Home » How to Get Wood Stain Out of Clothes (A Step-By-Step Guide!)

How to Get Wood Stain Out of Clothes (A Step-By-Step Guide!)

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Clothing and textile materials can easily pick up dirt and stain from their surroundings. Most dirt will come off after a simple wash with soap and water; however, some dirt picked up from wood stains requires something different to remove.

Wood stains include paints of varying intensities with the ability to soak the thickest fabrics in a short time.

Applying wood stains has a lot of advantages aside from giving color to the wood; however, before you can use the structure, the stain needs to dry. Sometimes the drying process takes several days, depending on the type of stain and wood.

When wood stains get on clothes, removing them can be difficult if removal is not done right. Using freshly stained wood before it is completely dry will ruin the stain by leaving fingerprints on it and can also stain your clothes.

So what do you do if your cloth picks up some wood stain? We’ll answer this question more in this guide, but what is a wood stain?

What is Wood Stain?

Wood stain is a substance for painting wood. It comes in different colors and shades to help the wood blend in or stand out. Typically, people use wood stain for its aesthetic uses, but it can serve other uses like covering defects.

Wood stains have different structures; some are water-based, while another group can be termed oil-based. These are the two main classifications of wood stains and would be the base of our discussion on removing the stain on clothes.

How to Remove Wood Stains From Clothes?

If your clothes have caught some wood stain, attending to it as quickly as possible is vital if you want to prevent a permanent mark on your cloth.

The size of the stain will also determine how easy it is to clean. There are a few ways to remove wood stains from your clothes; luckily, most materials are simple household items.

1. Washing it Off With Detergent

Washing it Off With Detergent

If you’ve got a stain on your cloth, one of the best ways to remove it is to wash the area quickly. Speed is essential here since the stain will seep deeper into the fabric if it sits longer.

Seeping makes it inherently more challenging to remove dried wood stains from clothes.

Avoid rubbing the stained area with other parts of the cloth; if you must scrub, it should be against the stained area. Some detergents may be too strong for the fabric and clean off the color of the cloth.

Before you use the detergent, it would be best to try rubbing it in on a small hidden part of the cloth. A liquid detergent is the most convenient to use in this scenario. Pour the detergent on the affected area and scrub it against itself to wash off the stain.

2. Pre-Treat Stains

Pre-Treat Stains

Sometimes you may have to work on the stains separately by using specialized stain removals. Some materials, like jeans, are tougher to scrub off the stain.

Use a knife to scrape off excess paint on the cloth. Ensure the cloth has a thick material to prevent tearing.

Once you’ve gotten rid of excess paint on the fabric, soak a small towel in white spirit and squeeze to prevent dripping. Dab the affected area with a towel to loosen up the wood stain before washing with warm water or at 40°c if you’re using a washing machine.

3. Detergent and Ammonia

Detergent and Ammonia

A combination of detergent and ammonia can remove tough wood stains from clothing. Firstly, you must mix in the right proportion to avoid making a concentration solution that burns off the color of the cloth.

The ideal measurement is a teaspoon of liquid detergent mixed with ¼ cup of ammonia – all these diluted with 2 cups of warm water.

Lightly soak the rag in the solution and gently rub the stain. Doing this will loosen the stain hold on the fabric and even remove some stains.

Complete the process by washing the cloth and rinsing it as usual. Washing should remove all the wood stains from the cloth.

4. Acetone


Acetone is a great way to remove water-based wood stains on clothes, as it is a powerful solvent. Acetone can dissolve the wood stain and loosen its grip on the fabric.

Utilizing acetone is similar to most of the other methods on this list. You’ll have to be careful not to damage your cloth. Testing it on a small hidden part of the cloth is a great way to test the acetone.

Block the wood stain area so an unaffected area is not directly under it to avoid the acetone touching other parts of your cloth or stain seeping through it.

Apply a few drops of acetone on the stain to weaken the stain. Start blotting from the edge of the stain, as it is easy to spread it, even more when you start blotting from the middle. Wet a small rag in acetone and clean the area.

