How Remove Wood Stain From Clothes and Carpet? (4 Methods)

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Reviewed by
Eral Kadrija

Tony Adams

While staining a surface, you can spill wood stain on a carpet or clothes. So, how to remove it?

To remove oil-based wood stain carpet, sprinkle baking soda, vinegar, or a mixture of laundry detergent, ammonia solution, or baking soda with water.

To remove water-based wood stain from clothes, use water to wipe them off or rubbing alcohol.

To know what type of wood stain you have, check the container, or wash the affected spot with water or rubbing alcohol.

Does Wood Stain Come Out Of Clothing and Carpets?

Wood stain does come out of clothing and carpets but not completely, especially if it has soaked and dried through the cloth’s fibers. The longer you leave it on the carpet, the more difficult it is to remove it.

The wood stain will leave a discolored spot even after removing if it dries on the cloth. That’s because it has a high volume of dye and pigments in the formula, and the pigments will set (and dry) on the carpet and discolor it. So, it’s important to remove it immediately.

Dried oil-based wood stain is harder to remove from carpet as its finish is hard and glossy. Soften or dissolve it with a solvent-based removal and wipe it off. Don’t try to wash it off the cloth or fabric as it will spread its color rather than remove it.

How To Know What Type of Wood Stain You Have in Your Clothes?

How To Know What Type of Wood Stain You Have in Your Clothes?

To know what type of wood stain you have in your clothes (or carpet), do the following.

  1. Check the container.
  2. Wash the cloth with water.
  3. Wipe the carpet with rubbing alcohol.

Water-based and oil-based wood stains have different removal processes. You must know the type of wood stain to know which method (or products) to use.

Check the container if the wood stain is fresh. The container will indicate if it’s water-based or oil-based.

Wash the cloth with water; if the wood stain comes off after washing it with water, it’s water-based. If it doesn’t come off, it’s oil-based. Water-based wood stain is water soluble and will come off with water, while oil-based stain won’t.

Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and use it to wipe the carpet. If the wood stain comes off, it’s water-based as rubbing alcohol removes it. If the wood stain doesn’t come off, it’s oil-based as rubbing alcohol isn’t strong enough to remove it.

How To Remove Oil-based Wood Stain From Clothes?

How To Remove Oil-Based Wood Stain From Clothes?

The oil-based wood stain has more oils and pigments, so removing it is harder and requires a stronger solvent.

1. Fresh Oil-based Stain

If the stain is still wet, remove it by following the steps below:

  1. Wipe the excess wood stain off of the cloth using a rag.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda or vinegar on the stained spot and leave for a few minutes.
  3. The baking soda will absorb the stain.
  4. Dampen the affected spot with mineral spirits.
  5. Wash the cloth with laundry detergent.
  6. Rinse it with plenty of water and allow it to dry.
  7. When the cloth dries, inspect it.
  8. The stain should be gone. If not, repeat the steps.

2. Dry Oil-based Stain

Removing dried oil-based wood stain is more difficult because it has a glossy finish that repels liquid. So, it’s harder for the solvent to penetrate its finish and dissolve the particles. That’s why you must mix different solvents to create a stronger mixture to remove it.

Mix laundry detergent, ammonia solution, or baking soda with water.

Here is a guide for this:

  1. Prep your mixture.
  2. Pour the mixture over the dry oil-based stain.
  3. Wait a few minutes.
  4. The stain will become softened and might change its color.
  5. When you notice changes, wipe the affected spot with a clean rag.
  6. Wash the cloth with laundry detergent.
  7. Rinse thoroughly.
  8. Leave the cloth to dry.

How To Remove Water-based Wood Stain From Clothes?

How To Remove Water-Based Wood Stain From Clothes?

Removing water-based wood stain is easier because it doesn’t contain many additives, oils, or a glossy finish. So, the solvent can easily penetrate its coating and dissolve the particles.

1. Fresh (Wet) Water-based Stain

If the water-based wood stain is still wet or fresh, blot it out using a rag and water and wash the fabric.

  1. Use a dampened rag (with water) to clean the stained spot.
  2. Wipe as much stain off the cloth as you can.
  3. Wash the cloth using laundry detergent and rinse it with plenty of water.
  4. Leave the cloth to dry.

2. Dry Water-based Stain

If the wood stain has dried, you need a paint-removing solvent, such as rubbing alcohol, to remove it. Rubbing alcohol is a natural paint remover and will dissolve paint particles of the stain, making it easier to remove it.

  1. Use a clean rag to remove as much wood stain as possible from the fabric.
  2. Pour rubbing alcohol into a clean rag, and use the dampened rag to wipe the stained spot.
  3. Wait 5 minutes.
  4. The stain will liquefy (become loose), and you can wipe it off.
  5. Wash the cloth with laundry detergent and rinse it.
  6. Allow the cloth to dry.

Tip: You must wash the cloth properly to remove the rubbing alcohol residue. If you don’t, the rubbing alcohol can discolor the cloth.

How To Remove Wood Stain From Carpet?

How To Remove Wood Stain From Carpet?

To remove wood stain from carpet do the following things.

  1. Use Baking Soda – If the wood stain is still fresh, sprinkle baking soda over it. Baking soda will absorb it from the carpet, and you can vacuum the leftover stains.
  2. Use Mineral Spirits -If the wood stain has dried on the carpet, use mineral spirits or acetone to dissolve and remove it.
  3. Rinse It – After washing the carpet, rinse it with plenty of water to remove the soap residue.
  4. Vacuum It– Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove excess moisture from the carpet and allow it to dry faster.

The tools you need for this project are listed below.

  • Laundry detergent
  • A vacuum
  • Scrubbing brush
  • A soft sponge
  • Water
  • Mineral spirits or acetone
  • Baking soda

Note: Wood stain penetrates (or soaks into) carpets deeply, so it’s harder to remove them.

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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