White Stains On Waxed Wood Floor


We have these large stains, which are white in color. We were told that it has something to do with the wax finish being discolored. What can we do without calling in an expert who will charge us a high rate for repair work? Does this wax finish need to be removed and if so how can we do that? Thanks a lot.


Dear Tom

You almost never need an expert to fix up a waxed floor. And you may find that most experts of wood flooring don’t know anything about waxed floor anyway. But you are lucky, I do!

You should be able to remove the spot with a bit of odorless mineral spirits and a white rag. You may have to use a fine abrasive pad if this proves not to work, but still the odorless mineral spirits to dissolve the old wax and work at the spot.

If this has worked, you might in this case do the same treatment to the whole floor. You should always remove most if not all the wax on these types of floors about once a year. I describe this in more detail, in the second part of the wood floor maintenance article, which can be found in the search box at the top of the web page. And I suggest a few brands of wood floor wax, that should be readily available, in your area.

Now that all said, if after scrubbing it with solvent and a mild abrasive pad (fine steel wool, or fine nylon) the white spot still doesn’t come out, you may have to apply a bit of wood stain to color in the spot. Try a small can of Behr brand stain (from Home Depot), about the same color of the good parts of your floor. Because the wood is not bare, you may not have much success with this, and may end up having to sand (with 120 grit) the spot to the bare wood, and then re-seal the wood, then wax.

If you have sanded to the bare wood, and re-stained the spot (let the stain dry a few days), you will have to use a bit of urethane to re-seal the wood in just that area. This is a bit tricky, but just apply a dab with a rag. Let this dry for about a week. Then buff the spot smooth. Then you can re-wax the spot or the whole floor. Be careful not to get any of the polyurethane on the waxed areas, else it won’t dry.

If this happens to be a urine stain, let me know (smell it) and you may have to bleach it out. Be sure to read the second half of the cleaning article, it deals with the maintenance of floors like yours.