How to Remove Black Stains from Wood


Wooden items look great, but they can get stained. Although it is relatively easy to remove water stains, this is not the case with dark, black stains. Black stains usually occur because of condensation from drinking glasses placed on wood tables or pet urine on hardwood flooring. Black stains can get soaked into the wood and require special trick to eliminate them. Thankfully, you can use several techniques to remove black stains from wood. The following are the strategies you can use to achieve your goals:

Using hydrogen peroxide to clean the wood

Dip a cloth inside a solution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Avoid using a stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide because it can lighten the wood too much or discolor it. According to Wikihow, this strategy works on unfinished and finished wood and does not discolor the finish. Press the cloth on the stain, and then rub it a little bit over the stain so that the stain gets wet. Lay the cloth over the stain and press it gently so that the peroxide can soak into the wood. The cloth needs to cover the stain for several hours. For the best outcome, let the cloth sit over the stain overnight. If this treatment works, the stain should be gone completely or should be lighter. If the stain does not go, you can apply the peroxide treatment one or two times again.

Using wood bleach products

This is the other strategy you can use to eliminate back stains on hardwood flooring. It is ideal to use when you require a stronger strain eliminator if the strain is stubborn. Wood bleaching products are designed to lighten wood and, in the process, eliminate the watermark or other blemish. You can use various kinds of bleach. One of them is household bleach which is a weak bleach which can remove food spills, ink stains and blood stains among others. You can use chlorine in this case. You can also use oxalic acid to eliminate the black stains from wood. This is a moderate acid, which treats black water spots, aged black discolorations and rust stains. Wood bleaches work best to strip wooden items of their finish or sand the section in order for them to penetrate. As you sand, utilize fine-grit sandpaper so that it does not damage the wood. Wipe the wood clean before you apply the bleach. Once the bleaching process ends, you can refinish and then seal the surface to protect it. Read the instructions of the manufacturer before using bleach on the wood. Also wear gloves to prevent the bleach from getting into direct contact with your body.

Sanding and refinishing

In the opinion of, certain stains are more daunting to eliminate despite the products you use. This can be the case if you are dealing with dried paint or established mold. You can choose to sand and refinish a hardwood if the stains have penetrated the finish’s surface layer and not deep into the wood, but are difficult to remove. Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the hardwood but do not get deep inside the wood. After removing the stain, you can refinish and then seal the wood. The are area you have sanded might appear slightly different from the rest of the flooring. If animal urine caused the staining, the area can have a bad odor and you may need to apply a deodorizing agent. Floor cleaners that are specially formulated to eliminate pet odors and stains are available.

Replacement of the stained wood

Some stains can penetrate a wood’s top layer and ruin or change its appearance. An illustration is the type of dark water stains which form when water seeps down into wood for a period before you notice it or the pet urine gets absorbed and reacts with the wood. It may be costly to replace the boards or planks because you need an expert to do it. You may need to replace a section or the whole floor based on the extent of the destruction.

Using oxalic acid

According to, prolonged exposure to water can cause iron oxide stains in wood. They usually appear black in color. The iron oxide reacts with the tannins inside the wood, staining it black in the process. Wood can also get stained black in the same manner, and it is known as ebonizing. Some of the supplies and materials you need to remove stains using oxalic acid include water, a powdered metal polish that contains oxalic such as Red Bear or Bar Keeper’s Friend, paper towels, nylon brush, plastic paint scraper and chip brush. Assessing the stain before removal is vital. If it is almost black, it might have happened due to water exposure or ink. This strategy works to eliminate dark iron oxide stains. For other stains, it is more effective to sand, bleach or refinish them. If the wood contains a polyurethane finish or other kind of surface coating, and you view a stain, it is stained beneath it and you need to remove the coating first. If the wood is raw or has an oil finish, you should not do anything to prepare the surface. Use water and Bar Keeper’s Friend to make a paste until you get a consistency to work with. The ratios are not essential, but you should not let it become too wet. Too much water can raise the wood’s grain. You should let the paste sit on the wood’s surface. It is not necessary to soak it in. Wipe the paste on the stained area and wait until the paste dries. As it dries, the paste should turn slightly yellow and this is a good sign. You should then scrape it off. If the stain still remains, make several additional applications until the stains are mostly gone. When this happens, you’ll notice that the cleaned area will be lighter than the other areas.

Regular cleaning

Knowing the best way to clean wooden flooring regularly can also help you avoid the hustle of eliminating ingrained stains. If dirt eats into the finish and gets difficult to eliminate, it can cause stubborn stains. It is advisable to sweep hardwood flooring daily to eliminate loose debris and dust. Also, mop it weekly and avoid cleaning strategies that can cause water to pool on the surface.

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