Removing Stains from Hardwood Floors With Bleach

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How to remove stain on hardwood with bleach

Bleach products are one of the options to remove stubborn stains on the hardwood floors that won’t disappear. Bleach agents like Oxalic acid, Chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, and sodium hydroxide are most commonly used pet and kid-friendly.

The use of bleach to get rid of stains also help to disinfect hardwood floors. Bleach agent clean and lighten stained wood floor. Bleaching fix ugly urine stains and dark black marks on the wood floor. Oxalic acid, chlorine and hydrogen peroxide tackles black discoloration from age, water damage, rust stains, kills bacteria and household bugs as an added advantage.

How to Remove Stains from Wood With Bleach

How to remove stain on hardwood floor, prepare the floor, apply the bleach, scrub

The following procedure can help get rid of black stubborn urine stains on the hardwood floor.

Prepare the floor for bleaching

Remove any dirt, grime, and dust on your hardwood floor with one of the best dust mops. If the scuff marks are in one place you can proceed to prepare the bleaching process.

However, for old scuffed stains on the floor, remove the existing finish with Lacquer thinners. Paint and varnish remover is able to dissolve the protective sealants on the wood floor. Once done scrap the paint with the spatula or wood scrapers.

Locate a testing a place to test the bleach to see if it will react with your wood type. Different wood floor interacts with bleach agents differently.  Paint and varnish remover won’t remove wood stains consider sanding your floor with a fine-grit sandpaper.

Prepare the bleach according to the recommendation discussed below depending on the preferred bleaching agent.

Apply the Bleach on Floor

Once you prepare the bleach of your choice, Consider applying it on the stained areas. Use a sprayer bottle to apply it to the stained areas per section. Take precautions to avoid putting a lot of liquid on the wood floor it may cause other floor problems like buckling. But can you use bleach on the hardwood floor?

Scrub the Floor

Once the bleach is applied allow it to sit on the stain for some minutes. Using a cloth or synthetic bristle brush scrub the stained area thoroughly. Wipe off the excess bleach solution and let the surface dry.

If the stains are still there after application consider applying another layer until its gone. If the stain persists, consider preparing a more concentrated bleach.

Neutralize the Bleaching Agent

When you’ve removed the stain as much as you can, wash off the floor with clean water to prevent any bleach residue build-up. Neutralize with baking powder, vinegar or borax depending on the bleaching agent used

Sand and Refinish

Re-sand the floor once ore to remove any remaining old varnish and paint on the floor. Sanding or screening also helps to remove any discoloration and stain marks left behind by the bleaching agent.

Select the fine-grit sandpaper and pad sander to fade the edges to clear boundaries as well as prepare for the final finish application. Matching the stain of the wood floor is usually tricky since different batches might leave different stains on the wood.

Apply the clear finish about 2-3 layers as you sand each coat lightly with the finest sand paper-150 grit. Refinishing the bleached spot or the entire floor should leave your floor scuff-free and well rejuvenated

What Does Bleach do to the Wood?

Bleaching agents work by lightening stained wood to get rid of urine damage on the hardwood floor. The bleach is a good remedy to fix dull stains on hardwood floors.

However, you need to neutralize bleach on wood after use to prevent residue haze hardwood floor. Before bleaching, for extremely stained floor consider sanding or stripping finish when necessary. But, Is pine sol good for a hardwood floor?

How To: DIY and Remove Hardwood Floor Stains FOR $.88 Cents |CPR4THEBODY|

Chlorine Bleach

Chlorine bleach get rid of dyes and other organic stains; tea, blood, juices, and foods. Household chlorine bleach is the mildest form and effective for mild stains but might take several treatments to be effective on deep stains. Deep black stains require stronger chlorine-based bleach treatment like swimming pool chlorine (Calcium or Sodium hypochlorite).

Follow the following procedure for stain removal with chlorine bleach

  • Mix the chlorine with water in a bucket. Hot water is recommended for the best results.
  • Using a spray bottle, pour some on the stained surface in section.
  • Rush it with a hard bristle brush, allow it to sit on the stain for about 10 minutes.
  • Wipe off with a soft clean dry rag. If stain persists consider reapplying the bleach.
  • Pour a cup of vinegar on the bleached part and rinse with clean water. Take precautions to avoid pouring excess liquid on the wood floor.
  • Wipe off immediately with a clean cloth or microfiber pad and allow to air dry.

Oxalic Acid Wood Bleach

Oxalic acid is a natural organic compound. It naturally occurs in vegetables such as sorrel, spinach, and rhubarb. In the rhubarb, it’s so much that the leaves are poisonous. At times you may remove the floor finish and still find a black or deep brown pet urine stains marks in the wood. These stains no amount of sanding will get rid of it? Here lies a solution. 

