors Cleaner is here with detailed steps for you to follow:

For Fresh Spills

The first scenario we’ll discuss is in the case that wine was just spilled and the stain is fresh. In other words, when the stain didn’t have time to set in. You can deal with it in two ways:

1. Using Oil Soap and Water

Start by blotting up the stain with a dampened paper towel or even a piece of cloth. The trick is to press the paper towel or cloth on the spill and to use a dabbing motion instead of a back and forth one. This is because the latter would actually help the stain penetrate deeper into the planks, which is the opposite of what you want.

After that, add oil soap to some hot water to make a solution. Typically, this will be a quarter of a cup of soap with a gallon of water. You can easily order oil soap from the supermarket or find it in the cleaning aisle at a hardware store.

Soak a dry cloth into the solution, wring it well to get a moist or damp feel, and then scrub the flooring where the wine was spilled. Then, use a dampened clean paper towel or a cloth to rinse the spot. Finally, get a third piece of cloth that’s completely dry to get rid of any moisture on the flooring. By the way, if you want to learn how to make homemade wood protectant, check out our article on that here.

2. Using Vinegar Solution

If you want to deal with the problem in a more natural way, you can mix water and vinegar in equal amounts to create a cleaning solution. The amount of water and vinegar you should use depends on the size of the stain you’re trying to get rid of.

Just like the oil soap solution method, you’ll soak a piece of cloth in the mixture, but you won’t wring this one out. The trick here is to let the solution penetrate the wood and work on removing the stain, and that’s why your piece of cloth will need to be soaking wet.

Keep the cloth over the stain until you notice it starting to lift, and keep checking to make sure the stain is getting lighter. When the stain does lift, get another soaked cloth to scrub the stain and get rid of it. If it’s not being removed, repeat the process from the beginning.

When the stain finally comes off, get a clean and fresh cloth to wipe and dry the remaining solution.

For Few-week-old Set-in Stains

If the stain has been around for a while, say, a couple of weeks, it may be harder to remove but not impossible. You’ll have to use bleach or ammonia, testing them on a small area first to make sure you won’t be doing your flooring more harm than good.

Let the chemical set in for 45 minutes, and then check if there is any discoloration in the wood. If there is, you might want to use something else to remove the stain. 

However, bear in mind that you shouldn’t use both chemicals together! Either opt for ammonia or for bleach; otherwise, you’ll be putting yourself at the risk of inhaling dangerous fumes.

Sometimes, the bleach or ammonia you use can help you get rid of the stain but also take off the coat on your flooring. In that case, you will need to resurface the entire area of the flooring.

Tip: If you opt for one of them and it doesn’t work, skip using the other as it probably wouldn’t work either.

What you should do is add either liquid, undiluted onto the stained area. Let it soak for 45 minutes, and then wipe it. You might need to extend the duration and leave it overnight if the stain is very stubborn.

Tip: Use a paper towel and latex gloves when you’re dealing with either substance as they’re caustic and can cause harm or abrasion to your skin.

For Deeply-set Stains

When all else fails, and you don’t want to come to terms with the stain on your flooring, you’ll need to get rid of the stain using an abrasive substance.

You can create this substance by mixing baking soda with mineral oil, which would result in a thick paste. Use a brush, a cloth, or your gloved fingers to rub the paste over the stained area. Make sure to rub the paste in the direction of the wood’s grain to preserve its appearance.

Start with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and a quarter of a tablespoon of mineral oil, and leave that damp paste to set in for 30 minutes. You might want to switch to rottenstone if the baking soda wasn’t effective and abrasive enough.

If the stain is too stubborn, you’ll have to resort to rottenstone and linseed paste. Mix 1 tablespoon of rottenstone with a quarter of a tablespoon of linseed oil, rub the paste on the area and leave it for 30 minutes before removing it using a dry cloth.

Bear in mind, however, that the latter mixture is a lot more abrasive, so you might end up scratching the wood. Be extra careful and check more frequently on the effect of the paste.

Finally, you can mix salt, a quarter of a cup of lemon oil, a cup of grated pumice, and half a cup of baking soda, and leave it to set in for 10 minutes. 

Final Thoughts

To make wine, grape juice is fermented, and grape juice is in and of itself a natural dye, which is why it’s disastrous to spill it on wooden flooring. It works its way into the pores, bonds with the fibers of the wood, and becomes more or less impossible to get rid of.

And the worst part is that it gets more stubborn the more time passes, so you need to act quickly whenever there is spilled wine. Act quick enough, and you won’t notice any marks after the stain is removed.