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Home Care

A Guide To Removing Stains On Your Wooden Furniture

Keep your wooden pieces in pristine state by keeping stains under control

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Photography: Unsplash (Main Photos)

Wooden furniture are classic pieces that can spruce up any space, but maintaining them can be a bit tricky, especially because we don’t want to permanently ruin them. Of course, mishaps still happen all the time in the home, so it’s good to know the best course of action to take when different kinds of stains threaten our precious wooden pieces. Here are some easy, affordable ways to remove various stains on your wood furniture.


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Water rings

If ever you accidentally leave a cold glass of water on your wooden table and realize that it has left an unsightly white ring on the wood, don’t panic. To clean this up, all you need is some white, non-gel toothpaste. Apply a bit of the toothpaste on the stain, making sure to only cover the stain itself and not the surrounding surface, then rub it gently along the grain. Later, wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth, then after the surface has dried completely, re-apply furniture polish if necessary.

In case the stain still doesn’t disappear, you can make a DIY cleaner that’s slightly stronger by mixing equal parts of white, non-gel toothpaste and baking soda. Use a rag to scrub the paste into the stain, then rinse it off with a damp cloth.

Dye stains

Dye can be quite stubborn to remove, especially on surfaces like wood. Take out your baking soda and distilled vinegar and get to work. Mix these two ingredients together until you get a paste, then spread that over the stain and rub it gently into the wood using a sponge. After you’re done, wipe the paste off, then rinse the surface with a rag and water.

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Permanent marker writings

Maybe you have little children who got a little sneaky with your permanent marker, or maybe the ink leaked through the surface of your paper as you were writing—either way, to erase those marks, all you need is some isopropyl alcohol. Place a small amount of the alcohol on a rag, and use that rag to rub the stain gently. When the stain is gone, wipe the surface with a damp cloth. However, alcohol is quite a powerful substance, so before working on the stain, try the alcohol on an inconspicuous spot first.

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Food and nail polish

Ever gotten any food spilled on your wooden furniture? Or maybe you accidentally got some drops of your nail polish on it? To get rid of these stains, bring out your dishwashing soap. Mix this with some warm water, and then, using a rag or a cloth soaked in the solution, rub on the stain until it’s gone.


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Grease marks

Grease is another kind of stain that can be a bit tricky to remove, so you also need a strong material to combat it. Get some ammonia, combine it with cold water, then soak a rag in this solution and use it to clean the stain. However, remember that ammonia is a corrosive substance, so be extra careful in handling it.

Black stains

The type of stains that is most difficult to remove from wood surfaces is black stains, since these penetrate into the wood deeper than most other stains. To clean it, you’ll need some oxalic acid or powder, a substance that is commonly found in wood bleach and in some household cleaners. Mix the oxalic acid/powder with water until you get a paste, then apply it to the stain using a rag or a disposable paint brush. Let the paste sit, until it dries. You may have to apply the paste multiple times until the stain is gone. Again, oxalic acid can be very dangerous, so be very careful in handling it.

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Source: Reader's Digest, WikiHow

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