There’s no doubt that hardwood floors add a classic look and feel to any room in which they’re installed.  But there are drawbacks to this versatile and time honoured flooring material. Hardwood flooring doesn’t react well to spills or moisture.  In fact, excess water can cause unsightly stains that can ruin the look of an entire room. But all is not lost if you spill some water or leave a puddle to settle overnight.  To help you out we’ve come up with some tips on how to remove water stains from hardwood flooring.

Pastes For Light Stains

If your hardwood flooring has a light stain from a bit of water or maybe a glass or cup that was set down on the floor there are a few types of pastes that can be used to get the wood colouring back to normal.  Try a paste made from one part of baking soda and one part water and gently rub it into the stain. You can also try toothpaste or some salt with a few drops of water if the baking soda doesn’t work.

Petroleum Jelly

Coating the stain with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and letting it sit overnight can sometimes cause the stain to disappear.  The oils in the jelly can replace the moisture and the staining at the same time.  

Steel Wool Or Sandpaper

For darker stains you might actually have to remove some of the surface layer of the wood to get rid of the stain.  Using a very fine steel wool or sandpaper you can lightly scrub the affected area to remove the stain. You should try to scrub the areas around the stain to blend them into the affected area.


The acidity of vinegar can help lighten the staining until it’s unnoticeable.  Simply soak a piece of cloth in vinegar and lay it over the affected area. Leave it for a few minutes before looking to see if it’s having any effect.  If so, leave it as long as necessary.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can also lighten a stain very effectively.  Dilute with a similar amount of water before rubbing it into the stain and letting it dry.


You’ll need to dilute the bleach with four parts of water to begin with.  Rub the solution into the stain and allow to dry. If it doesn’t work you can try using stronger concentrations until you get some results.