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How to Get Scratches out of Wood Floors?

Scratches are a natural pain associated with wood floors that easily occur on the surface of the floors. There comes the question: how to get scratches out of wood floors?

There are many ways not only to remove but alternatively hide these marks. Before getting into detail, note that our floors are delicate, it is important to conserve them. Here are guides and tips on how to get scratches out of wood floors.


How to Remove Scratches from Hardwood Floors?

how to take scratches out of hardwood floors

Wood is a fascinating and expensive choice of flooring. However, simple things like scratches could effortlessly ruin their elegance.

To properly get these scratches out, you’d better consider the type of floor finishing first. To help you with this, here is a list of the most popular types of floor finishes.

After determining your type of floor, finish proceeding to determine the scratch’s type or extent. And determine how serious or damaging the scratch is. It could either be a minor or deep scratch.

Below is a list of types of scratches and how to remove them.

  • Superficial scratches
These are scratches that appear on the surface or the finish of the wood floor. They are easily removed and do not involve a lot of work.

There are many ways to remove superficial surfaces; here is one of the easiest ways to perform this.

  • Step 1: Gently clean the area around the scratch.

To do so, use a soft rag and a floor-friendly wood cleaner to ensure there is no dust or dirt in the surrounding. Rinse the wood cleaner with a clean sponge.

  • Step 2: Use a wax stick to fill in the scratch.

Gently rub the wax stick over the scratch in the direction of the grain until it is filled.

  • Step 3: Buff the scratch, use a cloth to rub back and forth over the area.

This aims to ensure that the wax is smoother and no excess wax is left on the surface.

  • Minor scratches

how to get light scratches out of hardwood floors
These are deeper scratches that have penetrated the surface and coating of the wood. To remove these scratches, follow these steps.

  • Step 1: Clean the surface around the scratch.

Use proper wood cleaners that are mild to avoid damaging the floor. This also ensures that we are no dust or debris near the scratch.

  • Step 2: Use a ball of steel wool.

Gently rub the area and follow the grain of the wood rubbing against the grain of the wood increases marks and makes the characters more noticeable.

Carefully feather the edges using the steel wool to a minimum, though, to prevent them from being noticed.

  • Step 3: Cover the scratch with the wax stick.

Allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes afterward; use a soft cloth to buff the area and allow it to shine.

If you do not have a glossy polyurethane floor, use paste wax after the wax stick to make the area less noticeable.

  • Deep scratches or gauges

Talk off the nightmare of scratches on hardwood floors. Deep scratches or gauges require a lot of work to remove and hide or cover.

In most situations, this type of scratch requires you to sand the area, repair and refinish it, and as if to add insult to injury, in some circumstances, you have to redo the whole floor; it sounds like hell, right?

Well, since you are confused on the way forward with such scratches, here are two approaches you may take.

First, you may choose to refinish the whole floor. You can pick this approach if and only if a larger percentage of your floor is covered in deep scratches.

This method involves complete sanding and refinishing of your wood floors. This method of scratch removal is not advisable for engineered wood floors.

Secondly, you can always choose to refinish parts of your floors that have been primarily affected by the deep scratches. This can be achieved by following these easy steps.

  • Step 1: Clear the work surface using cleaners to keep off dust and dirt.
  • Step 2: Soak a scouring pad with mineral spirits, then gently rub the scratch with the pad.
  • Step 3: Do this for a while, then finally dry and wipe off the surface.
  • Step 4: Use a colored wood putty that matches the floor’s appearance and place it carefully on the floor with a plastic putty knife.
  • Step 5: After the putty hardens, smoothen the surface with sandpaper and alloy a fresh coat of polyurethane.
  • Engineering wood floors

how to get small scratches out of wood floor

Engineered wood floors have been hyped time and again, especially on their durability and long-lasting effect. Despite this, they are still prone to scratches. Here are a few pointers on how to execute this.

  • Step 1: Clear the area where the scratches are by moving rugs or chairs that might be blocking the area.
  • Step2: Apply to rub alcohol to a washcloth and wipe the scratch and the surrounding area.
  • Step3: Deep the cotton swab in alcohol and rub the swab along the length of the scratch.

Using a plastic putty knife takes small amounts of wax and pushes it in the scratches; however, always ensure the wax matches the floor’s appearance.

Alternatively, there are other ways to remove the scratches,

  1. Use steel wool and gently rub in the direction of the wood grain.
  2. Use wood fillers, though be careful to match your floor’s color and the wood filler.
  • Solid wood flooring

There are several ways to remove scratches from solid wood. These methods range from using steel wool all the way to using wood fillers. Below are the best ways to tackle these scratches.

