Remove Water Stains From Wood Floors

Wood is a classic flooring solution that can be found in many homes across the UK. With a charm that is not surpassed, it is a popular choice for those looking to add character to their homes. However, stains on your beautiful wood flooring can be a huge problem, especially when you don’t know how to remove them. 

Here at Direct Wood Flooring we understand the stress that can be caused by water stains on your wood floors and we are here to help. We have put together this guide on how to best remove them, so you can get your wood floors back to looking their best in no time at all. 


Removing surface level stains

Surface level stains are simply stains that have only penetrated the wood finish and not the wood underneath. They often appear as surface discolouration and are sometimes referred to as “white stains” as they tend to be lighter in colour. 

How easy these surface stains are to remove depends on several factors, such as what type of wood finish you have and how deep the stain is, however, there are several methods you can try. 


  • Mineral Oil: This is one of the most effective ways to treat minor surface level water stains. Gently rub it into the stain using a microfibre cloth and leave for five minutes. Repeat the process and then leave for 24 hours. If it doesn’t remove it to your satisfaction, try mineral spirits – see below. 
  • Mineral Spirits: If the stain has penetrated further into your wood floor finish or mineral oil hasn’t worked, then use mineral spirits instead. Rub gently into the stain using a soft cloth and then leave to dry for 24 hours. 


If you don’t have any mineral oil or mineral spirits, then you can use an old household trick of baking soda and water. 


  • Baking soda paste: Create a paste using baking soda and water, you need it to be thick enough to coat the stain, whilst being wet enough to soak through the wood flooring underneath. Use a soft cloth to rub the paste into stain and leave for 24 hours. Wipe off any remains and polish. 



Removing deeper stains 

If you suspect that your stain has penetrated through the wood finish and into the plank below, then you will need to remove the surface layer of the finish to be able to remove the stain from the wood itself. You can identify these stains by their darker or black colour. Removing these is a more delicate process and should be done carefully so as not to damage your floor. 


  • Sanding: Mask off the area surrounding the stain so you don’t damage the clean wood. Sand the area of the stain using 100 – 150 grit sandpaper to remove the wood finish. Always rub the sandpaper with the grain and then using steel wool, feather in the edges so it blends in. Wipe away the dust and if the stain has also been removed in the process, apply several coats of matching wood finish such as varnish or lacquer. Polish to a shine. 
  • Vinegar: If the sanding technique doesn’t remove the stain, then use white vinegar. Moisten a soft sponge and wipe the stain for a few minutes. If necessary, remoisten the sponge with more vinegar, just remember to wait a few minutes in between each application. If this is successful, apply several coats of matching wood finish such as varnish or lacquer. Polish to a shine. 
  • Bleach: If the vinegar doesn’t have the desired effect then you can use a 50/50 solution of chlorine bleach. We would only recommend this as a last resort however. Apply a light coat directly to the wood and wait a few hours before applying again. Once the stain has lightened, get a damp sponge or cloth, and remove any excess bleach and wipe with white vinegar. Leave for a couple of minutes then wipe off. The vinegar will help prevent any further discolouration. Once complete, apply several coats of matching wood finish such as varnish or lacquer. Polish to a shine. 


If you are concerned the stain has become too deep, or you are worried about removing it yourself, then please contact a professional. 


Protect your wood flooring 

There are many options to help you protect your wood flooring from water stains and the effects of daily life. Floor varnish and oils are particularly good choices and can be bought in both coloured and clear variations to match your floor and home décor. They provide a hard-wearing finish that is water, dirt, and stain resistant. 


Help from Direct Wood Flooring  

Here at Direct Wood flooring we believe that prevention is better than the cure. If you are worried about stains on your wood floor, then we have everything you need to protect your finish and keep your floor looking perfect. 

We sell our solid wood and engineered wood products in a range of fantastic finishes, as well as products to help protect your home. We also provide complete clean and revive wood flooring kits to help keep your wood floor looking beautiful, no matter what daily life may throw at it.  

We stock a huge range of hardwood and engineered wood flooring products, as well as some beautiful vinyl tiles and laminate flooring designs, so at Direct Wood Flooring we have the perfect solution for all your wood flooring protection and maintenance needs, including for different flooring finishes. So, if you are looking to fix, improve or maintain your current wood floor, refurbish a room, or start a new project, then please contact us today to get a quote, or order your free flooring samples.    

Use our contact form on the website or call us on 03308 182 500.