How To Remove Water Stains From Hardwood Floors?

How many times have you had a panic attack when a guest spilled water on your newly installed hardwood floor?

Do you ever sit with your evening tea and frown upon those stubborn watermarks on your otherwise flawless hardwood floor?

The first solution that comes to your mind is a replacement. A replacement is an extravagantly expensive option and is not always the right choice. With a little effort and patience, you can remove these watermarks on your own and restore your floors’ hardwood to make it look as good as new!

Here is a detailed guide on how to remove water stains from hardwood floors:

First, categorize the stain:

Did you drop water and want to fix it before it gets too late, or are you reading this article to fix a stain that has been there for quite a long time?

Whether caused by an unforeseen leakage or a slight spill, watermarks on hardwood floors are not a pretty sight. Before you jump on to erasing these stains, you must inspect the kind of stain to choose the best method for stain removal. Water stains on hardwood floors generally appear as ‘water rings.’ These stains are categorized into white and dark stains.

Hardwood Floors

White Water Stains

If you see a water stain that somewhat looks white in color, you are on the safer side. These stains can be removed with much more ease as compared to the darker stains. A white stain generally means that water has only been able to sleep till the polyurethane layer or wax finish on the wood. So act quickly before it turns into a dark stain.

Dark Water Stains

A long-standing water circle or stain on hardwood floor generally deepens to be of a comparatively darker color. These stains generally grow larger and need more attention and time when it comes to their removal. A dark stain signifies that moisture has gone beyond the polyurethane layer and has now seeped into the wood, causing darkening in the affected area. For dark and much larger stains, it may not be possible to remove the stain.

How to remove white stains?

Here, you will need things that you can mostly find in any household, such as:

1. Mineral oil

2. Mineral spirits

3. Basic tools like a soft cotton pad, plastic or rubber gloves

4. Vacuum cleaner or mop.

5. Cleaning solution

6. Dry cloth


Use the mineral oil:

Make sure to use a considerable amount of mineral oil. In case you do not have mineral oil, head over to your kitchen and grab a bottle of plain mayonnaise! You may also use Vaseline jelly or solid butter as a substitute for mineral oil.

Leave the floor untouched:

Preferably, we suggest you leave the wood untouched for 10-12 hours after rubbing the mineral oil for effective results.

Buff the area:

If the stain disappears, you can buff the affected area with a dry cloth to get rid of the excess oil residue and for a bright look.

Let us move on to how to remove dark stains?

To remove a dark water stain, you might need to go the extra mile and visit a hardware store to get your hands on the following supplies:

1. Sandpaper of grit size 100 And 150

2. Steel wool

3. The chemical Hydrogen peroxide

4. Bleach that contains chlorine

5. The ingredient that caused the stain-Water!

6. A wood varnish in the shade that matches with your floors hardwood

7. Oil-based floor polish that suits your wood

8. Basic tools like a vacuum, soft cotton pads, gloves, and a dust mask.


1. Use the sandpaper:

The first and foremost step is to remove the finish of the floor’s hardwood. So, wear a protective mask and use sandpaper to get rid of the finish. Start with sandpaper of grit size 100 and then move to 150. Apply enough pressure, and don’t forget to go over the edges. Finally, use your vacuum to sweep the area clean.

2. Lighten the stain:

Use either hydrogen peroxide or bleach-containing chlorine but never use both together! Use a half-half ratio of Hydrogen peroxide and water. Now take a plain cloth, dip it in the solution, wring it, and place it undisturbed over the stain for at least 10-15 minutes. Let it dry completely. Use chlorine bleach only if the latter treatment fails.

3. Restore the shine:

To restore the finish, use a suitable wood varnish and seal the spot after application. If you see any visible imperfections, go over it with steel wool.

Removing water stains was once a nightmare, but now no more! Follow these simple tips and tricks and use your weekend productively. You will end up with a hardwood floor that gleams and looks as good as new and loads of extra money saved.

The best way to protect your floors’ hardwood is to prevent the stain altogether, but we have no control over unconscious mistakes. In case you spill any liquid, the best method is to act immediately. In case you need professional help in the installation or want to replace the flooring, head to