12 Quick Fixes for Common Wooden Floor Issues

Published on Jan 22, 2018

how to fix common wood floor issues

There are a number of benefits to installing hardwood floors. They’re easy to clean, add warmth, reduce dust and allergens and they go well with practically any decor. And as with most of your possessions, proper care and maintenance can make timber floors virtually last a lifetime. It’s normal to encounter issues with your wood floors but they are not the end of the world. What’s important is to know how to properly deal with these issues to keep your floors looking gorgeous for a far longer time. Here are 12 quick fixes for common wooden floor issues:



12 Common Wood Floor Issues and How to Fix Them

Issue #1 - Candlewax stains

wood floors with candlewax droppings

For wax finished wood floors

Cover the area with a plastic bag filled with ice for a few minutes, then scrape with a plastic scraper or one of those expired membership cards you still keep for no reason. Alternatively, you can use a blow-dryer set to warm and soften the crayon or candle wax stain, and then soak it up with paper towel. Buff with a dry cotton cloth to finish.


For polyurethane finished timber floors

Cover area with a bag full of ice for several minutes, then scrape with a plastic card and finish off with a polyurethane specific cleaning solution. Voila, all gone!



Issue #2 - Gum on wood floor

how to remove chewing gum from timber floors

For floors with any finish

Freeze stuck-on chewing gum with a bag full of ice. Crumble the frozen gum and scrape away with the same expired plastic membership card.



Issue #3 - Black Stains

timber floors with dark spots

For wax finished timber floors

Rub the spot with fine steel wool (00). For deeper water stains, apply a paste made from a mixture of water and oxalic acid. Let the paste sit for 5-10 minutes, then wipe with a dry cloth. Rub on wax and buff with a clean cloth.


For polyurethane finished wood floors

Follow the same procedure as you would with wax finished floors. But use a damp cloth to wipe away the paste instead.



Issue #4 - White Spots

hardwood floors with white spots

For wax finished wood floors

Rub the spot with fine steel wool (00) and then re-apply wax. Let the wax dry, then buff with a clean cotton cloth.


For polyurethane coated floors

Rub white spots with a slightly damp cloth. For more stubborn white spots, use a commercial cleaner specifically formulated for polyurethane.



Issue #5 -  Food stains

spilt bowl of cereal and milk on wood floors

For wax finished wood floors

Rub the stained portion with a damp cloth. Rub dry and then apply wax.


For polyurethane finished timber floors

Use a commercial cleaner designed for polyurethane floors.



Issue #6 - Grease and Oil

grease stained wood floors

For wax finished floors

Dampen a cloth with odour-free mineral spirits. Wipe the area dry, reapply wax and then buff with a cotton cloth.


For polyurethane finished floors

Wipe the area with a cloth dampened with a commercial cleaning product designed for polyurethane floors.



Issue #7 - Heel Marks

heel scuffs and marks on wood floors

For wax finished floors

Using fine steel wool, apply a bit of wax on the scuffed area. Rub the wax in and buff with a cloth.


For polyurethane finished floors

Treat heel scuffs with a cleaner designed for hardwood floor finishes.



Issue #8 - Mould and Mildew

wood floors with mould stains

For wax finished floors

Use a cleaner designed for wood. Never use bleach!


For polyurethane finished floors

Use a cleaner specific to polyurethane finishes. You might want to sand and refinish areas where the mould and mildew have penetrated beneath the surface.



Issue #9 - Scratches

scratched hardwood floors

For wax finished floors

Scratches on wax finish can be removed by rubbing the scratches with extra-fine steel wool (000) and reapplying paste wax.


For polyurethane finished floors

Scratches on polyurethane finished floors can be camouflaged using wax sticks sold at hardware stores. You can also use wood stain markers or even crayons.


For varnished floors

Fix scratches with hardwood floor finish restorer.



Issue #10 - Dents

dented hardwood floors

For any finish

Slightly wet the dent by applying a wet cloth or paper towel over the dent. Move the iron in a circular motion across the towel for 3-5 minutes. The heat and steam should allow the dented wood to "pop back up." For finished hardwood floors, you may need to sand the finish a bit.



Issue #11 - Wax Build Up from Cleaning Products

hardwood floors with uneven colour due to wax build up

For wax finished floors

Remove the layer of wax using a wax stripper (not furniture stripper!). Remove any remaining wax buildup by rubbing with fine steel wool. Re-apply the wax, then machine buff. Make sure you take care while buffing to avoid damage.


For polyurethane finished floors

Apply a commercial wax remover specific to polyurethane finished floors. Never re-apply wax! Because wax can make these types of floors very slippery.



Issue #12 - Squeaky Floors

how to fix a squeaky floor

For any finish

Sprinkle a fair bit of baby powder, baking soda or graphite powder over the squeaky part. Work the powder into the seam to lubricate the squeak and keep the boards from rubbing against each other. This one works a treat.


There you have it! 12 quick fixes for your wood floor issues. If you have further issues with discolouration or scratches, book Electrodry's Wood Refinishing specialists for a no-sanding fix for your floors. Our technicians have many years of experience in achieving high-quality results. Need sanding done? Our floor sanding and refinishing process creates minimal dust and phenomenal results. Contact our team to find out more about what we can do for your floors.


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