Dealing with Spills and Stains

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Wax the affected area using a soft, clean cloth. Repair with a touch-up kit for urethane finishes, available from any wood flooring retailer.

Dried Milk or Food Stains

Gently rub with a damp cloth, then rub dry and wax. Use a cleaner developed specifically for urethane finishes. For stubborn spots, scrub using the urethane cleaner and a scrub pad made for urethane floors.

Water Stains or White Spots

Rub the spot with #000 steel wool and wax. If this fails, lightly sand with fine sandpaper and clean the area using #00 steel wool and mineral spirits or a wood floor cleaner. Allow the floor to dry, then stain, wax, and hand buff.

Heel Scuffs

Rub in a small amount of wax with fine steel wool and hand buff to a shine.

Mold or Mildew

Rub with a wood cleaner using a soft, clean cloth. Use a cleaner developed for urethane finishes. If the mold or mildew lies underneath the surface finish, sand and refinish the area.

Chewing Gum, Crayon, or Candle Wax

Apply a plastic bag filled with ice until the gum is brittle enough to crumble off. (Solvent-based wax can also be applied to loosen the deposit.) Remove crayon or candle wax by placing an ink blotter on the wax and applying a hot pressing iron to the top of the blotter.

Oil and Grease Stains

First rub area with kitchen soap having a high lye content or saturate cotton with hydrogen peroxide and place over the stain. Then saturate a second layer of cotton with ammonia and place over the first. Repeat until stain is removed. Let the area dry and then hand buff.

Dark Spots and Ink Stains

Try the water stains or white spots treatment. If the spot remains, apply a household bleach or vinegar and allow it to soak for an hour. Rinse with a damp cloth, wipe dry and smooth with fine sandpaper. Stain, wax and hand buff.

Wax Buildup

Strip the old wax away with odorless mineral spirits or a wood floor product made for stripping wax. Use cloth and fine steel wool to remove all residue. After the floor is dry, wax and buff.