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Repairing Scratches and Removing Stains

Unlike most other floor coverings, wood is very forgiving. Most problems can be prevented by keeping the floors vacuumed and waxed (if you have a wax finished floor) and by wiping up spills immediately.

If the wood flooring is damaged, first determine whether the scratches or stains are in the wood or in the top coat finish.

First Aid for Surface Finished Floors
If the scratches or stains are in the finish (superficial), the finish is probably a surface finish.

Scratches: Repair with a touchup kit made for urethane finishes which are available from any wood flooring retailer.

Food, water or dark spots (dog spots): Use 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.

Greasy spots: Rub the grease, lipstick, crayon or oil with a cleaner developed for urethane.

Cigarette burns: Most common burns can be treated with a touchup 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.

Chewing gum, crayon, wax: Apply a plastic bag filled with ice on top of the deposit until it is brittle enough to crumble off. Clean area with a product made for urethane finishes.

Always use the wood flooring manufacturer's cleaning, repair and finish products when known.

First Aid for Penetrating Stained and Waxed Floors

If the scratches or stains are in the wood, the finish is probably a penetrating stain and wax.

Scratches: Repair by waxing the area. Dried milk or food stains: Gently rub with damp cloth. Rub dry and wax. When removing stains from any wood floor always begin at the outer edge of the stain and work toward the middle.

Water stains or white spots:
Rub spot with #000 steel wool and wax. If this fails, lightly sand with fine sandpaper and clean the area using #00 steel wool and mineral spirits or a wood floor cleaner. Allow the floor to dry. Stain, wax and hand buff.

Heel marks: Rub in small amount of wax with fine steel wool and hand buff to a shine. Mold: Rub with a wood cleaner.