How To Remove White Water Stains From A Hardwood Floor

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Water stains can ruin the appearance of an otherwise beautiful hardwood floor. But if the water stains are white, rather than darker in color, that means that the water only stained near the surface of the floor. And that makes for a stain that's easier to remove on your own with a few supplies and a little bit of elbow grease.

Things You Need:

  • Dry cotton cloth
  • Clothing iron
  • Steel wool
  • Linseed oil
  • Low-grit sandpaper
  • Varnish
  • Sealant

Method 1: Heated Cloth

Lay a dry cotton cloth flat over the white stain. Turn on a clothing iron and choose a setting that doesn't produce steam. Allow the clothing iron to fully heat up, then lightly pass the iron across the top of the dry cloth. Make about 10 slow passes before lifting the rag to see if this method is working. If the stain is starting to fade, continue making light passes over the stain. Stop if the cloth becomes hot to the touch and allow to cool down to lukewarm before continuing.

If the heat didn't lessen the stain, try another stain removal method.

Method 2: Steel Wool

Dip a steel wool pad in pure linseed oil and use the combination like you would sandpaper. Gently scuff across the top of the stain, working in small circles. The linseed oil should keep the wool from scratching your floor and will added much-needed healthy moisture to the wood. Repeat the gentle sanding for about 5 minutes. If the stain is beginning to fade, keep up the hard work. If the stain remains, you might need to bring out the heavy tactics. 

Method 3: Sandpaper

Find a light grit sandpaper block and use it to work in circles across the top of the stain. Use a firmer hand than you did for the steel wool as scratching isn't a concern with this method. Keep sanding until the stain is removed, as this step guarantees results, though it also makes for more work in the end.

When the stain is removed, dampen the cotton cloth and use it to wipe away all of the sanding dust. Allow the floor to dry naturally. Use stain that matches the surrounding wood to cover the spot you rubbed off and finish with a clear coat.

If you have black water stains, or white water stains that cover a significant amount of the floor, you should leave the fixing up to the professionals. Badly stained floors that can't be salvaged are always candidates for carpet installations. (For more information on hardwood floors, contact Carpet Depot)