Whether you need to remove a stain or refresh the space, bleaching hardwood can get you results.
Bleaching hardwood floors is a chemical process to lighten the color of the wood. Sometimes your hardwood floors become discolored with age or accidental stains. Occasionally, homeowners choose to lighten their floors in preparation for special finishes, such as antiquing or pickling.
Learn how to bleach your hardwood floors, including what type of bleach to use, to get the job done correctly.
Types of wood bleachThere are three types of bleach you can use on wood: chlorine bleach, “two-part” (peroxide) bleaches and oxalic acid. Not all bleaches are interchangeable. The best bleach for your floor depends on the source of color you seek to remove. The challenge, then, is to know what made the stain and which bleach is appropriate.
3 Primary Types of Cleaner Options:
1. Chlorine bleach
2. Two-part bleaches
3. Ozalic acid
Instruction for best use below
(originally published on Zillow.com)
Bleach application and safety guidelinesBefore applying any bleaching agent to your hardwood floors, consider the size of the area you wish to bleach and the condition of your floor, along with the nature of the bleach itself. Any bleach will deteriorate the wood slightly. The chemically weakened wood fibers are more susceptible to wear and tear from foot traffic. For this reason, many professionals discourage bleaching wood floors.
Bleaching stains isn’t as destructive as bleaching the entire floor to remove wood color, since it involves a limited area. It’s also much easier: You must remove the finish — either with a stripper or by sanding — before applying wood bleach.
When spot-bleaching your hardwood floor, you may be able to remove the finish only in the affected area, bleach and neutralize the treatment, then refinish the surface and blend it in with the surrounding floor — provided you have matching finish products.
For extensive stains, or if you’re unable to match the finish, you may choose to strip the entire floor before bleaching.
Here are some other application and safety tips to consider:
How to strip, bleach and neutralize your floorIf you’re lucky, you know exactly what made the stain and which bleach to use as a result. In some cases, finding the right bleach is more a process of elimination.
Start with chlorine bleach and progress to oxalic acid if necessary. If your wood is finished, you’ll have to strip your wood and then neutralize the bleach.
Here’s how to strip, bleach and neutralize your hardwood floor:
In some cases, the stain or color may not lift. Feel free to try successive bleach treatments, but at some point you may need to settle for what you achieve. Consider alternatives to bleaching when the results are less than what you prefer.
Jessica Bordelon, Agent,