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How to Get Smells Out of Wood Floors

Updated February 21, 2017

Although wood floors are an attractive feature in any home, it is a big problem when they smell. Unlike carpeting or rugs, it is a big and expensive project to replace the wood. Among the most common reasons wood floors smell is pet urine. High humidity and water damage can also cause a floor to smell musty because of mildew and mould. You can remove most smells in wood floors with cleaning products.

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Sweep the floor with a broom. Vacuum up any dirt and debris the broom may have missed.

Fill a bucket with hot water and a strong all-purpose cleaner. Follow the instructions on the cleaner for how much the product should be mixed with the water. A commercial wood cleaner can also be used, as well a solution of two cups of white vinegar with warm water. Mop the floor and allow it to dry.

Mop the floor with the solution. Mop the solution from the floor with clean water. Allow the floor to dry.

Pour hydrogen peroxide onto a cloth. Hydrogen peroxide helps remove the smell after the floor has been cleaned with another product. Rinse the floor and allow it to dry again.

Mix a small amount of bleach in a bucket of warm water if the floor has a musty odour, or you notice any mould or mildew on the wood. Test the solution on a small part of the floor to see if it has any adverse effects on the wood. Mop the entire floor with the bleach solution if the bleach does not change the wood's colour. Rinse the floor and allow it to dry.

Open all windows and allow the room to air out for 24 hours. Check to see if the floor still smells.

Consider sanding and refinishing the entire floor if the smell remains.

Tip

It is more difficult to remove smells from unfinished than floors that are finished. In extreme cases, the floor itself may have to be replaced.

Warning

Be aware a floor that has been cleaned with a bleach solution may very well have to be restained and refinished.

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Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Vacuum
  • Water
  • Cleaning products
  • Mop
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cloth

About the Author

John Smith is a writer with over 30 years experience. He has worked at a newspaper, various magazines and websites, and he has interests in a wide range of subjects including sports, politics and entertainment. Smith earned a bachelor's degree in history from the College of New Jersey.

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