How to Remove Black Water Stains from Hardwood Floors

Education & Training with Big Show Realty

Did you notice some dark spots on your flooring, but don’t know how to remove black water stains from hardwood floors? Unlike white stuff on hardwood floors, black stains on oak are a clear sign of unattended humidity, which, if left untreated, will become an ugly dark stain! Don’t worry: a dark stain on wood floor is not impossible to clean; harder, but not impossible. This article will show you how to remove black water stains from hardwood floors and save your flooring from further damage.

How to Remove Black Water Stains from Hardwood Floors

Don’t know how to remove black water stains from hardwood floors? You should first examine the stain, look into the rings and white stains and more.

Examine the Stain

How does the stain look? Is the tarnish white or black? If it’s white, it means that the stain is not past the wooden surface and it’ll be easy to remove. Black, on the other hand, indicates actual wood damage and potential mildew, and it will be a greater task to clean it away.

Rings and White Stains

A white stain means that the damage sits only in the surface, so it’s still possible to clean it.

One first thing you could do is to wait 2-3 days and see if the stain disappears on its own. If this doesn’t happen, then rub the spot with a dry cloth and a steamless hot iron pressing the floor.

Finally, scrub the area with lemon oil and a wool brush and gently rub the white ring. Afterwards, swipe the floor with denatured alcohol.

These three solutions are fool-proof for white stains, which, as you can see, are not as troublesome as you might think.

Black stains, however, are another story.

Black Stains

A black stain means that the liquid has penetrated the finish and firmly settled in. Unfortunately, this means that it’ll be harder to clean, although there are still some viable options you could try.

First, rub a small amount of bleach on the back spot. Wait some hours and then rub another coat onto it. Let it set for a whole day and let’s see if the stain got a lighter color, or better, disappeared! If this didn’t happen, then try another trick.

If bleach didn’t work, strip and sand the stained area with fine grit sandpaper, then wipe it clean thoroughly and let it dry. Refinish your floor and apply a sealer. Although this is a more tedious task, it usually works.

Pet Stains

If you’re a pet owner, you know what a nightmare it is to keep a clean floor; if it’s not feces, it’s something worse than water: urine!

Unlike water and other liquids, urine leaves behind ugly black blemishes, burns the tannins in the wood because of its acidic properties, and emits a terrible stench throughout the house! Perhaps the only good thing about urine stains is that they’re easier to notice (how couldn’t you with such stink?!) and to remove.

First, sprinkle some baking soda on the urine spot. The chemicals will push the urine out of the wood, so repeat the process until you get a better result. If the spots are darker, then it means the damages are more profound, so you’ll have to sand the floor and refinish it instead. Careful: just sand the finish off, not the whole stain. Otherwise, you’ll damage the floor!

Finally, seal the area for protection from future pet stains.

Grease / Non-Greasy Stains

Some non-greasy items, such as nail polish, won’t puncture the wooden surface. You can wipe them off with dish soap and warm water.

Grease, on the other hand, should be cleaned immediately, or else, they will leave a permanent mark. Mix cold water and ammonia and scrub the mark with a soft cloth immediately.

What causes dark spots on hardwood floors?

In most cases, liquids. However, blackness indicates untreated, deep damage on the wood. If the damage was recent, it would have been white instead.

Can wet laminate floors be repaired?

Unfortunately, laminates aren’t wooden floorings: you can’t sand them or scrap them down, if they get damaged. However, you can disassemble the floor and replace the boards.

Bottom Line

Now that you know how to remove black water stains from hardwood floors, you can see that it is not a complicated task, as long as you think fast and dry them out properly. White stuff on hardwood floors are cakewalks, but black stains on oak are bad news; however, with the proper measures whether it be by yourself or with the help of a professional, a dark stained wood floor won’t be much of a problem either. So, how to remove dark rings from wood? Bleach, time and/or a sandpaper will do the trick. But the first thing you gotta do? Act fast!


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