3 Steps to Remove Black Stains From Hardwood Floors

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The interior of a loft with hardwood floors with no need to remove black stains.
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There’s something about hardwood floors that makes a room seem so inviting. Maybe it’s the sleek look, or perhaps it’s how it helps tie everything in the room together. Whatever it may be, hardwoods make a stunning addition to any room. However, maintaining that elegant look and those gorgeous views can be a little difficult sometimes. After all, accidents happen.

Cleaning habits aside, stains are sometimes inevitable, and learning how to take care of them can be incredibly beneficial. There are a variety of different kinds of stains that can occur when it comes to hardwoods, but the most common are white stains and black stains. White stains are typically fairly easy to clean and remove, while black stains can be a nuisance.

Compared to white stains, black stains are the most common stains to occur and an indicator that there may be some wood damage. Once that accidental spill has spent a little too much time hanging out on your pretty hardwood floors, you’ll have a much harder time trying to clean and remove it. It’s usually a sign that the culprit has seeped into the top layer of the wood, which in turn causes the unappealing stain you now see. 

So, how do you prevent black stains from happening, or at the very least take care of them and clean up your floors when those unfortunate accidents happen? 

Preventative Measures

Avoiding things like high moisture from steam mops can be a great benefit to preventing black stains from popping up. Steam can move through small openings, like scratches, and illuminate areas that may not be as clean as you thought or even trap the moisture and cause long term damage to hardwood floors. Additionally, cleaning as often as you can, may prevent grime and dirt from building up and leaving behind bacterial growth that can turn into mold or mildew that eventually leaves black stains behind.

Now that you understand a few easy ways to prevent black stains from occurring, how do you remove those stains from your hardwood floors when they do appear? The solutions below are just a few of the many ways you may be able to remove black stains. However, if at any moment you’re not sure of what to do, reach out to a professional team for help.

Bleach and Other Chemical Options

Bleaching the stain can be a great source for removing hard or larger stains. By using wood bleach you may be able to lighten the stain or remove it altogether. Depending on what caused the stain to begin with and how long it’s had to penetrate the wood, different chemical solutions may work better. Chlorine works well for stains caused by food, blood, and other related items.

white vinegar to remove black stains.

White Vinegar is great for all stains, but best for those where you want to simultaneously get rid of a smell. You can also use it for areas that are beginning to mold or mildew to get ahead of darker stains.

Extra tip: If you add a little baking soda to your vinegar, it’ll create a paste that you can smooth out over the stain and leave to dry for maximum impact.

Sanding the Black Stains Away

If you’re not a fan of chemicals like bleach, sanding your hardwood floors may be the next best option when it comes to removing black stains. It’s a great way to physically remove the impacted area and return that aesthetic look to all its glory. Start out easy, using fine grit sandpaper to scrape the stained layer out of the wood’s surface.

For flooring that isn’t sealed, you can use a back and forth motion, but for a polished and sealed floor, it’s best to scrape in the direction of the wood grain. After you’ve removed the grit of the stain, you can vacuum up the remnants of the wood to clean up the space and get a better look, ensuring you haven’t missed sanding any parts of the stain.

Woman sanding her hardwood floors to remove black stains.

If you choose to sand your floors, you may need to do just a little more work afterwards. The area that you’ve been working on will more than likely look a little mismatched with the rest of your floor. That’s okay. You can balance out the colors and return your hardwoods to that gleaming look that made you pick them out with a little staining. 

Staining and Refinishing

Once you’ve chosen your method of removal and gotten rid of the black stains in your hardwoods, Staining and finishing your area of work could be the next step in your journey. First, get the stain that matches your floor and apply it with a rag before letting it sit and soak in for 15-30 minutes. Afterward, make sure you wipe away any excess stain to prevent leaving behind awkward lines. Once you’ve waited for the floor to completely dry, you can top-coat the area with wood varnish, lacquer or wax to match the original finish. 

Keep in mind that with all of these suggestions, you may not be able to remove black stains from hardwood floors. If you’re uncertain about being able to remove a stain, or what your best option may be, contacting a professional and getting their opinion is always encouraged. 

Contacting a Professional for Advice on Black Stains

If you’ve noticed a black stain, or any stain, on your hardwoods and you’re not sure how to get rid of it, contact our team of professionals at District Floor Depot today. Our staff specializes in removing water stains from hardwood floors as well as other stains and can help you restore that natural look. When you reach out, we’ll send a member of our team out to help assess the damage done to your hardwood floors as well as help determine what the best route to take is when it comes to returning your hardwoods to their natural glory. 

For any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out and call us at 202-652-1660. Currently, District Floor Depot serves the Washington D.C. and Herndon, VA areas. Offering a variety of services outside of hardwood stain removal, including but not limited to flooring consultations, you can get quotes on installation of hard surface flooring, refinishing, and more.

We look forward to helping you relieve some stress by removing the black stains on your hardwood floors as well as helping you learn how to prevent them in the future.

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