State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500365
Wood Floors - Spots and Scratches
Black heel marks and other stubborn spots can often be removed by
rubbing gently with fine steel wool and the solvent-based wax used on
Dark spots on wood floors are often caused by exposure to alkaline
substances, which were allowed to dry on the floor. To get rid of these
spots: remove solvent based wax with mineral spirits; this is a
flammable solvent so be very careful; have adequate ventilation, and be
sure there is no spark or flame in the area. Apply white vinegar to
spots and leave it there for three of four minutes; and wipe dry with a
clean cloth. Repeat this procedure, if necessary. If several
applications of vinegar do not remove the spot, you might try a four
percent oxalic acid solution. When using oxalic acid, read the label
and observe all cautions. Oxalic acid is poisonous! If oxalic acid
solution does not work, you should consider calling in a professional
Scratches and small worn areas on wood floors can often be concealed by
applying a small amount of wax with very fine steel wool to the floor.
Apply the wax in the direction of the wood grain wherever possible and
rub it in gently until the color blends with the floor. Wipe off any
excess, then polish the area with a clean, dry cloth. Wax, alone, will
work well for light to medium-colored floors.
This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus
with references from the Floor Maintenance Manual, Chemical Specialties
Manufacturers Association Inc.
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June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
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