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Remove Water Stains from Hardwood Floors

Updated on February 21, 2012
Remove water stains from hardwood floors to restore their beauty.
Remove water stains from hardwood floors to restore their beauty. | Source

Trekking over your hardwood floors with wet shoes or leaving a wet umbrella in the corner of a room can leave a white, hazy cloud on your hardwood floors. A spill from a cup can also leave a water stain on the floor. One of the biggest water stain causing culprits is probably the way in which you clean your wood flooring. Using a mop or a rag soaked with a water based cleaner and then allowing the wet wood to air dry will leave your hardwood floors less then shiny and bright. Not only does water leave the wood flooring with an unsightly stain, water can damage the floor boards. As the water seeps into the wood fibers the wood will swell. As the wood planks swell, they can twist or buckle due to space limitations. Proper cleaning and care methods are necessary to keep your hardwood floors looking good and laying flat for years to come.

Properly cleaning hardwood flooring is not difficult, but there are rules and guidelines to follow to keep the floors looking good. After mopping, it is necessary to dry the floor completely with a dry mop or a soft rag. It is also important to wipe away the wet footprints and pooling water from umbrellas, raincoats or other wet items to prevent the cloudy, white haze from developing on your wood floors. The best way to clean your hardwood floors is to dry mop daily and when it’s time to remove sticky residue or stains, use a steam mop. Steam mops leave very little water on the surface and clean the floors very efficiently. But, it you must wet mop, be sure to completely dry the floor before moving on to the next room.

If you already have water stains on the floors, you can get rid of them without the expense and work involved in refinishing.

Removing the Water Stains

Add 4 to 6 tablespoons of petroleum jelly to a small bowl.

Pour in an equal amount of baking soda.

Stir the petroleum jelly and baking soda to blend the ingredients thoroughly.

Dip a microfiber cloth into the bowl and scoop up some of the mixture on the cloth.

Apply the baking soda and petroleum jelly to the water stains. If the floor has large water stains or the stains cover the entire floor, work in small sections to remove them.

Beginning at the edge of the stain, rub the mixture into the flooring by making concentric circles. In other words start at the edge and keep making smaller and smaller circles as you progress to the middle of the water stain. Continue to rub the mixture into the floor for about two to three minutes.

Allow the baking soda and petroleum jelly to sit on the water stain for 15 to 20 minutes.

Beginning at the edge of the stain and working toward the middle, wipe away the baking soda and petroleum jelly with a soft rag or microfiber cloth. Turn the rag often to continue to pick up the mixture rather than spread it further.

Buff the floor with a soft, well worn rag to remove any slippery residue.

Tips to Prevent Water Stains

Place a mat near the entry door to wipe the water off shoes.

Ask family, friends and guests to remove their shoes when they enter your house.

Put an umbrella stand in the foyer or allow wet umbrellas to dry in the bathtub or under the overhand of the porch.

Have children use sippy cup if they are still at the spill prone age.

Use very little water when cleaning your hardwood floors.

Dry your floors completely with a soft rag or dry mop after wet mopping.

Consider buying a steam mop to clean wood floors.


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    • Escapes profile image

      Escapes 5 years ago


    • profile image

      BrodieJCleaning 5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Excellent advice