Hardwood Floors & flooring

Blood Stain Removal and Other Tips for Cleaning Tough Blemishes

by Anita Alvarez

liquid stain removal

Blood stain removal is a daunting task, no matter what the surface. When blood settles into your clothing or carpet fibers, it's very difficult to remove. When it stains hardwood flooring, homeowners need to know how to quickly and resolutely remove it.

Blood Stains

When facing a blood stain on hardwood, consider a non-invasive method of removal: Use a cold, wet washcloth on the stain, and scrub the area very gently. Alternate using a dry washcloth as a gentle abrasive tool for dislodging flecks of the stain if it dries. Repeat with the wet washcloth, scrubbing back and forth, then using the dry cloth until you're stain-free.

If this process doesn't work, re-wet your washcloth and include a natural cleaner, which is often just enough without leaving a residue. Scrub the area again, rinse the area with a clean washcloth and then repeat with your cleaner. Dry the area with a third washcloth.

Deep Blood Stains

For more stubborn stains, continue with a third step. Using #000 steel wool, very gently move your fine bristles over the blemished area. Be careful with your force, as the first couple of passes over the stain may be enough to remove the blood without damaging the floor. Once the stain is gone, wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove leftover residue, and then dry it. If you do use some extra "umph" with your steel wool, and you damage the finish, you'll need to apply new finish or stain to the area as a final step.

If you suspect the blood has reached the grain of the wood, use bleach as a final precaution. Keep in mind that bleach will lighten the floor and create a discolored spot in its place, unless you're prepared to "paint" the area with a stain to match the rest of the floor. Then, simply seal up the area with polyurethane.

Urine Stains

In addition to blood stain removal, you may need to deal with other types of stains as well. The best way to remove urine left by your pet or baby, for example, involves refinishing the floors. Why? Urine may not be as thick as blood, but it's acidic, allowing it to access deep layers of wood grain and cause black stains. Nonetheless, it is possible to partially remove the stain with an enzyme-based cleaner mixed with water. Pour or spray the solution on the stain and let it sit overnight, or at least eight hours.

As always, it's important to follow the manufacturer's directions on the cleaner you purchase. Once you're satisfied, apply floor wax or stain to protect the area.

Other Stains

From wine to ink, there are numerous other opportunities for your floor to take in liquid. For wine stains, according to SFGate, try white vinegar. Paint can often come up with water and detergent, whereas ink usually requires a wet rag and a strong, over-the-counter cleaner.

Blood stain removal is distinct from urine or a daily beverage, but these tips should cater to the most common stains you may have to confront. However prone to stains your floors may be, keep it in good condition by using a safe, natural product every week.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.