Help me identify this stain on wooden floor
September 12, 2017 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Dear MeFites, yesterday I arrived to our family condo to find two stains of unknown origin on the wooden floor, probably left by one of the holiday guests. Are there any wood-experts who would know how to remove them? Links to pics inside!

Image 1, Image 2

It's non lacquered, oiled oak floor.

I think the edges look a bit too "blunt" for it to be water, but other than that I don't really know what to do about them. Does anyone have hints on how to proceed?

Thanks a lot in advance!
posted by mathiu to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
I'm not a wood expert, but it looks like something oily (greasy food or salad dressing maybe?).

I would try cleaning with some sort of grease-cutting dish soap as a first step.
posted by pantarei70 at 8:22 AM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: And on a related note: these are water stains near the door - any idea on removing these?
posted by mathiu at 8:27 AM on September 12, 2017

Oh dear. I hope you get better advice, but you may need to sand these stains out (We just refinished hardwood floors and installed engineered hardwood, so I've been reading a lot about this stuff). In any case, once you get the stains out, I would think that you should re-oil the floors or consider an even more impenetrable protecting coat such a polyurethane.
posted by kitcat at 8:40 AM on September 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

I would suggest putting down some regular powder, baby powder, and let the clay component take up what is there. Then I would suggest you Murphy's Oil Soap, mop the whole floor, and re-oil it with whatever oil you have been using, orange oil, or again, whatever oil you have been using.
posted by Oyéah at 8:51 AM on September 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Ok, I have to retract what I said about polyurethane. I feel like it's impenetrable because it's essentially a plastic coating and nothing's getting through that - but it's less durable and frankly, the oil looks much nicer.

For the oil stains, these seem like well-thought out instructions.

For the water stains, I'm stumped. Maybe you could lightly sand and then apply more oil and everything will blend in together?

Finally, you can try calling one of the companies that make products for wood floors, to get their advice. I know of Minwax and Bona.
posted by kitcat at 8:55 AM on September 12, 2017

Wash the water stains with whatever you wash your floors with, then hit those areas with the heat of a hairdryer. The hairdryer is the trick for water stains on finished furniture, but I feel confident it will help oiled floors, too.

Um, no detergent on the oil stains. Instead, get some pure bentonite clay powder from the healthfood store and put that over the oil stains.

That said, the first thing I noticed from your pic was that your floors were untreated. Get some linseed oil and get to work! I'm pretty sure the oil stains would be undetectable if you treated your floors.
posted by jbenben at 9:23 AM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

jbenben and kitcat have it. Once you've dealt with the stains, treat your floors. Oak is light and easily stained. BLO is cheap and easy to apply and looks great, just be careful storing the rags.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:56 AM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

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