How To Remove Wood Stain From Clothes: [Easy Guide]

The easiest way to remove the wood stain from your clothes depends on how much paint you’ve spilled. It also makes a difference whether you used water-based or oil-based paint. To make it easier for you, we have put together a few tips for you on how to get both types of color out of your clothes.

Good to know  : the best way to get rid of a wood stain from clothes or a textile is still to act quickly! In fact, the faster you treat the wood stain, the less time the products will have to soak into the fabric and stay there.

The wood stain, especially that has a glossy finish , is one of the most difficult to remove stains, but luckily we have several tricks that allow us to remove it and save the garment on which it has fallen.

Tools you will required(depending on which method you want to use):

  • Clean rags
  • Table spoon
  • Butter knife
  • Paper towels
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Rags of white sponge or cloth
  • Rub alcohol
  • Acetone
  • Toothbrush
  • Turpentine or paint thinner
  • Disposable plastic container
  • Cotton balls

Steps to do before you remove wood stain from clothes

  1. Act as fast as possible . Once the wood stain has dried, it becomes much more difficult to remove it. If you don’t have the right cleaners on hand, at least try to keep the stain wet until you can clean it properly.
  2. Remove excess stain before treating the stain . Use a dull knife or spoon to remove excess wood stain from clothing without spreading it. Then use an old rag or towel to gently rub the stain and absorb as much of the stain as possible. After that, you can start treating the stain.
  3. If the wood stain has already dried, scrape off as much of it as you can . With the help of a brush with stiff bristles, scrape off the solid wood stain, but don’t get carried away and avoid damaging the fabric underneath.

Want to stain wood and don’t know how to start? I created an easy step by step guide how you can stain wood!

To decide which measure to take to remove wood stains from clothing, first find out whether it is water-based or oil-based wood stain. The “wood stains” include, for example, water based stains, oil based stains, gel wood stains and varnish wood stains.

Important TIP!
*First of all, never apply a product on a piece of cloth without having done a test on a hidden corner. In this way, its safety can be checked before it irremediably ruins the fabric.
*Secondly, it is important to use the correct remedy based on the type of wood stain to be removed.

How To Remove Water-based Wood Stain from Clothes

To remove a stain of water-based stain from clothing , you will need soap and warm water. The process to follow depends on the freshness of the wood stain:

  • If the stain is still fresh, rub the cotton, linen, or synthetic fabric with hot, soapy water.
  • If the stain is dry, soak your laundry for a few hours in soapy water, in the bathroom sink , for example.

Water-based wood stains are latex and acrylic, but some high-gloss wood stains are also water-based. If you’re not sure whether the wood stain is water-based or not, you can always check the label.

Once you are sure that the stain you are using is water-based, you can start by removing as much of the excess paint as possible. 

Steps to remove water-based wood stains from clothes:

1. Rinse the wood stain with warm water

Turn the garment inside out so that the spot with the wood stain is facing up. Then, rinse the area with a strong stream of warm, running water. Try to wash away under warm running water (preferably in the kitchen sink) to remove as much of the wood stain as you can from the clothes.

2. Apply detergent to the wood stain

Treat the stain with detergent. Use commercially available liquid detergent. As always, try the detergent on a small, inconspicuous area beforehand to avoid undesirable side effects.  If you don’t have a laundry detergent on hand, a dish soap may work

3. Rub the wood stain from clothes with detergent

Use a sponge or cloth to scrub the detergent into the fabric until the wood stain disappears. Then use the sponge or cloth to wash the paint off the garment. You may have to repeat this step several times.

4. Use rubbing alcohol for more stubborn clothes stains

If the above method didn’t help, you can try using isopropyl alcohol(rubbing alcohol) on the stain (test a small piece of the stain first) . 

To do this, keep dabbing the fabric in the rubbing alcohol. You could also use nail polish remover, which is even stronger, but can also be very harmful for some types of fabric. This will damage synthetic fibers (like cellulose diacetate), so check the label on the garment.

