How to Bleach Wood Floors (8 Easy Steps)

how to bleach wood floors

Wood floors make the home beautiful to the eyes. But when stain and dirt start encroaching, it changes the whole narrative by making the wood floor lose its natural glamor and initial attracting outlook. You can get rid of these stains by bleaching your wood floor.

Don’t just go for any bleach because that would make the wood floor deteriorate and make it more vulnerable to wear and tear from foot traffic. Oxalic acid is the perfect bleach to use on a wood floor.

To bleach wood floors, remove the floor’s protective layers, pour oxalic acid into a gallon of hot water, and transfer the mixture to the floor using a brush. Lightly scrub the mixture with the brush and wash it off using clean water. Vacuum, then allow to dry. You can repeat the entire process till you achieve your desired result

This post will illustrate more details on how to bleach wood floors.

Related: How to whitewash laminate floors

How to Bleach Wood Floors

You can bleach your wood floors by following these steps.

1. Remove Protective Layers

All protective coats must be sealed off or removed to ensure the bleach reaches the wood’s deepest part.

Also, sand down the wood floor until you get the bare wood; then thoroughly clean the floor off any form of dirt.

2. Test it out Before Applying

You might decide to test the bleach in a hidden area of your wood flooring before deciding to bleach other parts of the floor. Such hidden areas might be the closet, below the transition strip, below the baseboard, or anywhere conveniently remote.

3. Form up the Bleach

Pour the oxalic acid into a gallon of hot water. Mix the acid till the entire grain is mixed. To be on the safe side, use plastic buckets only as oxalic acid tends to react to metals quite easily. Mix with a stick or use your hand with a waterproof glove, adequately worn.

Oxalic acid is a very corrosive acid that can damage one’s eyes, so before even starting the whole process, wear your safety glasses.

4. Apply the Bleach on the Floor

Dip the brush in the plastic bucket and transfer it to the floor using the brush. Avoid pouring the mixture directly to the floor. For an effective result, the mixture must remain hot while transferring it to the floor using the brush.

5. Scrub the Mixture on the Floor

With the aid of the brush, scrub on the floor, but not too hard. When the mixture in the bucket starts getting cold, re-heat it again and continue.

6. Wash Off the Mixture

Wash the mixture using clean water. Vacuum the floor with a shop vacuum to remove the entire mixture and water from the floor and dispose of the vacuumed contents.

7. Allow it to Dry Off

Give the flooring time to dry off properly, then sand the bleached parts with a fine-grit sandpaper.

8. Keep Repeating the Process

Bleaching a wood floor requires many steps and processes to ensure it works effectively. It’s acceptable to repeat the process before achieving an excellent result.

Related: How to remove white spots on hardwood floors


Bleaching a wood floor requires extra carefulness, especially when using oxalic acid, to avoid any hazard from occurring or destroying the wood curing in totality.

However, this step-to-step guide can establish you through everything you need to know on how to bleach wood floors.

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