I have bamboo floors that I love and that I have been able to keep in pretty pristine condition. That is, until a contractor’s helper dragged a ShopVac across them last weekend, leaving scratches and grooves on several planks.
The contractor took full responsibility and offered to replace the planks by cutting in new ones. But I wanted to see if there was an easier fix.
My father, who was a carpenter, had always told me that you could use steam to remove dents in wood, but I’d never tried it. It seemed like an opportune time to find out.
I found a spare piece of bamboo and tested it first, first using a hot steam iron over a wet piece of paper towel, and then the iron right against the wood without a wet barrier, to see if it would cause any damage to the finish. Nothing at all.
So I tried the steam/paper towel combination and it was magical! I discovered it doesn’t remove the scratches but it immediately plumps up the grooves and dents underneath them, so they become virtually unnoticeable.
I tried the same trick on an older scratch/dent from when a different contractor dragged a ladder across another part of the floor, with little effect. The scratch is slightly less noticeable, but it’s still there. Which leads me to conclude that this only works well on fresh scratches and dents.
Here’s a picture of my flooring after this fix — I dare you to find any noticeable scratches!
One cautionary note: when using using damp paper towel, the bottom of my iron got pretty gunked up quickly as the paper dried out. I tried a wet tea towel next, and that worked better but there were still fabric fibres stuck to the bottom of the iron when I was done. My solution was to spray Easy Off on the bottom of the iron after cooled off, and wipe it off – that worked like a charm.