5. Pre-treat stains

If you have a regular stain remover around the house, you can also pre-treat your stain with this product for better results.

There are materials like jeans that are even harder to clean. If you need to remove water-based stain from jeans:

  • Take white spirit;
  • A clean cloth;
  • A stainless steel spoon with a flat handle, or a knife.

Gently scrape the stain with the handle of the spoon or the flat of the knife blade to remove excess paint. Then, pat without rubbing the jeans with the cloth impregnated with white spirit. Once done, you just have to wash the jeans in the machine at a temperature of 40 °C. If the stain persists, rub black soap on it, rinse and dry normally.

Sometimes a stain can appear on your favorite wooden furniture! This tutorial will show you how to remove stain from wood in the easiest way possible!

How To Remove Oil-based Wood Stain from Clothes

How To Remove Oil-based Wood Stain from Clothes

Removing an oil-based wood stain is a little more complicated: in fact, the oil (greasy by definition) will soak up very quickly in the clothes. It must therefore be removed immediately to avoid disaster!

First of all, carry out the same steps described in the previous section before starting to act. If the paint you are using is oil-based, it will be a little more difficult to remove the stain. But it is not impossible. 

Steps to remove oil-based wood stains from clothes:

1. Read the instructions on the wood stain label

With oil-based paint, there is often information on the label or cup about how the particular paint can be removed. Even if there is no instruction on it, you should start removing the stain while it is still damp and not yet dried.

2. Treat the wood stain with alcohol, turpentine, or the recommended stain remover

Start by removing the excess paint with absorbent paper. Put some paper towels or tissues under the garment, making sure the stain is facing down. 

Now dab the stain over and over again with a cloth or sponge soaked in one of the White-Spirit type solvent .

Take care that this does not discolor the cloth. First test in an invisible corner of the garment.

You repeat this until the wood stain is gone from the cloth. Be careful with delicate clothes because you may have to repeat this process several times

Note that some types of clothes are not suitable for alcohol treatment. So be sure to read the washing instructions label beforehand.

3. Smear with detergent and leave the cloth to soak overnight

Cover the stain with detergent and let the piece sit in warm water overnight. Now is the time to soak the paint stained area with detergent and immerse the garment in water at the highest temperature recommended on the label. The water should be as hot as the fabric can withstand.

4. Scrub the wood stain again with detergent and then wash the clothes in the washing machine.

The next day, rub the stain again with detergent and wash the garment in the washing machine as normal.

If you have kids you know the struggle of removing ink stain from furniture! I’ve created this simple tutorial to show you how it’s done!

How to Get Dried Wood Stain Out of Clothes

How to remove Dried Wood Stain from Clothes

If the stain is already dry, soak your garment in a basin of soapy water for several hours to soften it, then gently scrape the stain with the tip of a knife.

You can then opt for household alcohol or rubbing alcohol with a cloth that you dab on the stain.

Wipe a cloth with isopropyl alcohol after removing excess wood stain or, if that doesn’t work, apply a little alcohol directly on the fabric. Test on a small part of the cloth to make sure it’s working properly.

Follow this steps to remove dried wood stain from clothes:

Step 1: Scrape off as much paint as possible before treatment. Be careful not to enlarge the stains or damage the textile. If there are several spots of color on it, use adhesive tape. Press this onto the textile and pull it off again with a jerk.Let the garment soak for a few hours to soften the stains and try to scratch.

Step 2: If the wood stain remains, take a sponge or a dry, clean cloth, previously soaked in household alcohol , then dab the cloth area with the product where the stains are persistent.

Step 3: Use an alcohol-based product to try to break the bond between the fabric and the wood stain. The turpentine can also replace household alcohol as wood stain remover.

Step 4: Rub with a clean cloth dampened with a little alcohol or nail polish remover. Test in an inconspicuous place on the garment before using these products and rub until some of the color transfers from the garment to the cloth.

Step 5: When the wood stain is disappearing, use a detergent to remove all possible remains before washing the garment in the washing machine regularly at 30º of temperature.

