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How to get rid of marks on your floors: Hardwood floors

June 4, 2012

Hardwood flooring can be difficult to clean using traditional methods as the soft nature of wood makes abrasive cleaners and chemicals generally a no-no. We’ve taken the most common marks found on hardwood floors to give you our advice on removing these marks safely.

Scuff Marks

As you contemplate the scuff marks on your wood floors after last night’s dinner party, you begin to realize why they never let you wear street shoes in gym class.

Luckily, it’s easy to learn how to get scuff marks off hardwood floors using everyday non-chemical household items!

If you have scuff marks on your hardwood flooring, the trick is to rub them off using something that won’t damage your flooring. As always, try these methods on an inconspicuous part of your floor before you try to remove a stain.

Tennis Balls
One method of removing scuff marks from hardwood flooring is to use an old (but clean) tennis ball. With a sharp knife, carefully cut a 1-inch “X” in the surface of the tennis ball. Place the tennis ball over the end of a mop or broom handle.

Gently, by firmly scrub the scuff mark with the tennis ball covered handle.

Another method for removing scuff marks from hardwood flooring is to use a large, pink pencil eraser. Make sure the eraser is free from pencil marks or other dirt (a new eraser is the safest) before attempting to remove the scuff mark. Avoid plastic or gritty erasers.

Wipe the scuff mark with a damp sponge, and then rub the eraser over the scuff mark.


Stains on a hardwood floor are every home owners’ nightmare! They can be unsightly and often quite impossible to remove. When considering what to do with stubborn stains on your hardwood floor, we suggest two possible solutions:

Firstly you’d need to see how deep the stains were. If the stains are shallow (ie have not penetrated very far into the wood) you may be able to simply sand them off and repolish and varnish. It’s best to get professionals in to do this work, as matching freshly sanded areas of your floor with the rest can be a bit tricky!

If the stains are quite deep (a fair bit below the surface) you’d probably need to replace those individual pieces. If the stains are simply surface stains, try using a sharpened blade or putty knife and some mild soapy water.

Tape Marks

Tape marks left on a hardwood floor create a dark area due to debris clinging to the sticky surface. One way to remove tape marks is to sand the sticky surface, stain and seal. However, this tedious process is unnecessary when several natural products provide the same result.

Baking Soda

Firstly sweep the area and remove all debris then pour 2 tablespoons of baking soda into a sauce bowl. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of water to create a baking soda paste the consistency of stiff mashed potatoes.

Once this is ready, rub the baking soda paste onto the sticky area. Allow the past to dry for approximately 10 minutes. Dampen a lint-free cloth with water. Rub over the baking soda paste to remove the baking soda and unwanted tape residue.

Mineral Oil

Saturate a small area of a lint free cloth with the mineral. Rub the mineral oil over the surface of the tape residue using one or two fingers. Continue to rub the area until the remaining mineral oil is absorbed into the flooring and the lint-free cloth.


Pour a small amount of vegetable or olive oil over the sticky area and allow the vegetable oil to sit on the area from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Next, rub over the area to remove the tape marks. Continue to rub the area until the remaining vegetable or olive oil is absorbed into the flooring and the lint-free cloth.


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