How to Bleach Dark Spots From Wood Floors

April Dowling

Wood floors are recognized for their warmth, value and long lasting durability. However, they are not imperious to dark stains from water spills, pet urine and other liquids. Dark spots are especially apparent on lighter hardwoods, but spots can ruin the appearance of any wood floor.

Cat urine can leave dark spots on wood floors.

Liquids continue to seep into wood the longer they remain on floors, making them more difficult to remove with time. Bleaching is a technique for lightening dark stains on wood floors.

  1. Put on protective clothing and rubber gloves to prevent the bleach solution from burning your skin. Open the windows in the room to increase air circulation. Use a portable fan if there are no windows.

  2. Sweep the stained area of the floor with a broom to remove dirt and other abrasive grime particles

  3. Fill a large plastic bowl with 1 cup of cool water. Add 1 cup of household bleach to the water. Thoroughly mix the solution.

  4. Dampen a cotton ball in the bleach solution. Blot the dark spot with the damp cotton ball. Do not get the bleach solution on the surrounding wood. Allow the bleach solution to soak into the dark spot for an hour.

  5. Dampen the corner of a soft, non-dyed cloth with cool water. Blot the affected area of the wood with the damp rag to rinse out the bleach solution. Thoroughly rinse out the bleach solution.

  6. Wipe the wood with a terry cloth towel until completely dry.

  7. Inspect the wood for discoloration from the bleach. If the floor is discolored, rub fine-grit sandpaper over the affected area of the wood to create a smooth base. Follow the wood grain.

  8. Dampen a soft non-dyed cloth with cool water. Wipe the sanded wood with the damp cloth to remove grit particles.

  9. Apply two coats of wood stain to the sanded wood, using a clean rag. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the can’s label. Use a color of stain that best matches the original color of the wood. Allow each coat of stain to dry according to the manufacturer’s directions.

  10. Apply a thin coat of wood floor wax over the dried stain, using another clean rag. Read the wax manufacturer’s directions on the product’s label for specific instructions. Allow the wax to dry for the recommended amount of time.

  11. Buff the wood in a circular motion using a microfiber cloth.

  12. Tip

    You can substitute an electric buffer with a lambswool applicator for the microfiber cloth.


    Do not apply wax to a urethane finish to prevent damaging the floor. Use products and techniques recommended by your flooring manufacturer to prevent damaging or discoloring the wood.