Stubborn Iron stains due to the chemical reaction of tannic acid mixing with the trace metals in urine and water. Worry no more, Oxalic acid can get rid of black urine and iron stains out of hardwood without bleaching the floor.

Here is steps to remove stain with oxalic bleaching agent on your floor

  • Mix about two tablespoons of oxalic with 4 cups of hot tap water and allow it to dissolve. For entire floor cleaning mix half cup of oxalic acid with a gallon of  hot water and allow it to dissolve
  • Use spray the affected area in sections, allow it to dry.
  • The spray should help lighten the stain, for effectiveness consider adding another coat.
  • With a rug, saturate it with the mixture and wipe the surrounding area to reduce the halo effect n the area. Take precautions to avoid pouring excess liquid on the floor. This should help the surrounding areas for uniformity.
  • Allow it to air dry or use a dry mop the floor.
  • Mix 2 teaspoons of borax with a cup of hot water.
  • Damp a clean cloth with this mixture and wipe the treated area. This should help neutralize and reduce the residue on your floor.
  • Allow it to dry or use a dry microfiber mop.

TIP: Borax is a good natural made neutralizer. It ensures there is no oxalic acid left behind on the wood floor.

How to Remove Pet Urine Stains From Hardwood Floors

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is one of the best choice if your are a DIY kind of a person. Its considered one of the most environmentally friendly wood bleaching agent. Its both a bleaching agent and cleaning agent that leaves your floor sanitized.

But is hydrogen peroxide an effective cleaner? Hydrogen peroxide if one of the effective cleaning and bleaching agents on wood. It is able to fix stubborn stains from pets, urine, mud, liquid and food spills. It is a good remedy for black stains on hardwood and white water stains on the hardwood floor.

The wood floor has a porous surface with micro-sized holes able to absorb moisture. This can lead to buckling and make the stains hard to remove. However, hydrogen peroxide is able to disintegrate stains and pull them out of the poles in the drying process.

Is it safe to use hydrogen peroxide on my floor? Hydrogen peroxide is a safe bleaching agent when used correctly. It won’t dull your floor or whiten it unless you apply an unnecessarily very powerful peroxide formula.

Here are the safe way to use hydrogen peroxide bleach to fix stain on hardwood floor.

  • Using a spray bottle. Apply hydrogen peroxide on your hardwood floor stain in sections.
  • Allow it to rest on the stained areas, wipe the excess liquid off with a cloth or microfiber pad.
  • Scrub the area with a hard bristle brush to get rid of the stubborn stain.
  • Wipe the floor with a damp cloth, If the stain still persists repeat the steps.

Tips: It’s important to be cautious, first test the floor you want to be cleaned to make sure it won’t be bleached. Different wood floors react with hydrogen peroxide differently.

Mix of hydrogen peroxide +lye (sodium hydroxide) 

Can you mix bleach and vinegar

The mixture can make one of the best disinfectants, But the two should never be mixed.  The acid in vinegar releases very toxic chlorine and chloramine fumes once it reacts with the bleach.This combination can cause burns and irritation in your eyes and lungs. In extreme cases it can cause coughing and breathing problems

Can you mix bleach and baking soda

Nothing dangerous you should expect to happens when you mix baking soda and bleach. In fact, once mixed it forms a paste. This paste can be rubbed onto surfaces and seems to boost the cleaning properties of both materials to work without too much scrubbing.

Can I use OxiClean on hardwood floors?

Not recommended, Oxiclean is a versatile cleaner solution made from sodium per-carbonate. It forms oxygen bubbles when mixed with that penetrate into stains and dissolve them without harsh fumes. It brightens the surfaces like grout, tiles as well as it whitens fabrics without the need for excessive scrubbing.

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

1 thought on “Removing Stains from Hardwood Floors With Bleach”

  1. After sanding had no visible result……
    1) I tried peroxide- multiple applications over 7-10 days…very little change.
    2)I tried chlorine bleach-several applications over several days…very little change.
    3) I tried oxalic acid- first 2T in a cup of hot water…very little change. I doubled the oxalic (4T/1C water)…very little change. I used the oxalic crystals straight out of the package & scrubbed them in to the stains with a wet toothbrush…very little change.
    4) I remember years ago a furniture restorer told me to try platinum hair dye (but no instructions on how to do it). I mixed up the dye, painted it on to the stains, covered them with plastic wrap and let it sit for 24 hours. Then wiped with damp rags until all the dye residue was removed….VOILA a very good result.
    Just thought I’d share since I did an internet search about using the platinum hair dye but got no results.


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