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Frequently Asked Questions – Trouble Shooting


How can scratches or stains on wood flooring be repaired?

First aid for wood floors depends on the type of finish used. In the following chart, solutions in the middle column are for floors finished with wax or penetrating stains. Solutions in the right-hand column are for floors finished with polyurethane or other surface finishes.

Note: When removing stains from any wood floor, always begin at the outer edge of the stain and work toward the middle. Always use the wood flooring manufacturer's cleaning, repair and finish products when known.


Problem

Solution: Wax or Penetrating Stain

Solution: Surface Finish

Scratches

Wax the affected area using a soft, clean cloth.

Repair with a touch-up kit for urethane finishes, available from any wood flooring retailer.

Dried milk or food stains

Gently rub with a damp cloth, then rub dry and wax.

Use a cleaner developed specifically for urethane finishes. For stubborn spots, scrub using the urethane cleaner and a scrub pad made for urethane floors.

Water stains or white spots

Rub the spot with #000 steel wool and wax. If this fails, lightly sand with fine sandpaper and clean the area using #00 steel wool and mineral spirits or a wood floor cleaner. Allow the floor to dry, then stain, wax, and hand buff.

Follow instructions for dried milk or food stains.

Heel scuffs

Rub in a small amount of wax with fine steel wool and hand buff to a shine.

Follow instructions for dried milk or food stains.

Mold or mildew

Rub with a wood cleaner using a soft, clean cloth.

Use a cleaner developed for urethane finishes. If the mold or mildew lies underneath the surface finish, sand and refinish the area.

Chewing gum, crayon, or candle wax

Apply a plastic bag filled with ice until the deposit is brittle enough to crumble off. (Solvent-based wax can also be applied to loosen the deposit.) Remove crayon or candle wax by placing an ink blotter on the wax and applying a hot pressing iron to the top of the blotter.

Apply a plastic bag filled with ice on top of the deposit until it is brittle enough to crumble off. Clean the area with a product made for urethane finishes.

Oil and grease stains

First rub area with kitchen soap having a high lye content or saturate cotton with hydrogen peroxide and place over the stain. Then saturate a second layer of cotton with ammonia and place over the first. Repeat until stain is removed. Let the area dry and then hand buff.

Follow instructions for dried milk or food stains.

Dark spots and ink stains

Try the water stains or white spots treatment. If the spot remains, apply a household bleach or vinegar and allow it to soak for an hour. Rinse with a damp cloth, wipe dry and smooth with fine sandpaper. Stain, wax and hand buff.

Follow directions for dried milk or food stains.

Wax buildup

Strip the old wax away with odorless mineral spirits or a wood floor product made for stripping wax. Use cloth and fine steel wool to remove all residue. After the floor is dry, wax and buff.

Not applicable.

High heel shoe dents

1/4 inch spike heels will cause dents that require professional repair.

1/4 inch spike heels will cause dents that require professional repair.

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