If water spilled on your floor and remained on the wood overnight, you may have noticed a white stain starting to form and wonder what you can do to take care of it before it ruins your hardwood flooring. If so, use the following four-step guide to using household products to remove a fresh water stain on your hardwood floor.
Step 1: Soak up Any Excess Water
The first thing you will need to do is soak up any excess water before it absorbs all the way through your floor's wooden boards. If this were to happen, it may be difficult to completely dry out the wood, rotting it out beneath the surface.
To soak up the water, use a cloth diaper or other lint-free cloth. This type of cloth is not only absorbent, but it will not leave lint inside the grain or snag on the wood.
Place the cloth over the stain, and step on it using hard pressure. If necessary, repeat with a dry cloth. Once you have removed the excess water, let the wood dry overnight, then go on to the next step.
Step 2: Lightly Sand the Area
After the surface of the wood has dried, this next step involves lightly sanding the area with very fine 1000-grit sandpaper. This grit will not gouge the wood, but it will remove a thin layer of the surface so the treatment can penetrate deep into the floor.
When sanding the area, use very light pressure. Although the sandpaper does have a fine grit, it could still scratch the wood's surface if you press down too hard.
After sanding, wipe the area with a dry cloth. Then, go on to the next step.
Step 3: Apply Mayonnaise to the Stain
Once the wood is prepped, apply a thin layer of mayonnaise to the stain. The mayonnaise helps draw out any residual moisture while the oils in the mixture help to condition the wood.
After applying the layer, leave it on for a couple of hours to give it sufficient time to work. Then, use a rubber kitchen spatula to gently scrape it up, holding it at a tight angle to the floor to keep from scratching the floor.
Once the excess mayonnaise has been removed, use a different clean cloth to wipe the area dry. Then, go on to the final step to make your floor shine.
Step 4: Buff the Wood with Lemon Oil
Although the mayonnaise used in the last step does condition your floor's hardwood somewhat, it does strip away some the moisture while drawing out the water. To fully condition it, apply and buff the area with lemon oil.
Along with its myriad uses, lemon oil can restore moisture to the wood and make it shine. The oil treatment can also protect your floor from future exposure to water.
Pour a small amount of oil on a clean soft rag, then dab the area where the stain was located with a thin layer. Then, use the rag to buff the oil into the wood using small, circular motions.
Let the oil soak in for several hours. Since the excess oil will make the wood slick, make sure you warn your household members to be careful when walking around it. After the allotted time, wipe up any residual oil, and give it one more buffing to create a beautiful shine.
While the above guide can help you treat a fresh water stain on your hardwood floor, it will probably not be effective for old stains that have turned black. If you have multiple stains, you may want to contact a wood floor contractor like Monterrey Tile Company to have them inspect your hardwood flooring to recommend either refinishing the affected areas or replacing the entire floor.