What Causes White Spots on Hardwood Floors and How to Remove? – Home Care Q&A

As an owner of a glistening new flooring set, you should be knowledgeable at maintaining it. It can be quite hard to determine every single little accident that can happen on your hardwood floor, but fixing its stains is one thing you should prioritize.

With that said, do you know what causes white spots on hardwood floors and how to remove them yet? If the answer is “no,” please read this article to prevent white stains from appearing on your floor!

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What Causes White Spots On Hardwood Floors?

There are two main reasons why there’s a white spot on your hardwood floor: heat and moisture. If you’re not sure which reason it is, then you can backtrack. I usually check my behavior in the past week to see. 

Did you put your pizza boxes right underneath your dining table last night, and now there’s a mark there? Did you spill your tea on that same spot on your way to your room again? Acquiring answers from questions like these should let you know that white stains on hardwood are caused by heat and/or moisture. 

The stains usually have a blurred outline, implying that liquids or air particles are the reason behind it. Even if you have protective coatings on your floorboards, you can still see white stains ruining the color harmony.

Typically, manufacturers put a sheer layer of polyurethane on the wood to protect it from staining and common damage. However, if you spill something onto the planks and don’t mop it up in time, the liquid will seep in-between the coating and the wood itself and cause white stains to appear.

Other factors to white stains forming are alcohols, perfumes, and medicines. Professionals suggest that homeowners line their furniture and food with towels not to scratch the wood surface and prevent stains from appearing.

Now that the causes are out of the way let’s discuss how to get rid of white stains on hardwood floors once you have them.


How To Remove White Spots On Hardwood Floors

Dry The Surface:

Once I have realized what causes white stains, I first try to dry them properly. This primary method removes stains and prevents them from even happening in the first place since white stains are caused by heat and moisture. 

Right when you drop liquids on the floorboards, you should clean them up carefully with a towel. But if there is still a white stain appearing, you can plug in a blow dryer and hover it atop the stain. The heat from your blow dryer is not enough to cause a stain to appear, so do not worry about it too much!

Use Commercial Products:

If you don’t want to hunch over the floor and blow-dry half the floor, you can always opt to remove the stains with commercial products. The market has presented you with an array of different specialized products to help you maintain a beautiful floor, and now you will have to make a choice.

Watermark removers are viable and functional options for you. I have to take a few minutes to consult the product’s instructions to learn how to use it properly, as each substance may behave differently, calling for a different approach. You generally want to prepare a pair of gloves and a face mask in case of fumes.

However, if you want something more niche, you should get a hardwood floor cleaning solution made specifically for this occasion and more. The product is as simple as spraying the spot a few times, letting it soak, and wiping it off with a damp cloth afterward. 

Use Magic Erasers:

Another great product for you to try on your floor is the Magic Eraser. I’m sure that there are many of these types of products at your nearby hardware store or supermarket for you to choose from. Magic Erasers are quite easy to use, as you only have to dampen the product a little and scrub gently along the wood’s fiber grain.

They are rather gentle, though, so for tougher stains, you might need to apply it repeatedly, up to 3 tries. If you think that your floor is a little worn and weak, this is a good product to go for!

Use Mayonnaise:

It’s a rather unconventional method, but it has worked for many and me. Using mayonnaise seems like a weird idea until you realize that the condiment comprises eggs, oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. Without eggs, the mixture resembles a furniture polisher, which is exactly what we need!

Here’s how you should go about it:

  • Put a little bit of mayonnaise on a cloth or a rag of your choice, and apply it directly to the white stain. Rather than applying the condiment directly onto the floor and attracting ants, you should cover something on top of it.
  • Let the product sit on the stain for an hour. Examine it closely, so it does not dry up and stain your floor.
  • If the product looks dry, you can put a little more mayonnaise on the lump to maintain the product.
  • After you’re done with these steps, you can safely wipe the mayo from your floor with a clean patch of that same cloth or rag. 

If you want to up your game, you can mix some cooled ashes from your cigarette and watch while it does its magic!

Use Toothpaste:

Another alternative product to save you a trip from the store is white toothpaste! Same as before, you only have to put a little dot onto a rag and buff it gently along with the wood’s pattern. This simple method should eliminate any stains from your hardwood floor.

If you want to be extra careful, adding baking soda into the mix can upgrade the toothpaste’s effectiveness. 

Use Salt & Oil:

If you happen to spot a white stain while cooking, why not use your ingredients to get rid of the pesky watermark? All I’m suggesting you do is make a simple mixture of salt and olive oil, and it is ready to be soaked into the floor for around 15 to 20 minutes. If you do not have olive oil, you can substitute it with any other type of vegetable oil.

You can also skip the oil and add densely mixed saltwater directly onto the floorboards.

Use Baking Soda:

Baking soda can work magic on any stains

Aside from assisting toothpaste in cleaning stains, baking soda can act independently and take the problems off your wooden floorboards! You should mix equal parts water to equal parts water to form a thick bubbling paste for this remedy. After that, you can use a cloth or a rag to dip into the mix and rub it softly onto the grains of the wood.

I depend on this kitchen-friendly concoction. This method is great for busy people since you can apply baking soda and leave it there to soak overnight for the best result. Once you wake up, simply wipe the floor with a cotton cloth or the same one you have been using, and you will have a shining floor staring back at you!

Use Vinegar:

As discussed before, with mayonnaise, a mix of vinegar and oil is essentially floor polish. In this method, you can safely save the sauce for your dining table and make a simplified version of it for your floor. You can take out a bowl and pour white vinegar and olive oil into it. Make sure the two ingredients are mixed in a 1:1 ratio.

Afterward, you only have to rub it into the grain and clean up as usual as I did!

Homemade remedies are always convenient, so most homeowners often opt for these methods instead of commercial solutions. So if you do not want to go to the store and ponder between countless bottles, try using the ingredients in your kitchen!

Use An Iron:

Using an iron can also help you remove these pesky white stains. But rather than pressing the iron straight onto the wood and potentially burning it, you should put a cotton cloth on top of it and work slowly on it. The iron should be on its lowest settings to be extremely safe.

I made the mistake of setting the iron too high and ended up leaving a black burnt spot on the floor instead.


Final Note

Those are the concise answers to “What causes white spots on hardwood floors and how to remove them?”

Be sure to consult this guide before freaking out and replacing your floorboards; because you are going to be just fine with these tips! Good luck with your work on the flooring!

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