Dealing with Spills and Stains on Hardwood Floors: Quick and Effective Solutions

by Jul 17, 2023Hardwood Floors

Hardwood Floor Spill Solutions

Let’s face it: accidents happen! The best thing we can do is to be ready for them.

And if you have hardwood floors, we encourage you to take some time to make sure you are ready for the inevitable accident or two that might occur on your gorgeous wood floors.

At Lakeside Floor Coverings, we want your hardwood floors to prove that your investment was worth it. And if you are reading this, it likely means that a spill or stain has made its way to your hardwood floors. Sorry to hear this!

But, before thinking it’s all over, take some time to keep reading because we’ve laid out our 3-Step Rule for hardwood floor stain removal.

3 Step Rule for Hardwood Floor Spills

The bad news is that stains and spills come in many different varieties. The even worse news is that there’s really no way to 100% avoid them from happening.

But – the good news is this: we’re here to help you figure out how to fight against some common spills and stains with three simple steps!

Step 1: Blot it up ASAP!

For most spills on hardwood flooring, the first thing you should do is try to gently blot up as much of the excess fluid as you can. This includes water, juices, coffee, wine, oils…pretty much anything!

Use a clean cloth to gently blot the stained area and be careful to not further spread it. Do not use a rubbing motion as that will cause the excess liquid to spread to areas that weren’t already impacted. Your goal is to keep the spill isolated to its originally affected area!

Gentle blotting instead of vigorous rubbing will also help keep the liquid from further penetrating the wood. It’ll also help prevent any further staining, wearing, or damage to your hardwood.

Get in touch with our team to discover your floor covering and installation options. We’re looking forward to working with you.

Step 2: Treat it

Unfortunately, some spills can result in a stain. But, in an effort to prevent that from happening, there are some stain-removing solutions you can use!

Food & Beverage Stain
If a stain remains after blotting up food or beverage spills, your best bet is to find a manufacturer-approved stain remover that’s safe for your hardwood. Go for something that’s pH neutral and start with small amounts when you apply it. Use a dry, clean cloth and follow the directions.

Grease & Oil Stains
These are tough on floors! Although you might want to skip right to step 3 for grease and oil stains, you can try using a dishwashing liquid solution. If you try this, use a spray bottle to mist the solution on the stain and let it sit for five minutes.
Do not pour the solution – make sure to mist it. Pouring or spraying excessively will inevitably further damage the hardwood. Use gentle circular motions to work the stain out but do not use too much pressure in order to avoid scratching the wood.

Pet Stains
After cleaning up the mess immediately, use an enzymatic cleaner designed for pet stains to address this specific problem. Again, be sure to check with your hardwood floor manufacturing guidelines to assess if your particular wood floors can withstand such a cleaner.

You can also try to rub the pet-stained spot with #000 steel wool followed by some floor finish (in the form of wax or polyurethane depending on your existing finish).

A hydrogen peroxide solution has been known to be helpful as well.

Nail Polish Stains
If stains persist after gently blotting up the excess nail polish, you can try to use a mild acetone-based nail polish remover to get rid of the stubborn stain.

Again, check with your hardwood floor manufacturer for their specific advice.

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Step 3: Assess for further need

If you can see any signs of water damage, discoloration, hazing, or warping, be sure to call a professional. Professional cleaning might be the solution you need and it’ll be worth it to take advantage of their expertise.

If this is the case, still adhere to step 1 from above by blotting up any excess liquid. However, it’s likely best to stop there and promptly call a professional to seek their guidance.

Doing additional cleaning might negatively affect a professional’s ability to treat it.

Conclusion – Dealing with Spills and Stains on Hardwood Floors: Quick and Effective Solutions

If something is spilled on your hardwood floors, do not panic! The best thing you can do is blot up any excess liquid ASAP!

The sooner you can get that liquid up, the better off you’ll be because you will be reducing the chances of permanent staining or wood damage.

Being knowledgeable about how to care for your hardwood floors is key to their longevity. At Lakeside Floor Coverings, we want you to be ready for stains and spills in an effort to keep your hardwood floors looking great!

Get in touch to get started on your flooring project. Our friendly staff can arrange a time for you to visit our showroom or for our professional team to visit your home or commercial property for an on-site estimate. Call 763-503-0100.


7500 University Ave NE, Fridley, MN 55432