A beautiful wooden floor is the epitome of style and design in the modern day home. But it’s a challenge to keep a pristine wooden floor as it was intended! Though spillages on carpet, vinyl and laminate are normally quite easy to mop up, damaging wooden flooring can often spell disaster. Even if the covering has a protective coating, some spillages can stain a wooden floor.
The following are the most notoriously difficult spills to clean up:
- Burn marks: Whether from a lit candle or a cigarette butt, burn marks can appear to ruin a floor. But don’t fret just yet; there is an easy solution as long as they haven’t burnt into the wood too deep. Rub the affected area gently with a steel wool pad or scourer that has been soaked in hot soapy water. Rub until removed, then use a tea towel to remove the excess water and allow to dry. (Depending on the result, you may want to re- wax the area).
- Oil spills: Oil can be brought into the house on the bottom of a shoe and can often be devastating for any hardwood floor owner. But there is something you can do yourself to try and remove the marks. Blot up as much oil as you can with paper towels. Then sprinkle cornstarch or white flour over the remaining oil and leave for an hour. Next, sweep or vacuum the flour/cornstarch up. Now mix a teaspoon of de-greasing detergent (the type you may use for the dishwasher) into water and use a cloth to thoroughly wipe the area.
- Alcohol stains: Alcohol spills are almost unavoidable if you’re entertaining, but they can make an often irreparable mess on a wooden floor. Here’s a good solution if you need to tackle alcohol spills. First, wipe the area dry of alcohol. Then pour a little lemon oil on a rag and rub the stain. If this doesn’t work, then use powdered pumice stone and linseed oil (these can be found at any wooden flooring retailer) to make a paste. Dab some paste onto a rag and rub the area and do this until the stain disappears.
- Coffee spill: Coffee is a notoriously difficult stain to remove from anything, especially wooden floors. Try our handy technique before you call in a professional floor cleaner! Coffee spills won’t disappear with soap and water so use a PH neutral cleaner on a rag to rub the area. Leave for ten minutes and if that didn’t work, mix oxalic acid and vinegar together in a bowl and use a cloth to scrub the area.
- Shoe marks: Black heel marks can look horrendous on a beautiful wooden floor but are easy to remove. Our solution? Try using a water-based solvent and a cloth to rub the affected area. If this doesn’t remove the marks, try a solvent like mineral spirits which will dissolve the black marks allowing them to be wiped away.
General wooden floor advice
Any spills of liquids may cause white spots as well as provoking the wooden floor to swell so it is essential that you remove as much liquid as possible from the area as soon as the spillage occurs.
As with any kind of spillage, the sooner you act, the easier it will be to clean or remove and the more chance you have of it being invisible to the naked eye.
Finally, when cleaning a wooden floor (or removing stains), remember to rub WITH the grain to ensure the natural appearance is maintained.
Harrison Simms is a huge fan of solid wood flooring and regularly blogs with some handy maintenance tips for homeowners.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62971228@N02/5738578304/