How to Get Rid of Alcohol Stains on Wood

Reading Time: 3 minutes

People frequently spill drinks and liquids on tables, floors, or furniture. While they’re generally easy to clean, they can occasionally leave unsightly stains that are difficult to remove.
Liquids with alcohol are one of those complex cases. Wine, beer, mouthwash, and hand sanitizer all contain alcohol, which can leave white marks and other traces on wooden surfaces.

What to Do to Remove Alcohol Stains from Wood

It turns out that there are several approaches to dealing with this snag. Steel wool, sandpaper, furniture oil, and baking soda; all can be used to remove this type of stain from wood. To learn how, stick with us, and we’ll explore how to get rid of alcohol stains on wood and more.

Why Does Alcohol Stain Wood?

Ethanol is the alcoholic property found in beverages, whereas isopropyl is a typical component of disinfectants. While ethanol and isopropyl aren’t thought to cause stains on the actual wood, they can damage the finishing on wooden furniture and floors.

When alcohol comes into contact with the coating of wood, it acts as a powerful solvent. As such, it dissolves the wood finish, leaving white stains and marks. It’s critical to remove the stain as soon as possible to avoid damaging the integrity and appearance of your furniture. Let’s look at the best ways to deal with alcohol stains on wood.

1. Immediately Clean the Spilled Area

Preventing stains in the first place is preferable to remove them later. So, if you spill a significant amount of alcohol-containing liquid on a polished wood surface, act quickly and clean the area to avoid or reduce staining.

Here are the steps to clean an alcohol spill on wood properly:

  1. First, grab some soft, clean cloth, like napkins or towels.
  2. Surround the area of the spill with those fabrics to prevent it from spreading.
  3. Next, dab or wipe the wet area with another clean cloth until it dries.
  4. Do it as quickly as you can, as wood absorbs alcohol quickly.
  5. Don’t scrub or rub to avoid forcing the alcohol deeper into the wood grains or finish.
  6. Once you’ve wiped off all the alcohol, mop the area with water and a cloth to wash off any alcohol remains and let it dry.

On a side note, when cleaning any stains involving alcohol, never use fabric with vivid and colorful prints. Alcohol is a potent solvent that could cause the colors to bleed into the wood.

2. Use Steel Wool or Sandpaper to Rub the Stain Off

Suppose you’re too late to clean the alcohol, which sat there for some time, causing significant damage to the wooden polish. Below are the steps to use steel wool or sandpaper to remove alcohol stains from wood:

  1. Start by softly wiping or dabbing the alcohol with a clean cloth until it’s dry.
  2. Identify the stains and blots that have formed on the wood.
  3. Get steel wool or 120-grit sandpaper and lightly rub it on the stains.
  4. Make sure not to apply too much pressure to prevent damaging the wood.
  5. Once you’ve removed the alcohol stains, wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove the residue.
  6. Finally, if the rubbed area appears pale, apply liquid wax to restore its previous color.

3. Apply Oil to the Stained Spot

Applying the oil is one of the most common ways people deal with alcohol stains on wood. It’s a straightforward yet effective way to deal with this type of stain. For this method, we recommend using furniture polish or linseed oil to achieve the best results. You can use coconut or cooking oil if you don’t have those.

Follow these steps to remove an alcohol stain from wood using oil:

  1. First, dry the stained area from alcohol before applying the oil.
  2. Next, drip a few drops of oil onto a clean cloth.
  3. After, rub the cloth on the stained area with moderate force.
  4. Follow a circular motion while rubbing to clean off the stain thoroughly.
  5. Once you remove all the stains, wipe the surface with a clean, dry cloth.

If you can’t remove the stains and marks with oil alone, you can use it with baking soda. For this method, it’s recommended to use linseed or flaxseed oils.

  1. Start by mixing baking soda and linseed oil in a bowl.
  2. Mix the concoction until you get a paste.
  3. Apply the paste to the stained area unsparingly.
  4. Next, get a clean fabric and start rubbing the paste toward the wood’s grain.
  5. Once you rub all the stains off, clean the area using another clean cloth.

Wrapping Up

Alcohol stains are unsightly on any wooden furniture or floor. That’s why knowing how to get rid of alcohol stains on wood is beneficial for all of us. Remember that steel wool, sandpaper, and oils are among the most effective ways to clean alcohol stains from polished wooden materials.

Use them, along with the steps discussed here, and you’ll have squeaky-clean furniture.

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