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How to Remove Scratches from Hardwood Floors

March 05, 2024 3 min read

how to repair a scratch on your hardwood floors.

How to Remove Scratches from Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a timeless and elegant addition to any home, but over time, scratches can diminish their beauty. Whether from furniture moving, pets, or general wear and tear, scratches are inevitable. However, fear not! With the right tools and techniques, you can restore your hardwood floors to their former glory. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore various methods to remove scratches from hardwood floors, from DIY remedies to professional solutions.

Assess the Damage

Before diving into the scratch removal process, it's essential to assess the extent of the damage. Determine whether the scratches are surface-level or have penetrated the wood. Surface-level scratches are typically easier to fix and may only require minor treatment, while deeper scratches may necessitate more intensive methods.

Clean the Area

Start by thoroughly cleaning the scratched area to remove any dirt, dust, or debris that could interfere with the repair process. Use a vacuum cleaner or a soft-bristled broom to sweep away loose particles. Then, mop the area with a gentlehardwood floor cleaner to remove any remaining grime.

DIY Remedies

For minor scratches, you can try several DIY remedies using household items:


Rubbing a walnut over the scratch can help disguise it. The natural oils in the walnut will darken the scratched area, making the scratch less noticeable. Simply rub the walnut back and forth over the scratch, and then buff the area with a soft cloth.

Olive Oil and Vinegar

Mix equal parts olive oil and vinegar to create a homemade scratch remover. Apply the mixture to the scratch using a soft cloth, rubbing it in gently. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then wipe away any excess with a clean cloth.

Tea Bags

Steep a black tea bag in hot water, then allow it to cool slightly. Dab the tea bag onto the scratch, letting the tannins in the tea darken the wood. Repeat as necessary until the scratch is less visible.


For deeper scratches or ones that cannot be remedied with DIY methods, sanding may be necessary. Here's how to sand hardwood floors effectively:

Gather Your Supplies

You'll need a handheldorbital sander or sandpaper, starting with a coarse grit (around 120) and progressing to finer grits (up to 220). Additionally, have a vacuum cleaner or shop vac, safety goggles, and a dust mask on hand.

Prepare the Area

Clear the room of furniture and rugs to ensure a clear workspace. Tape off any adjacent areas to protect them from dust and debris.

Sand the Scratched Area

Start with the coarsest grit sandpaper and sand the scratched area in the direction of the wood grain. Gradually switch to finer grits until the scratches are no longer visible. Be sure to vacuum the area frequently to remove dust and check your progress.

Finish with Fine Sandpaper

Once the scratches are gone, switch to a fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the area and prepare it for refinishing.


After sanding, the scratched area will need to be refinished to match the rest of the floor. Follow these steps to refinish hardwood floors:

Select a Stain

Choose a stain that matches the existing finish of your hardwood floors. Test the stain on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it matches before applying it to the scratched area.

Apply the Stain

Using a clean cloth or brush, apply the stain to the scratched area, following the manufacturer's instructions. Allow thestain to dry completely before proceeding.

Apply a Finish

Once the stain has dried, apply a protective finish to the scratched area. Polyurethane is a popular choice for hardwood floors, as it provides a durable and long-lasting finish. Apply the finish in thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

Prevent Future Scratches

To prevent future scratches and maintain the beauty of your hardwood floors, consider implementing the following preventive measures:

Use Furniture Pads

Place felt or leather pads under furniture legs to prevent them from scratching the floor when moved.Chair leg floor protectors can provide the protection needed to prevent costly repairs. 

Trim Pet Nails

Keep your pets' nails trimmed to minimize scratches caused by their claws.

Use Area Rugs

Place area rugs in high-traffic areas to protect the floor from wear and tear.

Regular Maintenance

Sweep or vacuum your hardwood floors regularly to remove dirt and debris that could cause scratches over time.

By following these steps and incorporating preventive measures, you can keep your hardwood floors looking beautiful for years to come. Remember, the key to successful scratch removal is patience and attention to detail. With the right tools and techniques, you can restore your hardwood floors to their original luster and enjoy them for years to come.