Tips for Wood Spot Stain Removal

There's nothing worse than seeing a water spot on your hardwood floor. Spots not only affect the look of the floor, but long-term stains can degrade its worth. Knowing how to attack spots and knowing which wood spot stain removal tips work best on water spots will put your mind at ease.

Light-colored stains are usually a sign that water or some other liquid has penetrated the very top surface of the finish, according to Better Homes And Gardens. Fortunately, they're often pretty easy to fix. Here's what to try:


Try displacing water that's on the surface by using some petroleum jelly or mayonnaise. The oils in these products will essentially cause the water in the finish to disperse. After rubbing the area with the product, the wood spot should disappear. If it doesn't, move onto the next step: using some toothpaste on an old or new toothbrush, since toothpaste is a mild abrasive that will attack the water spot. Rub the toothpaste over the water spot, and watch to see if the stain lightens or disappears entirely.


If these wood spot stain removal tactics aren't working, try using a slightly stronger abrasive solution. Mix baking soda with water to make a paste, as the solution is safe enough to use on the floors yet strong enough to work on water spots. You don't want to use a too-strong abrasive that will damage the varnish — the top layer of the wood's surface — that seals the wood floor. Use a small amount of the mixture and rub the cleaner over the water spot.


As a last-ditch solution for stubborn water spots, try paint thinner or mineral spirits. Apply a small amount on a soft cloth, and gently rub the area. Avoid going overboard using one of these cleaners, as applying too much of them can remove the finish.

Once you're satisfied with the wood spot stain removal method and you've achieved a spot-free look, freshen up the area with a solution of water and Murphy® Oil Soap. If the finish is slightly worn from scrubbing the area, use a little wax to seal it, and then buff it with a dry cloth after the wax has settled.

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.