• Roger

Will food stain my floor?



Two of the questions we get asked the most are: Will water/coffee leave spots? And how do I maintain the floor. As an engineer myself, I’m curious as well, and I know there’s only one way to find out, let’s do an experiment!




The two floors we choose for the experiment are two of our most popular hardwood engineered floors, one is ¾ thick, one is ⅞ thick. They both use an advanced technology called reactive stain to achieve this beautiful natural gray color. Gray with matt wire brushed finish is really trending these years, especially with modern, simplistic designs.


Due to the nature of the coloring process, reactive stain is not as chemically stable as traditional pigmented stain. Two boards are with factory finish only, without any extra protection, and two boards with one coat of WOCA master oil.



WOCA master oil is a natural hardening oil, unlike other filmed finish, like polyurethane, it penetrates into the surface of the wood and solidify with the wood itself and leave a very natural hard wearing surface.





Here we have our contenders: from left to right are: water, coffee, soy source, ketchup, baking soda, heavy duty detergent, vinegar, lemon juice and chili oil. I’m leaving them on the boards for 24 hours



After 24 hours, we wipe everything off with damp cloth.






On the ⅞ board side, we almost can’t see anything. There’s a faint mark from the coffee. And one interesting note is that the coffee left darker mark on the board with WOCA oil the the factory finish.

On the ¾ board however, there’s obvious mark from baking soda and detergent, both are alkaline. And we can also see mark from vinegar and lemon juice, which are acidic. And coffee left mark as well. There’s no obvious difference between the board with and without WOCA oil.





Next, let’s try fixing them with WOCA spot remover and tannin neutralizer. I had good luck with both on natural color boards. I’m spray on the spot remover, let them sit for 20 mins and wipe off with a damp cloth. Tannin neutralizer needs more time. I let them sit for 1 hour, then wipe off with a damp cloth.




The coffee stain is almost gone, if you put it under a magnifying glass, you can still see a trace of it, but unnoticeable from 1 feet away. However tannin neutralizer has no effect on the dark spot stained by baking soda or detergent. It does remove the stain from acid though, the spot left by vinegar and lemon is almost gone.


In Summary:

  • Reactive stain from different manufacturers even the same color have different stability

  • Modern floor is pretty stain resistant

  • Factory finish is superior than most product you can apply onsite, like woca oil

  • Maintenance product like WOCA does not have obvious effect on blocking stain.

  • Extreme PH level, like baking soda, detergent, vinegar or lemon may have an adverse effect on floor

  • Product like tannin neutralizer have limited effect on chemical stain.

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