How to Get Stains out of Wood

Опубликовал Admin
26-09-2016, 19:35
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It’s sure to happen. Someone sets a glass on a wooden tabletop. Before you can slip a coaster underneath it, a ring appears on the wood. Before you spend a fortune in refinishing costs, you can learn a few inexpensive options to get stains out of wood.

Removing White Rings

  1. Go over the stain with an iron. Empty the iron of all water. Lay a towel, t-shirt, or other cloth over the stain. This acts a barrier between the table and the iron. Turn the iron to low and rub it slowly over the fabric for a short period of time. Then lift the cloth to see if the stain has disappeared. If it hasn't, replace the cloth and repeat.
    • Make sure the iron is set to no steam.
    • Act as quickly as possible. Dry as much of the table surface as you can before you begin.
    • Wipe away any moisture or water on the surface each time you remove the iron.
    • White rings are caused by steam or liquid. The white color means they have only penetrated the wax or finish, which means they will be much easier to clean than a darker stain.
  2. Rub with a steel wool and lemon oil. Buy a fine steel wool pad. Soak the pad in lemon oil. Very gently, rub the wool over the white ring. Then, rub over the stain with a cloth dabbed with denatured alcohol.
    • The lemon oil is a lubricant and helps prevent the wood from scratching.
  3. Try toothpaste. Place toothpaste on your finger or a cloth. Rub the toothpaste with the grain of the wood until it heats. Dampen a cloth with water and then wipe away the toothpaste. Dry the water.
    • Make sure the toothpaste you use is white and non-gel.
    • You don't need a lot of toothpaste. Just a small dab will work.
    • Don't scrub too long. Try not to scrub outside of the stain area. This might wear the finish and top layer of wood.
    • Repeat until the stains are gone.
  4. Dry it with a hair dryer. Take a blow dryer and turn it on high. Hold it close to the stain. The stain should start disappearing as the dryer dries the moisture. Make sure to move the dryer back and forth over the area.
    • This will probably take 10-30 minutes.
    • Put a little olive oil on the wood afterwards to moisturize it.
  5. Rub with oil-based products. Products with oil, like mayonnaise, butter, and petroleum jelly, help seep into the wood and break up the moisture. Place the mayonnaise or petroleum jelly on the stain. Leave for an hour up to overnight.
    • Make sure to put more mayonnaise on the stain if it dries out.
    • To add some abrasive stain removing power, mix cigarette ashes with the mayonnaise or petroleum jelly.
  6. Use baking soda. Mix baking soda with either toothpaste or water to remove the stain. If using water, mix 2 parts baking soda with 1 part water. Use a rag to gently scrub the stain.
    • If using baking soda with toothpaste, mix equal parts together. Rub over the stain with a rag. Rinse with a damp cloth afterwards.

Getting Rid of Other Stains

  1. Use baking soda on dye stains. Baking soda is a great cleaning agent. To get rid of the dye, mix baking soda with distilled vinegar or lemon juice. Make a paste that is the consistency of toothpaste. Spread it over the stain. Use a sponge to gently rub it into the wood. When you're finished, wipe the paste from area. When you're finished, rinse with a rag and plain water.
    • You can use your fingers instead of a sponge.
    • Add some more vinegar or water if the stain is being stubborn.
    • Repeat the process until the stain is removed.
    • You can also try a magic eraser to remove dye.
  2. Use dish detergent for non-greasy stains. For food and nail polish stains, try using dish detergent. Mix the soap in warm water, soak a rag in the solution, and then rub over the spot.
    • This method works best with non-greasy stains.
  3. Rub greasy stains with ammonia. For greasy stains on wood, try using a little bit of ammonia mixed with cold water. Cover a rag with the solution, and then gently rub over the stain.
  4. Clean pet stains with a bacteria killing solution. When pets mess on wood floors, bacteria must be removed. Bacteria causes stains and odor. To remove stains and bacteria, use a 5 percent phenol solution, which can be bought at hardware and home improvement stores. Clean the area by using a damp, soft cloth.
    • If your floor has a wax finish, use fine steel wool and mineral spirits to clean the area. Clean the area in a circular motion. Wax and buff the area afterwards.
  5. Use isopropyl alcohol for permanent marker stains. Place a small amount of isopropyl alcohol onto a rag. Gently rub the stain to remove it. Wipe off with a damp rag afterwards to rinse.
    • Test on the underside of your table first to make sure it doesn't damage the table.
    • Try toothpaste on the permanent marker stain, too.
  6. Use bleach to get rid of black stains. Use Oxalic Acid, which is found in wood bleach and some household cleaners. You can buy it at home improvement stores and some grocery stores. First, you need to strip the area with the stain of the finish so you can treat it.
    • Mix the Oxalic Acid mixture with water to make a thick paste. Make sure not to do this in a metal bowl since Oxalic Acid can cause discoloration in metal. Apply to the stain with a rag or disposable paint brush. Let it sit until it dries. Add multiple applications. Rinse the area between the applications.
    • If the bleach doesn't remove it, the stain may be from something else, like food or wine. Try hydrogen peroxide or household bleach then.
    • Refinish the spot. Don't refinish the whole piece unless you have to.
    • Black stains are water stains that have penetrated deeper into the wood. They are much harder to get rid of.


  • Test any of these methods on a section of the wood not visible before attempting to remove the stain. Depending on your type of wood, it might damage it further.
  • If the black stain has gone deep enough, you may have to strip the varnish. You also might have to strip it to remove it and then refinish it.


  • Be sure you have proper ventilation when you use any chemicals.
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