How to Get Small Scratches Out of Hardwood Floors

Although hardwood floors are extremely durable, they still tend to exhibit some signs of wear and tear as time progresses. Small scratches on hardwood floors can be causes by virtually anything including:

  • Dog claws.
  • Movement of appliances and furniture.
  • High heel shoes.
  • Small bits of dirt and grit.

Inspecting The Damage

Visible Scratches on Wood FloorIt is important to always inspect the scratched floor area to help determine the scratch depth as well as the best method of repair. In most cases, these scratches will be in the finish only. If they go into the wood, it can still be considered a small scratch if it’s only slightly below the wood surface.

Fortunately, you’ll not be required to refinish your entire floor if it’s only small scratches that you’re dealing with. You can simply repair the damaged areas and get your smooth floor back in no time. Here is some basic and essential knowledge that will help you get rid of these surface scratches.

Using a Floor Cleaner and Protective Finish

You can repair most minor scratches on your floor’s protective coating using a floor cleaner. Simply dip a damp cloth in a hardwood cleaner, then rub it over the scratched areas. You should then repeat with another clean cloth to rinse away the cleaner. After allowing it some time to dry, apply a good protective finish like Shellac.

Wire Wool

If the scratches have penetrated deep beyond the finish to the wood itself, using a piece of wire wool will certainly help. First, clean the scratched part using a hardwood cleaner, then rinse and allow it to dry. Afterwards, rub the area with the piece of wire wool while moving in a similar direction to that of the grain.

Once you’ve buffed the scratch away, use the same wire wool to blend the nearby areas. You can also use a wax stick to fill it and leave it to harden for around 10 minutes. Lastly, buff the same area with a soft cloth.

Wood Putty

If the small scratch has deepened much into the floor, using wood putty that matches in color would be most appropriate for the task. You should not try to buff out deeper scratches. You can make use of a plastic putty knife to apply a minimal amount of putty onto the scratch. Do not use a metal knife since it might cause more harm than good.

Leave the filler to settle for some hours before sand-smoothing with a fine-grade sand paper. You can then wipe that area, or use a lightweight hardwood floor vacuum to remove all traces of dirt and dust before applying a finishing coat.

Warm Water or Mineral Spirits

In case the scratch is less noticeable and not as deep, you can easily fix it by just using warm water. Leave the water in the scratch and allow it to dry fully. You can also opt for a damp rag with mineral spirits instead of water. Rub the scratched area and then allow it to dry fully.


Fixing up small scratches as they appear will help you get the most out of your hardwood floors. It does not require a lot of experience to carry out any of the steps above, as long you follow the procedures correctly.

Leave a Reply