How To Get Rid Of Scuff Marks On Hardwood Floors

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Scuff marks are one of the few things that can ruin your hardwood floor’s appearance, and they occur easily. 

Scuff marks can be caused by placing furniture legs directly on your floor or walking across the floor with your shoes.

Over time, these marks become more embedded into the floor and difficult to remove, so scuff marks are best dealt with immediately after it is discovered. 

Here’s how to get rid of scuff marks on hardwood floors!

How To Get Rid Of Scuff Marks On Hardwood Floors

Step 1: Clean The Floors

Dust and dirt can aggravate the appearance of scuff marks, and when walked over, the dirt particles are grounded into hardwood floors causing worse scratches. 

So, now you know that the first step should be to thoroughly clean the floor. 

Do not use brooms or abrasive scrub pads that can scratch the floor or soak a floor with water or liquid cleaner. 

Instead, make use of a soft mop or vacuum to pick up dust, hair, and surface debris. 

Afterward, you can now go in with two to four drops of liquid soap mixed with a quart of water, add the mixture to a spray bottle, and apply it on your hardwood floor, making sure to evenly distribute the solution with a dry microfiber mop. 

Next, with a soft, dry cloth lightly saturated with freshwater, buff the floor.

See Also: How To Seal Hardwood Floors Without Sanding

Step 2: Sanding

How To Get Rid Of Scuff Marks On Hardwood Floors

If cleaning did not remove the scuff marks, you need to dedicate a little elbow grease to restore your wood floor’s beauty. 

For this, you will need fine-grained sandpaper to buff out the damage. 

Start by sanding the floor in the direction of the grain, then reapply the stain that was buffed away; remember to spot test the new stain in a hidden area like underneath the bed, or a closet, to ensure the wood stain matches your floor color before using. 

You can use a water-based urethane that dries quickly and gives a clear, shiny finish that is great for newer floors but notes that water-based urethane may cause too much contrast if the floors have darkened with age.

If you have an older floor, it is best stained with oil-based urethanes, they are strong-smelling, but they dry with a yellow tinge that darkens over time, which suits the color of an old floor. 

Before you stain and finish your floor, ensure it is thoroughly sanded down and smooth.

Step 3: Rub Walnuts Over Scuff Marks

Walnuts contain excellent natural emollients and brown dyes, which can be used to repair and enhance the look of worn and scratched wood. 

Use your fingers to warm up the oil in the nut and apply it on worn areas of the floor using small circular motions. 

Allow the oil to sit for a couple of minutes before buffing with a soft cloth. 

You can also apply coconut oil on unfinished or freshly sanded floors to minimize scratch marks. 

Apply a single layer of coconut oil with a brush or a sponge, allow it to sit for five minutes before buffing with a soft cloth to give your floor a richer look.

Step 4: Baking Soda And Olive Oil 

You can use a surprising combo of baking soda and olive oil to remove scuff marks from the hardwood floor. A readily available combination that you can find in almost any kitchen.

After cleaning the floor thoroughly with a vacuum, apply baking soda moistened with several drops of olive oil to scuff marks. Allow the paste to sit for five minutes, before buffing it in gently, with a soft sponge. 

Finally, clean the floor thoroughly with a damp cloth and dry with a towel.

Step 5: Cover Scratches With A Wood Stain

You can use wood stain to cover deep scratches; they are usually available in oil-based, water-based, gel, and combination varieties. 

Opt for the right stain formula for your wood’s finish, and use it to cover the scratch completely. Remove excess stain with a q-tip and allow it dry. 

You can also use stain markers and blending pencils, though it may be challenging to find the perfect match for your floor, and you may have to play with different color combinations. 

If you do find the perfect match for your floor, apply it to the scuff marks and scratches according to package directions, removing any excess and allowing it to dry thoroughly.

See Also: How To Distress Hardwood Floors (5 Easy Steps)


Scuff marks can mar the appearance of your clean hardwood floor, ruining its beauty. 

Unfortunately, these marks are relatively common, but thankfully with this article on how to get rid of scuff marks on hardwood floors, they can be removed with a little bit of elbow grease and dedication. 

The instructions above will help you get rid of scuff marks on hardwood floors and restore the life of your wood floor.