Ask Danny Videos

How to Remove Stains from Wood Floors

By: Danny Lipford

We have some beautiful oak flooring beneath the old carpet in our house, but there are a few stains. Is there a way to remove those without sanding the whole floor? -Ralph

Stains in wood floors that have gone through the finish and soaked into the wood itself can be difficult to remove and may require sanding and refinishing. If the stain has penetrated too deeply, even sanding may not remove it entirely.

Before resorting to sanding, however, start by trying to remove stains from wood floors using standard hydrogen peroxide available at drug stores. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Soak a cotton rag with hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Place the wet rag on the stain and allow it to soak in the wood to bleach out the stain.
  3. Remove the rag, and wipe up any excess hydrogen peroxide.
  4. Allow the floor to dry.

Another option is to try using a rejuvenator type wood floor cleaner on the stain. Watch this video to find out more.


Further Information

Video Transcript

Ralph asks: We have some beautiful oak flooring beneath the old carpet in our house, but there are a few stains. Is there a way to remove those without sanding the whole floor?

Danny Lipford: Unfortunately, if you have some really deep stains in your hardwood floor, it will have to be sanded and refinished in order to get rid of those stains. Even then, some of the real deep stains are really hard to get rid of. Here’s a little trick that’ll help you a lot on that. Basically, take a cotton rag, take hydrogen peroxide, soak it down well, put it over the stain, and allow the hydrogen peroxide to pull a lot of that stain out.

Another thing you want to try before you go through the expense of the sanding and refinishing of your hardwood floor, try some of the new cleaners that are available now, that are called rejuvenators. That’ll thoroughly clean the surface of your hardwood and actually dissolves a little of the finish to give it a nice, consistent look. You may be able to save money instead of having to completely refinish the floor.


Please Leave a Comment

28 Comments on “How to Remove Stains from Wood Floors”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    June 20th, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Hi, Dang,
    Thanks for writing to us. Looks like there are some AutoCorrect issues so it’s a little hard to follow along.
    Please re-send the question. 🙂

  • dang Says:
    June 19th, 2019 at 7:11 am

    is it possible for a suede fabric beanbag stain VARNISH timber floor ? how could i clean the black stained.

    thank you

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    June 12th, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Hi, Sharon!
    What a great question! We recommend submitting it to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for an in-depth answer.
    Please use this form to contact Danny Lipford, America’s Home Expert, directly:
    Take care!

  • Sharon Says:
    June 10th, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    I had a rubber mat “protecting” my floor. I had no idea that was bad. My floor slightly yellowed. My husband hasn’t noticed but I’m sick over it when he sees it I’m screwed. Is there anyway to get that neutralized?

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    June 18th, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Hi, Sandra! It depends. What kind of floor is this?

  • Sandra discetta Says:
    May 30th, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    I left a bottle of Lysol toilet bowl cleaner on the floor it had dripped down and left I’ll wait ring of the bottle on the dark floors what can I use to make the floor dark again where the ring is

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    January 19th, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Hi, Jane,
    We recommend checking out this resource for more information:
    Thanks for your question!

  • Jane Sommer Says:
    January 16th, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    How do you fix buckling carpet????
    Thanks in advance
    God Bless

  • Darlene Says:
    August 16th, 2018 at 7:49 am

    I can’t see answers to the question people are asking.
    I have 120 year old wood floors. We a taking up carpet. How can we get rid of dog urine smells and stairs

  • Maria L Therese Says:
    June 5th, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    I have a dog who suddenly became incontinent and now have seveal large dark stains in my wood floor in the last few days. How do I clean this without having to refinish the floors or replace the wood?

  • Jan B. Says:
    April 7th, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    I removed two layers of linoleum from my hardwood floor and I am refinishing the floor. Glue remained, but was able to remove it with hot water and a scrubby, but a dark stain remained. Will peroxide help or what else should I try??

  • Karen D Says:
    March 30th, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Have tried Vinegar, Peroxide, and Ammonia- none work!
    White blotches in places, two even showing what appears to be handprints.
    Any other suggestions?

  • Christian Kingsbury Says:
    February 13th, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks for the tips! These are extremely useful!

  • Brian Says:
    February 4th, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Hi their my daughter made slime using ingredient constisting of optrex (eye drops) baking soda, pva glue .
    The slime was made and left on a wooden side for an hour , when I picked up the slime their was a deep wet stain soaked through wood .
    How to I get rid of the stain?
    Please help

  • jazzy Says:
    December 23rd, 2017 at 8:56 am

    I let swifter drip on the floor after they were shined, will this still work if not what should I try?

  • Dalles Moledor Says:
    December 9th, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    How do l remove water spots on hardwood floor caused by dogs dripping

  • Bev Says:
    November 10th, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    My hair dripped with water and hair dye, did not see it immediately and now after a couple of hours the drips have marked the floor. Will peroxide still help in this situation.

  • Barbara Sbraccia Says:
    September 23rd, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    We are refinishing our 60 year old oak flooring for the second time in 12 years. First polyurethane used was horrible. We had dark stains from our fish tank and a dog with incontinence. I tried your solutions but they didn’t touch my stains. Then I remembered I spilled a cleaner on my floor and didn’t catch it until later. It left a super clean spot on the floor. It was Bissel cleaner with OXY. I bought a new bottle since the old one was now empty. I used a cloth and wiped on the stained wood, then feathered it so I didn’t get a complete white spot. Took 5 or 6 applications to get rid of 95% of the dark marks. What is left, I can live with. Looks great.

  • Javier Says:
    July 9th, 2017 at 10:44 am

    I spilled some alka seltzer water on my wood floors over night. I woke to a lighter version of my floor where I spilled the water. I’m guessing that part is actually cleaner than the rest of the floor, however, I don’t want to do that treatment to the whole floor. What can I do?

  • Gayle J Graves Says:
    July 2nd, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    How can I remove white water stains on my hardwood floor?

  • Pat reilly Says:
    May 26th, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    how long should i leave the peroxide on the floor?

  • Bj campbell Says:
    April 6th, 2017 at 11:32 am

    I was mopping my hardwood floor and got a bleach stain on the floor, what can I do to remove the bleach stain

  • Cathie Loncar Says:
    December 8th, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Re:dark water stains on hardwood. How long should I leave hydrogen peroxide cloth on the stain?

  • Susan Matts Says:
    October 24th, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Hi! Accidentally, The (Swipe Multi-purpose Cleaner) pour on the flour in my room. The floor is wood. I tried to use some detergent and bleach but it makes worse and the stains became more wider. It just happened yesterday.I wish I could send you the image of the stains. But hope you help me how to remove it. Thank you.

  • Kendall Ryder Says:
    September 7th, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Using hydrogen peroxide is something I would never have thought to use. How long should I keep it on the stain? I wouldn’t want to keep it on too long, and end up warping the wood with the liquid. That would just cause even more problems for me.

  • Irene Says:
    August 12th, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I have old pine hardwood floors… I have an area where it has a dark water stain . It’s been there many years. We have stripped it and sanded that area, but it’s not looking much better. Is there another method of removing this dark stain?

  • Mr.J. Willis Says:
    June 2nd, 2016 at 1:51 am

    I used some stain on my stairs and it ended up being the wrong tint how do I remove it

  • LadyM Says:
    March 19th, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    I unknowingly purchased an item that had been stained. I placed it on my hard wood floor which is a light color. How do I remove this spot about 3inches in diameter without redoing the whole floor

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How to Remove Stains from Wood Floors