Creosote stain on newly refinished wood floor

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: We just purchased a schoolhouse that is 114 yrs old. The maple floor has recently been refinished. We also have a wood stove in the same room. Unfortunately, some snow or water got into the pipes and dripped creosote onto the wood floor. What would be the best way to remove the stain on the floor?

A: It depends whether the creosote is only on the finish or has penetrated past that, into the wood. I would try some mineral spirits first. If that is not successful, give a light rub, in the direction of the grain with some fine sandpaper. If the black mark is only on the finish, it will come off.

If it has penetrated the wood, and if scraping the mark out of the wood itself does not work, then you may have to change the boards.

I am trying to approach this progressively, from least severe to more radical as the last resort.

Follow-up: (The inquirer replied that she tried “hand cleaner” and that the spot came right off.)

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