How to Remove Scuff Marks from Wood


Gary asked: Our new pressure treated deck is not treated with anything (left natural). We have black scuff marks on it from someone’s shoes. How do we remove them?

Scuff marks can quickly diminish the beauty of a natural-wood deck. While they can be unsightly and appear to be permanent, they are actually quite easy to remove. Here are several steps you can take to rid your deck of black streaks and scuffs.

You Will Need:

  • Mineral spirits
  • Soft cloth
  • WD-40 or oil
  • Fine steel wool
  • Mild detergent or soap
  • Bucket
  • Sponge

Steps to Remove the Scuff Marks:

  1. Mineral spirits has been found to be very effective in removing scuff marks from wood. Simply moisten a clean, white cloth with some of the spirits and rub the scuff mark.
  2. As the black starts transferring to the cloth, switch to a clean section periodically to avoid reapplying it as you scrub.
  3. When the scuff mark is removed, allow the area to dry completely.
  4. If the scuff marks remain, or no mineral spirits are available, apply WD-40 or oil to the scuffed area.
  5. Use a fine steel wool to gently rub the scuff marks off.
  6. Wash the area with soap and water to remove any oily residue.
  7. Allow the area to dry completely.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Power washers work well for outdoor areas with severe scuff marks. Apply the mineral spirits and then wash away with a power washer.
  • The cleaning products used above are flammable and toxic. Keep away from small children and any heat sources while cleaning.
  • These methods are designed for use on wood flooring that does not have any protective coatings, such as wax. For additional scuff removal methods on traditional flooring, visit How to Remove Scuff Marks from Flooring.


  1. Aliace says:

    I was told that using a power washer on treated wood to remove scuff marks could raise the grain and cause it to splinter.

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