How to Get Rid of Scratches on Wood Floors?

It is better to start soon because scratches can expand and turn worse. Then, comes the quality of wood because there are different types of flooring as well. The hardwood floors are kind of easy to deal with, for example.

How to Get Rid of Scratches on Wood Floors

So, know all your options before you start.

What Finish Is on Your Floor?

The type of finish on the floors can make things easy or difficult. The degree of damage is also an important consideration when thinking of removing the scratches. In some cases, you might have to replace a part of the flooring.

First, match the type of finish you have on your floor. There are 4 to 6 different types of finishes available in the market.

  1. Oil finish, based on polyurethane
  2. Water finish, based on polyurethane
  3. Wax-based coating
  4. Varnish
  5. Al2O3, oxide of aluminum coating

Superficial scratches are easy to repair because they are not a problem. A superficial scratch is one that is affecting only the topmost layer of the wood floor. Sometimes just the upper finish and not the floor. There are tons of DIY solutions that you can try, but as always you can seek professional help too. Before we talk about any specific solution in-depth, let us browse through some general rules of thumb in the industry.

General Tips to Remove Scratches

  • Clean the spot properly with cloth, by removing all traces of grime and dust, it helps because the scratch can reduce due to cleaning.
  • A small DIY solution like a mix of apple vinegar and olive oil can help often with minor scratches.
  • Because you have scratches on the wood, get some blending pencil as they help mix or fill the scratch by darkening the wood.
  • Light and superficial scratches can be removed using a finish restorer as well because adding another layer can help remove the marks.
  • Or, you can entirely take a new coat of finish wax, polyurethane, etc to remove medium scratches, because then it is more effective than small DIY repairs. Make sure that it matches with the original though.
  • But, if there are lots of scratches all around, then it is best to consult professionals. Because, they will sand and finish the surface, and reapply the finishing solution.
  • If there are wide gouges, then you can use wood fillers because they are better than any finish you can apply. It will stop the scratches from getting worse, deeper, and wider.
  • Sanding down the imperfections or wider scratches before applying filer, or finish is generally a good idea for medium to worse scratch. Flatten the floor properly before making any fix.
  • Finally, comes the stage when no longer the above solutions will work because the certain section of the wooden floor is pretty badly damaged. Then, replace the patches of the wood floor, and seek professional help for the same. Ensure to use matching floorboards.

At-Home Light Scratch Removal off Wood Floors

Now that we looked at the general rules of scratch removal and understand some of the basics behind the job, let us go through some other things. Because scratches are of different degrees, they can be superficial or large gouges that may need filling. These different requirements will need different treatments as well. Not all methods are good as DIY projects unless you have the experience and equipment for the same, for example, floor sanding with the right sanding machine and sandpaper.

How to Get Rid of Scratches on Wood Floors - solutions

Let us first understand the DIY solution because it is a home remedy and people tend to rely on it very often. Now, provided that you noticed the scratch immediately before it’s too late, there are several things you can do.

  • First, start with cleaning the area properly and removing traces of dirt, dust, etc. Use a soft rag or cloth and a bit of hardwood floor cleaner if you have, then gently rub it to ensure that the floor is properly clean, including the scratch. Don’t have to clean the entire floor, just the small section around the scratch.
  • Then, rinse off the excess cleaner after you finish. As the scratch is completely clean now, you can dampen the spot with a rag and water. Simply water will help you remove the excess cleaner from the scratch marks like a sponge. Finally, allow it to dry naturally.
  • Then, bring some wax and gently rub it on the scratches. This will help in filling up the scratches. In some cases, you might have to use a plastic putty knife-like tool to force the wax into the scratches because they can be deeper in places and the wax must get inside them. Wood wax is clear and therefore you can use it on any wooden floor finish. In case you want to use some particular shade of color, you can do that too. Just remember the type of finish you have in your room.
  • Finally, buffing the scratch is the last step in this DIY wood scratch removal process. You have to use a soft and clean cloth for this purpose. Rub it back and forth on the scratch area and apply the buffing wax. Buffing with the wax will result in a smooth and shiny surface just like it was when it was new. Also, it will help remove the excess wax and give a polished surface.

The above four steps are crucial during any such repairs. But, they are best for superficial, light, and medium scratches only. And, better for single or isolated scratches. In case you have lots of them on your floor, seek immediate help or be ready for a lengthy routine. It will involve sanding, reapplying finish to the whole floor, cleaning, rubbing, etc.


In short, there are different types of wood floor finish and different degrees of damage due to scratches. For light, medium scratches DIY solutions are pretty affordable but for others, you may need to spend a little more money. In case you are unaware of these details, you can seek help from companies that do home care and quality flooring around your neighborhood.

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