5. Treat With Alcohol

Treat With Alcohol

Alcohol is a great way to remove oil-based wood stains. Oil-based wood stains have a more compact structure making them harder to remove from your cloth.

Here, speed is still important, even more when dealing with water-based wood stains.

Use absorbent towels to remove excess stains on the cloth. Protect the unaffected parts of the cloth by putting paper towels between them in the stained area.

The paper towels will prevent the stain from touching the clean part, and the paper towel or tissue can also help soak up excess existing due to the pressure exerted when cleaning.

Soak a rag in the alcohol of your choice and dab on the stain, rubbing it gently in circular motions. Stick to applying minimal pressure till you’ve removed all the stains before you wash and rinse the clothes.

6. Soak Overnight in Hot Water

Soak Overnight in Hot Water

Some stains are tough and wouldn’t completely leave your clothes without using a matching rival method. Cover the stained area with liquid detergent and soak it in hot water over the night.

Check the cloth label for the maximum water temperature the cloth can withstand. Leave the cloth in hot water throughout the night, and the stains will disappear by morning.

Typically, the more time the stain has in hot water, the more it weakens the stain molecules and makes it easier to remove all the stain with a single wash and rinse.

In addition, this method doesn’t require any direct scrubbing of the paint, which can spread the paint and increase your work.

7. White Vinegar

White Vinegar

Hardly any cleaning tip will pass without mentioning white vinegar. Its versatility is impressive, as it can remove wood stains from clothes.

Mix vinegar to warm water in a ratio of 1:4 in a bowl to ensure you get the right concentration and do not damage the cloth color.

Use a damp rag soaked in the solution to wipe the wood stain off the cloth. Smaller pressure rather than one great effort is the ideal way to clear the stains.

You should notice that most stains have either left the cloth or are coming out gradually. Wash and rinse the cloth to remove any extra stains.

8. Hairspray

Even your hairspray is not left out when dealing with wood stains, and you can start by placing a paper towel under the stain to prevent any stain from reaching the unaffected areas.

Next, spray the hair spray directly on the wood stain to weaken its bonds and then wipe off the loosened particles with a clean, dry rag. At this point, almost all the stain would’ve cleared. Finally, complete the process by washing normally.

9. Removing Dried Wood Stain

Some paints dry fast and solidify the stain on the cloth. Dried wood stain can be quite challenging when considering its removal from clothing.

Firstly, you’ll have to use a knife to remove the excess on the fabric. Then, with the knife, scrape the paint without damaging the fabric or extending the spread of the wood stain.

You can also use tape to remove the excess stain by pressing the tape down on the stain and ripping it off.

Soak a rag in alcohol or turpentine and dab the area, weakening the wood stain’s structure and making it easier to remove with the next steps.

Most of it will loosen and come off by gently tapping the stain, leaving you with a few you can eliminate by washing with detergent.

Also Read: How to Fix Deep Scratches in a Wood Table?

Tips for Removing Wood Stains From Clothes

These extra tips would make any method you choose more effective, as you’ll generally get better results by following these tips.

  • Timing is important in removing wood stains from clothes. Removing a stain that has not dried is easier, so ensure to immediately work on removing it wherever possible.
  • Always test the effect of the solvent, alcohol, or detergent on some discarded cloth to ensure it will not ruin the fabric’s color.
  • To prevent locking the stains on the cloth, do not attempt to dry it using a drier or out in the open before all the stains have been removed from the cloth.
  • Non-abrasive detergents will protect the fabric from damage and work just as well in removing stains.
  • Use gloves when dealing with high-concentration chemicals and solutions.
  • Do not rub the stained part with the unstained part when washing the cloth to prevent spreading the paint even further.

Final Thoughts

The sheer number of ways to remove wood stains from clothes demystifies the thought of the difficulty in removing stains on clothes.

Furthermore, you will not have to purchase any special material as most of the listed methods contain everyday solvents and materials.

Wood stains transform wooden structures into befitting final pieces, but they can sometimes get messy with stains touching our clothes. Aside from the numerous methods available, they are also easy to replicate without experience.