A bottle of chlorine bleach sat on my oak floor. Turns out there was
bleach on the bottom of the bottle. Now the floor has dried but the
bleach left behind what appear to be white deposits in the pores. (The
rest of the wood appears unaffected.) Chlorine bleach is not supposed
to lighten wood, but the effect of all those white pores in the oak
when viewed from afar is an unsightly white ring.
I was told when I bought the house that the floor was finished with a
"swedish" finish, whatever that means.
So is there anything I can do to fix this or make it less striking?
Swedish finish sounds like Latin for $$$.
Your floor is probably finished with poly.
That is very difficult, if not impossible to
match up very well.
Do a little reading:
Depending on the room size, you are looking at a sanding
and refinishing the entire room. The wood is not harmed,
the finish is the problem.
The other choice is a location problem. If the ring can
be covered with a rug or furniture, that's the easy
Bleach has to be treated with great respect in a home.
I didn't find this particularly illuminating. I do wonder why they say
you have to sand shellac off before putting something else on top of it
when people talk about shellac as the universal sealer coat.
Neither of these is an option. If I wanted to refinish my floors the
way to proceed would be obvious. The finish does not give the
impression of being damaged.
Uh, there's bleach and there's stain, kinda polar opposites. Stain
absorbs some light spectrum. Bleach (typically) oxidizes surface layer
of material to reduce absorption.
So, you might "remove bleach stain" by actually _applying_ stain, if
you knew where it were needed- in the wood, in the finish layer,
Humpty-dumpty thing- breaking's easy, fixing fuhgeddaboudit. Consider
happens if you splash bleach on a non-white shirt. Instant work-shirt,
1. a discoloration produced by foreign matter having penetrated into or
chemically reacted with a material; a spot not easily removed.
There's nothing about the exact nature of the discoloration, type of
chemical or chemical reaction involved, etc. I think my white pores
Indeed, I could do this. And I don't see why it matters where the
damage is. My eyes don't tell the difference between the wood and the
finish layer. I could presumably dye the stain with something, seal it
with shellac and topcoat it with something else and try to blend it
into the surrounding finish. (That last step could be troublesome
given that I don't know the identity of the existing finish.) If I had
a big solid white bleached spot it would be obvious that this would be
the only possible approach.
But in my case it would be pretty painstaking to dye the white parts
since only the pores are white.
Let me repeat, the white is ONLY IN THE PORES, which appear to be full
of white deposits. The non-pore parts of the surface look absolutely
normal, just like the rest of the floor. The finish itself does not
appear to have been damaged. The finish does not appear to have made
use of any type of poor filler that could have been discolored by the
bleach. (In other words, the floor has a somewhat rough surface with
depressions where the pores are and the pores don't appear to be a
different color in the undamaged parts of the floor.)
I'm not sure about the chemistry here, but if I have dried out deposits
of sodium hypochlorite sitting in the pores then there may be different
options for dealing with the problem that aim to remove the deposits or
specifically target them to make them colorless or less visible. Also
note that when the floor gets wet the pores lose their white color and
blend in with the rest of the wood, so the white poors only stand out
while the wood is dry.
Sure, but to bleach wood you need two part bleach. Chlorine bleach
doesn't do it. If the wood had been bleached white then it would be
obvious that the only solution would be to color it somehow. But
that's not what happened. The wood surface itself looks the same as
before, except in the pores which look like they're filled with white
crud. The floor feels the same as the rest of the floor. The stain
disappears when I get the floor wet, only to reappear once it's dry.
(That doesn't happen with your bleach splash on the non-white shirt,
Probably you want to rinse down the area (yes, this will raise the
do it anyhow). A toothbrush swipe to the area won't hurt, either.
Towel it down, wait a few hours for it to dry.
If the area still looks discolored, it may be that the bleach (which is
has attacked the oil finish (alkali plus oil slowly forms soap, which
A quick rub with boiled linseed oil, followed by wiping the area with
rag, can replace the oil finish and feather the edges. You had to
water-soluble gunk first, 'cuz it will hide under the new oil.
If that doesn't work, alas, I'd consider paint remover then refinishing
large parts of the floor.
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