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5 Tips For Removing Scuff Marks From Floor Boards – Ones That Actually Work!

How to Remove Scuff Marks from Floor Boards

Scuffs on the floorboards of any home are inevitable. Whether your kids want to play Roll-Ups, or you just need to run to the laundry room in the middle of reading a bedtime story, at least one scuff mark on your hardwood floor will happen. While some scuff marks are easier to remove than others, some of them can be nearly impossible for parents with restless children that like to play!

But all is not lost – there are ways to remove scuff marks from floorboards that work! Removing scuff marks from floorboards is a necessary task for anyone who has children, pets, or parties. These marks are unsightly and embarrassing. Removing scuff marks will keep your floor looking new and leave it better than you found it!

So, how do you remove scuff marks from floorboards? To quickly remove scuff marks, you can use one of the following methods: WD-40, Cornstarch & Baking Soda Paste, Rubbing Alcohol, Vinegar, or Pumice Stone.

Scuff marks happen on the feet, hands, and knees. When your little one decides to take a break from drawing on his new easel or building with blocks, he’ll come crawling across the floorboards, leaving a trail of smudges! The scuff marks from shoes are the worst, especially if they have been left to sit for a while.

5 Tips For Removing Scuff Marks From Floor Boards – Ones That Actually Work!1. WD-40

WD-40 can be used as a lubricant or a solvent, depending on how you use it. It can loosen up sticky things and dissolve the dirt that is stuck to them. The waxy substance just needs a little bit of time to work its magic – then you can wipe off any scuff marks with ease!

2. Cornstarch & Baking Soda Paste

While this mixture may not be ideal for regular cleaning – it is great for tough stains like scuff marks! Mix the cornstarch and baking soda to create a paste. Rub the paste onto the floorboards with a damp rag, and allow it some time to dry. When you come back, all of the scuff marks should wipe off easily!

3. Rubbing Alcohol

While it is certainly not the most pleasant smell in the world, rubbing alcohol can be used to remove pretty much anything. Wipe your floors down with some rubbing alcohol on a rag until all of the scuff marks are gone!

Sometimes scuff marks leave dents behind. Here are the things you will need to fix those dents in your wood floors:

  • Claw Hammers (or screwdrivers)
  • Nail Polish Remover (with acetone)
  • Some piece of cloth (towel, shirt, socks, etc.)
  1. Take something like a towel and fold it up into a thick enough piece that you can drop it on your floor without it being too squishy. If you’re using a screwdriver, take something like a shoe and poke the end of the screwdriver so it’s pointy but not too sharp.
  2. Place your nail polish remover in a bowl or other container where spills won’t be a problem.
  3. Dip your folded-up towel or shoe in the nail polish remover and hold it on top of the dent for approximately 10 seconds or until you see your scuffs melting away. If the surface is too wet, dab it off with a paper towel before applying more nail polish remover to your cloth.
  4. Repeat step 3 if necessary until your scuff is gone

Once your scuffed wood floor is all clean and shiny, you can put a few coats of clear nail polish over the area to protect it from future damage. And that’s it! You’re done!

5 Tips For Removing Scuff Marks From Floor Boards – Ones That Actually Work!4. Vinegar & Baking Soda Paste

Just like before, make a paste out of baking soda and vinegar. This time, add a bit of lemon juice to it as well. The lemon juice will add a nice cleaning scent to the paste that you can use to scrub away scuff marks from your floorboards!

Some scuffs may require a bit more work. Using a baking soda paste made with toothpaste, dish soap and water can help soften the scuff mark making it easier to remove.

Scuff marks are a nightmare to remove from most hard flooring surfaces. As an owner of a carpet steam cleaner, I have tried all the “home remedies” for scuff mark removal and none works that well. The products that come with your machine will not work. However, there is a quick and easy way to remove scuffs from your floor.

Step 1: Mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar to 1/2 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the scuff mark and let it sit for 30 seconds or so.

Step 2: Using a small towel, gently rub the mark away removing it from your flooring surface. The mark should come up with very little effort. If you have trouble, simply spray more of the vinegar solution onto the scuff and repeat step 2.

I use this method for my carpet steam cleaner’s “floor tool”. Many times when I run off a large amount of water from cleaning my carpets, I end up with a dirty pad that transfers to my floor. I simply spray on the vinegar solution and rub the scuff out with a towel.

5. Pumice Stone & Olive Oil or Sandpaper

The pumice stone won’t be much help when it comes to removing scuff marks, but the olive oil will be. You can use the pumice stone to gently buff away at the scuff marks, without ruining your floor boards’ finish!

When you are done scrubbing, wipe it all down with a damp rag that has been dipped in vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar will help cut away any excess dirt or grime. Be careful not to scratch the floor with the sandpaper. A little elbow grease and a small amount of sandpaper will remove scuff marks from floorboards.

5 Tips For Removing Scuff Marks From Floor Boards – Ones That Actually Work!Steps to Remove Scuff Marks


  • Masking Tape
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • White Toothpaste (optional)


1. To begin you should mask off any areas around your floorboard that you do not want to get paint on such as the sides of the mat holders and the rubber seals around your doors. You should also remove any mats or floor coverings to make the job easier.

2. After allowing enough time for the masking to take effect, begin spraying denatured alcohol onto your car’s floorboard in an even layer until it begins to slightly bubble up (this means the paint is being removed). Use a brush or applicator to help speed up this process if you wish.

3. Once the scuff marks have been completely removed, remove any excess denatured alcohol with an old rag or kitchen cloth until all that remains is a slight film of alcohol over the floorboard which will evaporate away in a few minutes.

4. For optional extra shine and to protect the now bare floorboard, apply a thin layer of white toothpaste or car wax and buff away with a dry cloth and some elbow grease. Then simply let this dry and throw your mats back down!

If you’re not happy with the results then just repeat the process as many times as you like until you’re satisfied with how it looks. There are no limits to how many times you can apply wax, but make sure the floorboard has completely dried after applying it before you get your car dirty (just like if you applied car wax yourself).


In Conclusion

A wooden floor is a common thing at home and they are prone to scratches and marks which become quite annoying for many people as they try hard to make their house look clean.

Scuffs are not just annoying, but they are very embarrassing too especially if you have friends or guests at home. These scrapes are mostly caused by wearing shoes that have dirty soles with them causing little damage on the floor of your home.

If you are the kind who is not bothered by cleaning scuff marks on your floor, then it can spoil the look of your expensive carpets. You need to clean up these scratches immediately if you don’t want to see ugly-looking floors every day, especially when a company is expected.

Remember, if you allow the scuff marks to stay on your floor for long without cleaning them, they can become hard and sink into your expensive carpets permanently making it difficult to remove them even once you want to. Here are some tips on how to do away with these ugly-looking scrapes on home floors quickly.

Now that you know how to remove scuff marks from floorboards, hopefully, your floors can stay free of scratches! Although kids will be kids, and accidents will happen, you’ll have a much easier time cleaning up messes when they do occur. Remember – prevention is the best defense for keeping pesky scuff marks away!

Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.