Q:

What can you do after spilling bleach on a hardwood floor?

A:

Quick Answer

After spilling bleach on hardwood, remove the cleaner as soon as possible. Repairs can be made by sanding the floor and refinishing it with wax or wood stain. After sanding, the process of refinishing the flooring may require several additional days to ensure the topcoat or stain has dried properly.

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Full Answer

  1. Rinse the floor

    Remove as much of the spilled bleach as possible, and rinse the floor thoroughly with cool water and a mop. Dry the floor immediately to prevent the moisture from further damaging the wood.

  2. Sand the stained area

    If the wood fibers absorb the bleach, they may swell and cause the flooring to develop a fuzzy, splintered appearance. Use 100-grit sandpaper to sand the damaged area, then use 280-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining damage. The flooring should be smooth after sanding, but some discoloration may still be present.

  3. Finish the flooring

    Sanding can remove the color and sealant from the hardwood, making it necessary to refinish the floor. Wax or stain is typically recommended for wood flooring finishing. Choose a stain or wax that matches the existing style, and apply the product according to the directions on the packaging. After staining, a polyurethane topcoat may be used as a sealant.

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