I love hardwood floors as much as the next person, but over time, they can get pretty scuffed up with normal wear and tear. Not to worry, though — with the right products and techniques, removing scuff marks from your wood floors isn't too difficult. You can keep your floors looking clean and shiny for years to come!
Methods to Remove Scuff Marks From Hardwood Floors
Luckily, there are quite a few ways to remove scuff marks from your hardwood floors using common household products. You don't always need to buy a special product for the job. These are some of our superstars for removing scuff marks from your beautiful wood floors.
- Rubber eraser
- Rubber-soled shoe
- Toothpaste or baking soda
- Magic eraser (melamine sponge)
- Fine steel wool
- Mineral spirits (Naptha)
You can use a regular pink pencil eraser, although there are special hard-rubber erasers designed especially for floor cleaning that work well on stubborn marks. These can cause dulling of protective finishes if used repeatedly, so use with caution.
WD-40 is a well-loved product — it's safe to use and can also help give your wood some shine. It works best on light scuff marks. Make sure to clean your floors after using — the WD-40 will make them extra slippery!
If you're in a hurry and don't have an eraser, sometimes putting on rubber-soled shoes and twisting one of them over the scuff mark will do the trick. This is usually my husband's go-to method, so I've seen it work to my surprise. Just don't use black, rubber-soled shoes on light wood finishes.
Toothpaste or Baking Soda
Baking soda is known for its multipurpose cleaning power, and that includes scuff marks! Toothpaste works, too. These are two of the mildest abrasives around.
Use a clean, damp cloth or an old, moistened toothbrush to apply either product to the scuff mark. Rub gently with the grain of the wood. Note that if your wood is scratched or pitted, toothpaste and baking soda can leave a chalky residue that's hard to remove.
Magic Eraser (Melamine Sponge)
Rub the scuff mark with a damp Magic Eraser along the grain of the wood according to the manufacturer's instructions. These new-style cleaners look smooth and safe, and they usually are, but repeated use can dull surfaces, including wood.
Fine Steel Wool
For very stubborn marks on dark wood, you can try fine steel wool. Use only the finest (#000 or #0000). It can cause dulling and abrade the wood. If you wax your floor, try coating the wool in a waxing solution before you begin.
Mineral Spirits (Naptha)
Use mineral spirits to wipe scuff marks gently with a clean cloth. This is a caustic, flammable substance, so use caution.
Specialty Products to Remove Scuff Marks From Wood Floors
If you prefer to use a product made just for removing scuffs from hardwood floors, that's fine, too! There are some quality options to choose from or products that will help restore your floors after using a different scuff-removal method.
Hardwood Floor Care Cleaners
Using a hardwood floor care cleaner is often the first step in removing a scuff and in some cases, it's all that you need. Find a formula specifically made for hardwood floors.
- Bruce hardwood floor cleaner is specifically designed for hardwood and laminate floors. Apply it to a clean, soft cloth and rub the scuffed spot. It doesn't require any rinsing and won't leave residue. If the scuff marks are deep or scratched, you may need to continue with a concealer product.
- Bona makes an entire hardwood floor care system, including a floor cleaner that may remove minor scuff marks. It works on all types of wood. To use it, apply it to a soft cloth and rub the scuff mark until it lifts. No rinsing required!
If the cleaner alone doesn't work, the next step is to try a scuff eraser.
Oxo Good Grips makes a floor duster with a built-in scuff remover. To use the eraser, step on the pedal to remove the duster and then use the eraser on the handle to scrub away scuff marks.
For deep scratches or scuff marks that won't come off, you can always try a concealer. While this doesn't technically "remove" the scuff marks, it does hide them or minimize their appearance.
- ScratchAway concealing spray reduces the visibility of scratches on hardwood and laminate floors (bonus — it also works on countertops). It contains oils and polymers that sink in to hide the raw white appearance of scratches and scuffs. To use it, simply spray it on, allow it to soak in, and wipe it away.
- WearMax scratch concealer removes the unsightly whiteness from fresh scratches and scuffs and repairs the top coat of pre-sealed hardwood floors. To use it, apply it, rub it in a circular motion, and cure under a lamp for four hours.
Hardwood floors are beautiful, and scuff marks are bound to happen. They just require a little TLC to keep them in tip-top shape. With a little time and effort, you can keep yours in good condition by removing scuff marks that are bound to happen.