How to Remove Surface Scratches from Hardwood Floors – 3 Simple Steps

how to remove surface scratches from hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are extremely durable, but they are not completely immune to wear and tear and do exhibit some signs just like any other flooring such as carpet would.

Hardwood floors can be scratched by high-heel shoes, dog claws, furniture feet and the movement of appliances, and even small bits of grit and dirt.

Depending on the degree of scratches, you may be able to remove surface scratches from hardwood floors without having to completely refinish the area; here are ways to do so.

Read: How to fix dog scratches on hardwood floors

How to Remove Surface Scratches from Hardwood Floors

Repairing scratches on hardwood floors is pretty easy in most cases; if the floor isn’t gouged so badly, you can undertake the job yourself.

Scratches on hardwood flooring can be removed using a pencil, a brillo pad and other cool home hacks; let’s get started!

Clean the Scratched Areas Thoroughly

Start by giving the area with the scratches a good wipe down. Remove all traces of dust and grime on the floor before you proceed with any other steps.

Give the inside of the crack a detailed cleaning, so it is totally free of dirt as possible. If your floor has a wax layer, remove it with a wax remover before you begin the repair.

Read: How to move furniture without scratching wood floor

Fix Minor Scratches With DIY Solutions

If you have a minor or single scratch that isn’t very visible until you get close, you can try fixing it with any of the following DIY home solutions.

  • Vinegar And Olive Oil

Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and olive oil and apply the mixture onto the scratch. Allow it to sit for a while before rubbing it out. This method usually removes minor scratches easily.

  • Steel Wool

Rub a steel wool-like brillo pad gently over the scratched area, following the wood’s grain direction. Do not scrub against the grain as it only deepens the scratch and makes it more noticeable.

The edges of the scratched surface should be paid a bit more attention. Rub the steel wool against the edges of the floor and blend every area of the floor.

  • Stain-Matching Crayons

Minor scratches on your hardwood floor can be fixed by applying sharpie pens, stain-matching crayons, or blending pencils on the problem areas.

You can also use wax sticks as they contain stain and urethane, which are great at concealing scratches and protecting the floor’s finish.

You may need to mix a couple of colors together to get a good match but don’t sweat it if the color is a little off.

  • Walnut

You’ll need a raw walnut—not candied, spiced or cooked in any way. Rub the walnut in the same direction as the wood grain, and the stain should disappear after a few passes.

Brush your fingers over the area and let the scratch area sit for five minutes. This gives the walnut’s natural oils time to soak into the wood.

Afterwards, buff the area with a washcloth or any soft cloth and the scratch should be gone! Keep pets out of the area until you’re done cleaning up the scratches, as walnuts can be poisonous to them.

Read: How to keep chairs from scratching wood floor

Fix Deep Scratches And Gouges

If you have deep scratches on your hardwood floor, fixing it may be a little bit complicated. This project is time-consuming and might be best left for a professional.

If your floor is missing a huge chunk, it can be fixed with a pre-colored latex wood putty filler that closely matches the color of your floor.

Apply the filler with a plastic putty knife and allow it to dry completely before using fine-grit sandpaper to level out the surface, removing any elevation that might be present.

Finally, apply a layer of varnish over the repaired area, and your floor should be good as new.

Read: How to fill cracks in wood floor


The simple steps involved in removing surface scratches from hardwood floors has been broken down in this article. You can undertake the restoration process yourself or contact a professional to get it done without any stress.

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