5 Tips To Get Pet Stains Out Of A Wood Floor

26 May 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Accidents happen, especially if you have young pets or an older one. Cleaning up isn't usually difficult on hardwood floors if you catch the accident early, but it can lead to major damage if you don't notice it for awhile. Staining, odors, and mold are just a few problems that can occur, either from the initial puddle or from a botched cleaning attempt.

#1: Check the Damage

Urine stains typically turn hardwood floors white or black. The white discoloration usually occurs only when the urine has soaked into the poly finish. Black means the urine breached the poly and has stained the floorboard.

Mold damage can occur if the floor remains damp, either from the urine or an improper cleaning attempt. Mold is typically greenish-black. It may form as a residue on the surface of the floor, or it can work its way into the floorboards.

#2: Buff It Out

Your first cleaning attempt should be simply sanding the floor. White stains that are in the poly finish typically sand right out, since the urine didn't soak into the board. These are by far the simplest stains to remove. Black stains, which caused the wood to discolor, may sand out if the urine didn't penetrate deeply. Otherwise, the dark area may be permanent.

Mold stains usually don't penetrate much further than the wood's surface if you catch it early. The main concern is with spreading the mold spores to nearby, unaffected wood boards. If you have mold, wipe the area with a 10 percent bleach solution first to kill the spores, then try to sand out the stain.

#3: Try a Bleach

Wood bleaches can lighten, and in some cases completely remove, dark urine or mold stains on the floors. A wood bleach also takes the place of a 10 percent bleach solution if you are trying to kill mold spores.

These bleaches are caustic, so make sure you follow the specific safety, mixing, and application instructions for the particular product, since these may vary between manufacturers. Wood bleaches will lighten the entire board, so staining and sealing the entire floor is usually necessary so all the floorboards match afterward.

#4: Make Sure It's Dry

You got the stain out and now you are ready to refinish the floors. Not so fast! First, make sure the wood dries completely. You don't want to trap moisture under the finish, this will just lead to a future mold issue. You can use a moisture meter to monitor how dry the floor is before you seal.

#5: Restain or Replace

There are still options if you couldn't remove the stain completely. You can stain the floor a darker color, which will camouflage the stain. Another option is to cut out the damaged floorboards and replace them with new ones. Although more expensive, this may be the only option if extensive staining or mold growth has occurred.