Important TIP!
Many of the listed laundry detergents leave an unpleasant odor. It is not recommended to drown it out with perfumery. Do a baking soda wash, and then hang the laundry on the balcony or outside.

Here is how you remove paint from wood with easy, simple steps!

At home, it is much more difficult to remove dried stain than fresh stain. However, there are several methods with proven effectiveness. If the stain is large and dense, lightly scrape off with a knife, being careful not to damage the fabric. Then we use a suitable tool.

  1. Water-based: removed with pure alcohol. Apply it on the dirt and rub it with your hands. Almost always, the item is washed the first time. If you don’t have alcohol on hand, soak your clothes in soapy water and then machine wash them.
  2. Oil: dries up very quickly in the air. And to return the clothes to their original appearance, you will need to soften the top layer. To do this, apply gasoline, oil or thinner and wait until the stain is slightly damp. Then rub the wood stain with your hands. Put the cloth in the washing machine.

Tips to remove dried wood stains from clothes

Unfortunately, some dry wood stains can resist all removal methods so remember these tips: 

  1. Do not hesitate to pour boiling water on the stain. The heat tends to return the dry, encrusted paint to a liquid form, making it easier to clean.
  2. Scrape off the stain with a scraping sponge.
  3. Use a paint solvent if your wood stain is old and dried. Apply it to the stain and observe the result.
  4. Be careful though: just like oven stripper, solvents (such as White Spirit) can cause clothing to discolor. Always test the product on a non-visible part of the garment before applying it to the stain to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  5. Scraping the surface of the wood stain allows better effectiveness of cleaning products.

How To Remove Wood Stain From Clothes using Home Remedies

Home RemediesHow to remove Wood Stains from Clothes
White vinegarVinegar has always been the best friend of cleaning the home and to remove wood stains from clothes, it is no exception. 
If you want to learn how to remove stains from clothing with white vinegar, just mix ¼ part vinegar to ¾ parts warm water and rub the wood stain with a damp cloth. 
Then let it soak and wash it as usual.
Baking SodaCreate a paste by mixing four teaspoons of baking soda with one cup of water and applying it to the affected area. 
Leave it on for a couple of hours and then wash it.
White spiritMix equal amounts of white spirit and white vinegar . 
Soak a cloth in it, dab the wood stain with this mixture and leave it on for about half an hour before rinsing it off with cold water. 
Rinse again as soon as possible after stain removal.
Then wash your clothes according to your habits.
HairsprayAfter spraying the hairspray (or deodorant) directly onto the garment, the stain will be dissolved by the alcohol, and all you have to do is wipe the wood stain off with a clean white piece of cloth.
Rinsed off with lukewarm water after five minutes. 
Be sure to place a clean cloth or towel under your clothing to catch any wood stain residue. The procedure can be repeated until the stain has (almost) disappeared.
DetergentIf the wood stain stain is fresh or not too encrusted, to remove it, it may be sufficient to use hot water and the trivial dish detergent . 
With a brush, remove the most noticeable paint residues and rinse the back of the fabric with warm water . 
Mix two equal parts of dish detergent with warm water, soak a sponge in the mixture and start dabbing the front side of the stained garment with the soaked sponge.
Remember that fresh paint stains can be easily removed by simply soaking the fabric in hot water with a liquid detergent.
Sugar solution Mix the sugar and water into a thick paste. 
This is spread over the wood stain and rubbed over the fabric with a cloth in the manner of a clothes peeling. 
Then wash as usual.


Removing wood stains is certainly the hardest job to do around the house when it comes to cleaning. Especially if you need to remove dried wood stains.

But if you act quickly, these tips will help you remove wood stains from your clothes as quickly as possible. From now on a wood stain on a cloth will no longer be a challenge!

Adrian Tapu

Adrian is a seasoned woodworking with over 15 years of experience. He helps both beginners and professionals expand their skills in areas like furniture making, cabinetry, wood joints, tools and techniques. Through his popular blog, Adrian shares woodworking tips, tutorials and plans related to topics such as wood identification, hand tools, power tools and finishing.

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