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Frequently Asked Questions: Trouble Shooting

VA Hardwood Flooring | Virginia Wood Floor Boards

Hardwood floors are a beautiful flooring option for you home, but what do you do when your floors get scratched or stained? Accidents happen, but after you drop heavy furniture or spill drinks or food, don’t worry. There’s a solution to repair your floors back to their original, stunning quality.

The type of floors you have, as well as the type of finish used, will determine the proper first aid solution. Floors finished with wax or penetrating stains are repaired differently than floors finished with polyurethane or other surface finishes. The following guide, with information provided by the National Wood Flooring Association, explains how to repair these different types of flooring after they’ve been scratched or stained.

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The National Wood Flooring Association advises users to remove stains from their wood flooring by beginning at the outer edge of the stain and working into the middle. They also advise users to use the “wood flooring manufacturer’s cleaning, repair, and finish products when known.”


If your wax or penetrating stain wood floors have suffered a scratch, apply a hardwood floor wax to the area with a soft, clean cloth. If you have surface finish floors, use a touch-up kit for urethane finishes, which are likely available at any wood floor retailer.

Dried milk or food stains:

Wax/penetrating stain floors: Rub the stain with a damp cloth, then rub dry with floor wax.
Surface finish floors: Cleaners on the market designed specifically for urethane finishes will get the job done, but if the stain is more stubborn, scrub using a cleaner and scrub pad.

Water stains and white spots:

Wax/penetrating stain floors: #000 steel wool and wax are the perfect tools to use to clean these stains. However, if this method does not work, fine sandpaper, #00 steel wool, and mineral spirits, or a wood floor cleaner, may work when lightly used. After use, let the floor dry, then stain, wax and hand buff to fully restore your floors.
Surface finish floors: Urethane finish cleaners should work, but more stubborn spots can be removed with an appropriate cleaner and scrub pads.

Heel scuffs:

Wax/penetrating stain floors: To remove heel scuffs, rub a small amount of wax into the scuff with fine steel wool, then hand buff to shine.
Surface finish floors: Urethane finish cleaners are a great go-to for heel scuffs.

Mold or mildew:
Wax/penetrating stain floors: To remove mold or mildew, apply wood cleaner using a soft and clean cloth. Rub lightly and you should see results.
Surface finish floors: A urethane finish cleaner should work, but if the mold or mildew has crept beneath the surface finish, sand the area and refinish it to be sure the mold and mildew is completely removed.

Chewing gum, crayon or candle wax:

Wax/penetrating stain floors: Getting rid of chewing gum, crayon or candle wax can be tricky. Applying a plastic bag of ice to the gum or wax should cause it crumble off, and a solvent-based wax can loosen the deposit. Then, remove the wax or gum by placing an ink blotter onto the wax and “applying a hot pressing iron to the top of the blotter,” according to NWFA.
Surface finish floors: Similar to wax/penetrating stain floors, applying a bag of ice to the top of the deposit will cause it to crumble. Then you can clean the area with urethane finish cleaning products.

Oil and grease stains:

Wax/penetrating stain floors: Apply two layers of the solution. The first should be a kitchen soap with high lye, or you can saturate cotton with hydrogen peroxide. Then, saturate another layer of cotton with ammonia and place it over the first. Repeat this process until the stain is removed, and then let it dry and hand buff to restore.
Surface finish floors: A urethane finish purchased at a wood flooring retailer will be designed to remove oil and grease stains.

Wax buildup:

Wax/penetrating stain floors: Too much wax buildup on wood flooring can be unattractive, so strip the old wax away with an odorless mineral spirit. Then, use cloth and fine steel wool to remove the additional residue. After your floor is dry, wax and buff it. A wood floor retailer will likely carry a urethane finish that can remove wax buildup. For both types of wood flooring, high heel shoe dents require professional repair. For all of your hardwood flooring needs, be sure to check out We carry a wide range of wood flooring options and products perfect for your home!

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