|Tips for Removing Stains from Your Wooden Floors|
It is a given that if your home has hardwood floors, that aspect of the home is a source of pride for you. For one thing, when guests come over, they without fail notice those beautiful floors and compliment you for having such an elegant home for entertaining. But even when you are at home with just the family there, those floors do so much to enhance your quality of life that most of us who have hardwood floors would literally never go back to living without them.
Like any other prized possession that you may own, your hardwood floors require some tender loving care to continue to look good year in and year out. Just as you clean and repair a fine automobile and make special effort to guard and protect a fine garment or painting that has significant value to your home, there are disciplines and routines to maintain to take care of hardwood floors . This is especially true in light of the fact that, unlike a painting or even clothing, your floors are in constant use by your family, friends and guests.
You no doubt already have a number of protocols to prevent damage to your hardwood floors. Just as important are a prepared set of procedures to clean up dirt or spills that happen to that floor. However, in the life of any home, things happen. And when you discover that your hardwood floor has a stain on it as the result of a spill that changed the color of the flooring, its good to know what to do. Panic is not the best response. A stain can be fixed if you know the steps.
The motto of the Boy Scouts of America is "be prepared" and that’s a good motto for caring for your hardwood floors as well. When a stain has changed the tint of part of your floor, just wiping it up won't cut it. The only way to deal with the stain in an effective way is to re-stain the wood where the offending spill did its damage. You can get out ahead of this process by learning what kind of stain was used when your floors were installed as well as the tint and other specifics about that staining agent.
By keeping that stain on hand, you are ready to respond quickly when you noticed that a stain has marred your beautiful hardwood floor. If you bought the home and don't have access to the original installation details, have a flooring expert come out and analyze the color and tint of your floors to determine the stain to have on hand for repairs. It is not being fussy to want this information before a stain occurs. It is just being prepared so the stain doesn’t catch you by surprise.
What To Do.
If you are certain that you cannot repair the damage, you may opt to have the entire floor resurfaced. But that may not be necessary. The steps to fix a localized stain are…
· Sand the area of the floor where the stain is to remove the top level of finish and the stain at the surface level as well.
· Bleach the raw wood. Your flooring supplier can provide the materials to bleach the wood which will remove the stain.
· When the stain has been removed by the bleaching process, use household vinegar to neutralize the effect of the bleach.
· Re-stain the area and then finish the surface so it looks like the rest of the floor.
It’s a good idea to get a small section of wood that is the same wood type and color as your flooring and practice this process. This gets you used to working with the bleach and stain materials. It also will build your confidence when your practice piece turns out looking like the hardwood floor that you may need to repair at some point.
If all of this seems beyond your capabilities, you can always opt to engage a professional to fix the stained area. But establish that relationship with a flooring expert so he can find the right stain for your floor and be prepared before the stain occurs. In either case, by thinking about it now and doing your preparations long before the need arises, you have a plan to turn to when you discover an unsightly stain on your beautiful hardwood floor.