There are two things that hardwood floor owners fear the most: red wine and tomato sauce. Whereas dings, dents, and scratches can add character to hardwood, stains are unsightly and a great annoyance to any homeowner. Removing stains can be difficult, especially if you aren’t an expert. When your floor is stained, many homeowners – to their detriment – turn to the Internet for advice, and in some cases are steered in the wrong direction, ending up with a bigger problem than the original stain. Here’s our advice for dealing with red wine and tomato sauce stains on your hardwood floors.

Fixing stains on hardwood floors

If a red wine stain damages the finish of your floors, get a professional to help you fix the stain.

Why red wine and tomato sauce are a problem for hardwood

The reason that tomato sauce and red wine are such a problem for hardwood floors is that they are both acidic. Acid is not good for hardwood floors, as it can ruin the finish and cause an even bigger stain. For homeowners with lighter wood floors, this can be a bigger problem than those with dark wood floors. Dark wood is better at hiding the stain, whereas, as you can imagine, light floors will show a red stain much more prominently.

Fixing stains on hardwood floors

If you spill wine or anything with a tomato base on your floors, the more quickly you wipe up the spill, the less damage is done. Use a dry, soft towel and pat the floor dry. Do not wipe, as this can cause the spill and the stain to grow bigger, and may even push the stain deeper into your floors. A dry cloth is always better, but if the stain has already dried, you may need to use a little water to lift the spill.

Avoid using acid to clean the stain

Cleaning tomato stain from wood floors

Tomatoes are acidic and can ruin the finish of your floors.

Some will tell you that you can use a hydrogen peroxide or a white vinegar solution to lift the stain from your floors. However, we do not recommend using any acidic cleaning product, no matter how natural, to lift a stain. All you will end up doing is ruining the finish even further, leaving a larger and more noticeable stain. Plus, if you end up damaging the floor finish, your floors are now even more vulnerable to further spills.

Professional sanding and finishing services

For smaller stains, you may be able to hide them under a strategically placed rug or move some furniture so that it isn’t so noticeable. However, if it’s in the middle of the floor, it’s going to look suspicious to have a floor lamp placed in the center of the room. However, if the finish has been damaged and the stain has soaked into the wood, the best thing you can do is to have a professional hardwood flooring contractor come and sand and refinish the damaged area. Sanding and refinishing are harder than you think, and a professional will be able to remove the stain and finish the area to perfectly match the rest of your floors.

If you have unsightly stains on your hardwood floors, schedule a free consultation with a Colorado wood flooring expert about the best options for removing the stain and making your floors look beautiful again.