How to Remove Wood Stain from Clothes Carpet Upholstery

Wood Stain
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If you are working on a piece of furniture or staining a wood floor, I hope you're wearing old clothes because the wood staining products can be difficult to remove from fabric. However, while it is nearly impossible to remove large stains - especially those that have really soaked through the fibers - there is hope for removing small drips of wood stain or an accidental smear on clothes, carpet and upholstery.

How to Remove Wood Stain Spills from Washable Clothes

Stains from varnishes and wood stains can, of course, happen during do-it-yourself projects. And now and then we can get a bit of wood stain on our clothes from brushing up against newly refinished furniture or projects. And, some furniture polishes used in cleaning actually contain pigments to conceal scratches and can leave stains on fabrics. Even commercially finished furniture or wood clothes hangers that have not been sealed properly can leave traces of stain on clothes.

You'll have the best results if you catch the problem quickly. To remove the wood stains from washable fabrics, use a bit of mineral spirits on a clean white cloth or cotton swab. Test the mineral spirits on an inside seam because it can cause changes in fabric color. Start at the outside edge of the stain and work toward the center to prevent spreading the stain. Work in a small area at a time and move to a clean area of the cloth as the stain is transferred from the fabric.

After removing the stains, wash as usual following the guidelines on the care label.

Check the stained area after washing. If the stain remains, do not dry at a high heat. Repeat the stain removal steps. If the stain has not disappeared after a second treatment, it is most likely permanent.

How to Remove Wood Stain Spills from Dry Clean Only Clothes

If the garment is labeled dry clean only, take it to your dry cleaner as soon as possible.

Point out and identify the stain to help your professional cleaner choose the right treatment. 

If you want to use a home dry cleaning kit, be sure to treat the stain with mineral spirits or the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag. You will have the best results if you take the item to a professional cleaner instead of using a home kit.

How to Remove Wood Stain Spills from Carpet

Just as on clothes, if the wood stain spill is large and has soaked through the carpet fibers to the backing and the padding, it is going to be nearly impossible to remove. This is why you need plastic tarps or a work bench outside.

But, if the drip is small or there is just a bit from a furniture leg that had not dried completely, there's still a chance to remove the damage.

If the stain is fresh, use a paper towel or white cloth to blot up as much moisture as possible. Keep moving to a clean area of the towel to prevent additional staining.  

Mix one teaspoon of liquid dish washing detergent and one-fourth cup household ammonia with two cups warm water. Dip a clean white cloth or sponge into the solution and blot the stained area. Work from the outside edge of the stain toward the center to prevent spreading.

Keep blotting until no more color is transferred to the cleaning cloth.

Dip a clean white cloth in plain water to "rinse" the carpet. Repeat this several times because leaving the cleaning solution in the fibers can actually attract soil. Allow to dry away from direct heat. Vacuum to lift carpet fibers.

If color remains on light colored carpet, mix one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with three tablespoons of warm water. Use a cotton swab or eye dropper to apply to stain. Allow to sit for 30 minutes and then blot away. CAUTION: Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent and should never be used on dark colors.

How to Remove Wood Stain Spills from Upholstery

The same cleaning techniques and solutions for carpet can be used for upholstery. It is important to be careful not to over wet the fabric which can cause damage to the upholstery filling.

If the upholstery is silk or vintage, call a professional.

For more stain removal tips: Stain Removal A to Z