Smear in Floor Stain - sand out?

I just refinished my red oak hard wood floors and noticed a couple problem areas that look like smears. I am not sure if they are smears caused by dragging my knees as I was wiping out the stain or if they were caused by the edge sander.
How can I fix this? There are currently 2 coats of stain and I think some of the marks were present prior to the second coat.
Can I lightly sand to remove the marks? Do I have to go to bare wood? If so, will the border of the stain match when I try and re-stain the problemed spot?
Any advice would be appreciated!!!
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If it was a sanding problem, you should also be able to feel it by running your hand over it. Rougher wood with standing fibers should appear darker and burnished wood (from oversanding with clogged paper) might go lighter depending on the wood.
Are the smears lighter or darker than the surrounding wood? Unremoved finish will definately spoil a stain job.

time you apply it. This means whatever was first is still on the top.

If it is a sanding mark this would make sense. if the smear is darker, sanding might be all you need to do. If it is lighter, try diluting the stain and work up to the tone you want.
Try wiping the area with denatured alcohol in case the smear was a contaminant. This may also remove some excess if it is not too dry yet.
Start small and work your way up cautiously or you will be sanding a large area again and virtually starting over.
Consider where it is. Will it be covered by furnature or a rug? If so you may want to accept some imperfection.
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I will experiment with a location under my cabinets before moving to the spot in the middle of the kitchen.
I like the idea of trying to dilute it with denatured alcohol. One thing I am still not clear on is whether or not I need to sand to bare wood if it was a sanding mistake.
Thanks for the advice!
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I think you only need to sand to match the surface and or to make the area lighter than the surrounding so you can add stain. The wood should already be bare, it is impregnated with stain not coated with it. If you sand enough to remove all the stain, you will leave a deep spot.
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Dave wrote:

inclined to take a rag with fresh stain, not very saturated, and scrub the area in question. It might be sufficient, if the spot is just uneven stain, to dissolve it enough to blend with surrounding area.
Sanding would be the last thing I would want to attempt, unless light sanding the entire floor and applying another coat of stain. Eek!
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The marks where sand marks. They were caused by the edger using 100 grit paper :(
I was able to sand them out with a little 4"x4" orbital sander and a sanding block. I lightly sanded until most or all of the swirl marks were gone or blended in. I then restained the areas that I sanded going past the work area a few inches.
Now the repair areas are noticable. They look pretty good but they are duller looking than the surrounding area. Does anyone have any ideas on what caused this or how to fix it?
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Probably just a difference in the texture due to sanding. Try a little hand sanding with very fine (220 grit or finer) paper, not much. Or just buff with a clean dry cloth. It may need more time to dry.
As long as there is a good color match, it may disappear when you put the polyurethane on top.

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Ignoramus12938 wrote:

Yea, it cleans pipes, and eats the &$(( out of them.
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Joseph Meehan

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