How to Remove Black Stains from Hardwood Floors – The Easy Way

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how to remove black stains from hardwood floors

Whether caused by a plumbing leak, a nasty surprise left by a pet or by overwatering a plant, black stains on a hardwood floor are unsightly. When you notice these stains on your precious floor, you might think that refinishing the floor is your only option.

Fortunately, in many cases, dark stains from hardwood floors can be removed with some patience and elbow grease. If you wish to learn how to remove black stains from hardwood floors, look no further – we’ll guide you through the process.

How to Remove Dark Stains from Hardwood Floors – Step-by-Step

1. Clean the Damaged Surface

Black stains work inside the wood, but it’s still important that you clean the surface to remove dirt and grime. To do that, vacuum your hardwood floor and then rub a damp cloth over the surface. Don’t use any cleaning chemicals for this part. You only have to clear the dirt from the floor and vacuuming and rubbing are enough for this. If dirt isn’t removed properly, you might end up scratching the surface of the floor while trying to remove the stain, making things even worse than before.

Once you have removed the dirt, scour the area using a ball of steel wool so that it blends with the unstained areas of your hardwood floor.

2. Apply Vinegar

Vinegar isn’t just good for salads; it is also a powerful, natural cleaning solution that can remove stains without damaging hardwood floors. In this step, take a soft, clean rag and soak it in a bottle of vinegar.

Apply it to the stained area and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. If the stain is larger or more severe, you might have to apply more vinegar constantly. The result would start showing after some time and the stain would become lighter and less noticeable.

3. Apply Mineral Spirit

Mineral spirits can also help remove the nasty black stains from hardwood floors. Use steel wool to apply a layer of this solution to the stained area and work it into the wood. Be patient with this as mineral spirits tend to take some time to remove black stains.

4. Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is generally used as a mouthwash, but it is also effective in removing black stains from hardwood floors. However, you can’t use it directly so dilute it a little with water before applying it to the stained area of your floor.

Soak a cloth in the mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide and then apply it on the stained surface. You won’t see the results immediately so allow the cloth to work for at least five minutes. This should lighten and remove the stubborn black stains from your floor.

5. Use a Mixture of Bleach and Water

Bleach is used to keep sheets and duvets white and bright, but it is also effective at removing stains from hardwood floors. In this step, mix one-part bleach in four-part water. Spray the resulting solution on the stained area of the floor and wipe it gently. The stain would start losing its color and become light. Apply more solution until you can’t spot the stain anymore.


Q.1: How do you remove white water stains from hardwood floors?

If you have just spilled water on your hardwood floor, moving quickly should prevent it from working into the wood and staining your floor. Here’s what you need to do to remove the white water stains before they turn dark.

  • Immediately buff the surface of the floor with a cotton cloth. This will absorb the spilled wood without scratching the hardwood floor.
  • If you can still see a mark, dry the excess moisture using a blow dry before its sets into the hardwood. Do this on a low setting; otherwise, you may turn the water stain into a heat mark.   
  • Once the water stain is completely removed, buff the surface using an oil-based furniture polish to make your floor look nice and new.

Q.2) How to remove pet urine from hardwood floors?

Pet mess is something you always have to deal with if you own a pooch or a kitty that hasn’t mastered potty training. It would be best to remove the urine right away. But when it happens in hidden areas of your home, you would notice it after some time when you encounter a nasty odor.

Pet urine can penetrate into the wood, leaving stubborn stains. It is difficult to remove pet urine from hardwood floors because it contains elements like ammonia and chloride which react with the wood, resulting in a stubborn stain.  

You can use the methods we have listed in the first half to remove pet urine stains from hardwood floors or apply commercial products specifically made for removing these stains from delicate flooring.

Q.3) How to remove urine odor from hardwood floors?

There are commercial cleaners available in the market that you can use to remove urine odors from hardwood flooring. Some of them are quite effective while a few can actually damage your floor so make sure to test the product on an inconspicuous place before applying in on the hardwood floor.

For a homemade solution, combine ¼ mild dish soap, ¼ cup baking soda, 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar, and 1 cup water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and shake to mix. Then spray it onto the stain, rubbing it with a clean cloth. Allow it to stand for at least 15 minutes and then rinse it away with a damp cloth. Wait for it to dry. The pesky urine odor should be gone by then. If not, spray the solution again until you can no longer smell the odor.

Wrap Up on removing black stains from hardwood floors

Now that you know how to remove black stains from hardwood floors, get down on your knees and use some elbow grease to restore your elegant floor to its former glory. We have answered a few common questions that homeowners have regarding stains on hardwood floors but you have any other query, feel free to shoot it our way. We will do our best to address it.

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