removing scratches on wood

Whether you’re living in a home that you own or a rental, something that will cause an enormous amount of stress is the occurrence of unsightly scratches on the hardwood floors. Many factors can cause these types of scratches, but you can rest assured they are easier to remove than you may previously have thought.

There are numerous ways to remove ugly scratches from your hardwood floors. From simple home remedies using ingredients from your pantry to specially formulated products created to remove scratches from wooden floors, you are not short on options that will ensure your floor remains scratch-free.

Some methods for removing floor scratches are simply an urban legend, while some that seem impossible are actually highly effective. Some of the methods explored here make use of costly products, while others are exceptionally cheap and require only one or two simple ingredients that can be found at home.

1. Crayons & Sharpies

Crayons and sharpies are an excellent solution for small surface scratches, for example, Minwax Stain Markers that include stain and urethane that protect the floor finish.

By using crayons or sharpies, you can mix and match colors to find one that works with your floor, and you can effectively disguise any small scratches that may occur, whatever the cause may be.

Simply color over the scratches using one above the above product suggestions as if you were coloring the gaps in a drawing. Ensure proper coverage and wipe away any residue that may make its way onto the surrounding timber.

2. Homemade Polish

A good solution for camouflaging scratches on your wooden floor is the use of a homemade polish that uses simple ingredients found in your pantry. This mixture will simultaneously remove dirt while adding moisture and shine to your wooden floor.

Mix together equal parts olive oil and vinegar. Pour this mixture onto the scratch, and let it soak for twenty-four hours before giving it a good wipe. Repeat this process until the scratches are no longer visible.

3. Spot Sanding

This is a solution for slightly deeper scratches that involves sanding to remove the scratch before staining and resealing. Begin by sanding the area where the scratch is found. This can be done using fine steel wool or light sandpaper.

Sand the area in the same direction as the wood’s grain. Next, use a wood filler to fill up the groove created by the scratch. A wood filler is generally a better option than a wood putty because it is better able to accept a stain. When applying the putty, make use of a plastic putty knife to avoid scratching the wood.

The next step is to seal the area using polyurethane or another similar sealant product. This is best done using a lambswool applicator, as this will prevent air bubbles in the final finish.

4. Wood Putty

Wood putty, while less receptive to staining than wood filler, is another option that will help to hide any scratches that may have occurred on your wooden floor. It is also extremely useful in filling in gaps between floorboards that may have occurred over time.

If the boards have begun to separate, fill the gaps with wood putty that matches the color of the wood itself.

5. Mayonnaise

An extremely surprising fix for scratches on wood floor is mayonnaise. This works well for small and shallow imperfections on the surface of the wood. This works thanks to the proteins and oils in mayonnaise that help the wood to swell, slowly filling the cracks in the wood. This is essentially botox for wood.

In order to achieve this, first, clean the area to remove dirt and apply a pile of mayonnaise directly to the floor. Leave the mayonnaise for thirty minutes and then give it a gentle wipe to remove any residue.

6. Walnuts

Walnuts have emollients as well as brown dyes that can quickly repair and enhance the look of worn, scratched wood. In order to use a walnut to help with scratches in wood, you will first need to warm the oil in the nut. This is achieved by rubbing the nut between your hands for a good period of time.

Next, rub the nut into the worn sections of the floor in small, circular motions. Let the oils sit for a while before buffing the area with a soft cloth.

7. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a brilliant product that can help to minimize scratch marks on wooden floors.

In order to use it, apply a thin coat over the scratched area with a brush or a sponge before letting it sit for a while. The next step is to buff the area with a soft cloth in order to create a rich, smooth wooden surface.

8. Baking Soda Refresher

First, vacuum your floor, clean it thoroughly and dry it. Next, apply baking soda with olive oil to the area that has been subjected to scratching. Wait five minutes, and then gently buff the area using a soft cloth or sponge.

9. Specially Formulated Wooden Floor Products

There are many products on the market that have been produced specifically to help repair scratches on wooden floors. “Scratch Away” is a product that cleans, polishes, and reduces the appearance of scratch marks on timber flooring.

Another product called Old English Scratch Cover uses a nourishing oil formulation that hides scuff marks while protecting the wood. Use a soft cloth to apply the product to an area of a clean wooden surface.

10. Wood Stain

Wooden stains can easily be employed to color in scratches on wooden floors. Whether these stain products are oil-based, water-based, or gel, the majority are an excellent choice to cover up any stains that may appear on wooden surfaces.

Wood stains are also exceptionally easy to use. All you need to do is choose the correct product, fill in the scratch, remove the excess stain from the area, and let the product dry.

There are also stain markers and blending pencils available on the market, and these can be used in various color combinations to find the perfect match for your flooring.


Whether the scratches on your wooden floors are deep or exceptionally small, there is a way for you to erase them without incurring a major cost or having to employ professionals to repair the damage.

So, next time your child or pet creates a scratch on your precious hardwood floor, take a deep breath and remind yourself that the damage can quickly and easily be repaired using one of the ingenious methods explored above.

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