Unlike most other floor covering options, wood is very forgiving. Most problems can be prevented with proper maintenance, but when problems do occur, renewal and repair usually is possible. For renewing and repairing stains and scratches on any wood floor, always begin at the outer edge of the stain or scratch and work toward the middle.
To renew or repair a wood floor, you first will need to determine which kind of finish is on your floor.
Stains:How you tackle renewing and repairing stains depends on the type of stain.
Chewing Gum, Crayon, Candle WaxApply a plastic bag filled with ice until the deposit is brittle enough to crumble off. Crayon or candle wax can be removed by placing an ink blotter on the area and applying a hot pressing iron to the top of the blotter. Solvent-based wax also can be applied around the area to loosen the deposit.
Cigarette BurnsIf the burn is not very deep, rub the area with fine sandpaper or steel wool. Moisten the steel wool with wax for better results. If the burn is deep, scrape the area with a penknife to remove charred fibers. Rub the area with fine sandpaper. Stain, wax and hand buff.
Dark Spots, Dog Spots, Ink StainsRub spot with #000 steel wool. Wax the affected area. If this fails, lightly sand the area with fine sandpaper, and clean it using #00 steel wool and mineral spirits or a wood floor cleaner . Allow the floor to dry. Stain, wax and hand buff. If the spot remains, apply a household bleach or vinegar and allow it to soak for an hour. Rinse with a damp cloth, wipe dry and smooth with fine sandpaper. Stain, wax and hand buff.
Dried Milk, Food StainsGently rub the stain with a damp cloth. Rub the area dry and wax.
MoldRub with a wood cleaner.
Oil, Grease StainsFirst rub the area with kitchen soap having a high lye content, or saturate cotton with hydrogen peroxide and place over the stain. Then saturate a second layer of cotton with ammonia and place over the first layer. Repeat until stain is removed. Let the area dry and then hand buff.
Water Stains, White SpotsRub spot with #000 steel wool. Wax the affected area. If this fails, lightly sand the area with fine sandpaper, and clean it using #00 steel wool and mineral spirits or a wood floor cleaner. Allow the floor to dry. Stain, wax and hand buff.
Wax Build UpStrip the old wax away with odorless mineral spirits or a wood floor product made for stripping wax. Use cloths and fine steel wool to remove all residue. After the floor is dry, wax and buff.
ScratchesTo renew and repair scratches, wax the area thoroughly.
Heel MarksRub in a small amount of wax with fine steel wool and hand buff to a shine.
Surface Finished Floors
Chewing Gum, Crayon, Candle WaxApply a plastic bag filled with ice on top of the stain until it is brittle enough to crumble off. Clean the area with a product made for urethane finishes.
Cigarette BurnsMost common burns can be treated with a touch-up kit made for urethane finishes. Rub with sandpaper, stain and refinish. For burns that reach deep into the wood, individual plank or parquet boards may need to be replaced.
Food, Water, Dark Spots, Dog SpotsUse a cleaner developed specifically for urethane finishes to remove the spot or stain. More stubborn spots may require additional scrubbing with the cleaner and a wood flooring scrub pad made for urethane floors.
Oil, Grease StainsRub the area with a cleaner developed for urethane.
ScratchesRepair with a touch-up kit made for urethane finishes available from any wood flooring retailer.