  • Method1: Use of iodine

This method is ideal for dark wood finishes only. Mix iodine and antiseptic solution and then use a cotton swab to put a few drops on the scratch. Wipe any of the excess iodine to avoid staining the wood.

  • Method2: Use mineral oil and pumice.

Mix the mineral oil and pumice to form a powder paste. Use steel wool to rub the paste on the scratched area gently. After a while, use a damp towel to wipe off the area and gently proceed to buff with the dry towel.

  • Dog scratches

The most effective way to deal with this type of scratches is to clip your dog’s nails. But just in case you forgot to clip the nails, here is a way to remove the scratches effectively.

Use crayons. Pick a color that matches that of your floors. Carefully color in the direction of the scratch and gently blend with your fingers.

This method, however, is only effective in hiding the blemishes and not removing them.


How Do You Cover Up Scratches on Hardwood Floors?

how to take off scratches from wood floor

It is not always necessary to remove scratches, sometimes removing scratches may lead to further damage and may not be recommended where minor scratches are involved.

Here are a few die options for covering up scratches to maintain your floor’s glossy look.

Please note that you must adhere to colors in all these options and only go for those that match the color of your floor.

  • Tea

Open a used tea bag and pour its contents on the scratch. Allow it to sit for a while, preferably overnight. Sweep the remnants, and the tea leaves it’s the natural color behind.

  • Mayonnaise

Rub a little amount of the mayonnaise on the scratch with a small cloth. Allow the mayo to settle for a few hours, and then gently wipe away with a dry cloth.

  • Iron

Yes, irons are not only useful for clothes but also wood floors. Place a thick towel over the scratch and iron for more than five minutes. This, in turn, makes the scratch less noticeable.

  • Walnuts

Cut the walnut into halves and use the inside part of the walnut to rub against the scratches.

  • Vegetable oil

Rub a little vegetable oil on the scratches but do not rub it off; otherwise, it will not serve its intended purpose.

  • Use crayons

Carefully select a color that matches that of your floors. Proceed to color in the direction of the scratch and gently blend with your fingers. This method is highly effective in covering up the scratches.


What Removes Scratches from Wood Flooring?

how should you get dog scratches out of wood floor

Scratches are light irritating markings on our floors. Despite their small and light appearance, they still have major effects, especially on the floor’s appearance.

All thanks to technology and modern advances, some substances can remove scratches easily on wood floors; depending on your floor type, any of these substances may be effective.

  • Steel wool

Steel wool ineffective on all floor types, but this does not guarantee it will remove all types of scratches.

  • Wax

It also works on all types of floor provided it matches your floor color.

  • Sanding

This is the most effective but tiresome method of removing scratches. This method is not only effective in all floor types but also all types of scratches.

This method is ideal for deep scratches. If your floor was originally sealed or stained and you happened to save some, there couldn’t be a better time to use it.

Sand the area of the scratch to lessen the effect. Finally, you can reseal your floor.



Here are some frequently asked questions that may give you some help and references.

1. When to get professional help?

Most of the fix-it methods are pretty easy to execute. However, things could escalate in a matter of seconds. There are a lot of ways to easily mess up your floor when failing to adhere to simple instructions or overdo other things.

When this happens or when we are not 100% sure we can fix the floor, then it dismissively time to call in the big hands, professionals.

2. Can hardwood floor scratches be repaired?

Of course, they can, and yes, you can repair them yourself. Scratches and dents are not similar, especially when it comes to wood floors.

Scratches are light markings that mainly appear on the surface of your floor. They are very easy to repair and do not require a lot of effort.

Repairing of scratches on wood floors is made more comfortable and better since the materials we require to perform this procedure are readily available at home or around our environment.

3. Does vinegar remove deep scratches on groom wood floors?

Not surprising at all, yes vinegar can fix deep scratches on wood floors, and here is how.

Clear the surface of the wood floors, especially the area near the scratch

Mix your vinegar and olive oil and gently apply it to the scratch

Leave the mixture to settle in for a while and wipe it away.



Always deal with scratches the moment you spot them on your floor, asses the scratch and try and determine the type of scratch it is so as to address the problem safely and effectively without damaging your floor.

Also, remember that modern advances have introduced a lot of ways to deal with this problem. There is a lot o store-bought substances that can effectively deal with scratches. If you can afford them and easily use them,  go for this option since they already come with instructions on how to use them.


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