How To Remove Alcohol Stains From Wood? Let’s Find Out!

Wood is prone to stains, particularly if you spill alcohol on them. These stains are stubborn and may appear tricky to remove.

So, how to remove alcohol stains from wood? You can try multiple methods to remove alcohol stains from wood, including

  • Using baking soda paste to rub off the stain
  • Spraying perfume on the stain and rubbing it off
  • Trying the steam iron method
  • Using Bon Ami Powder Cleanser
  • Using a mixture of white vinegar and water
  • Apply shaving cream

In this article, we will discuss effective methods you can use to remove alcohol stains from wooden surfaces. We will also explore why alcohol causes stains on wood and give you tips to avoid such situations. So, let’s get started!

How Alcohol Affects Wood Surfaces And Causes Stains?

Wood is a heterogeneous organic compound made up of long fibers. These fibers consist of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin in their cell walls. Studies show that alcohols can dissolve the natural fibers, resins, and oils present in wood. This could lead to the wood becoming discolored or cloudy.

How Alcohol Affects Wood Surfaces And Causes Stains

According to research, when wood is exposed to water, the hydroxyl groups in its structure expand. If you spill alcoholic beverages or solutions on wood with a moisture content above 20%, it can cause the wood to stain.

Furthermore, some woods like oak, walnut, and mahogany contain high levels of tannic acid. This means they can be a bit sensitive when it comes to cleaning products with higher concentrations of alcohol. Therefore, if you use such products on these wooden surfaces, it might lead to unwanted staining.

How To Remove Alcohol Stains From Wood? 9 Effective Methods to Use

If you spill alcoholic drinks or cleaning solutions on any wooden surface, it can create odd-shaped marks. If you don’t take care of these stains, they can damage the wood’s surface and cause it to lose color. 

How To Remove Alcohol Stains From Wood

Therefore, it is vital that you address these stains quickly and use proper methods to restore the wood’s original look. To help you, we have compiled a list of some effective techniques to remove alcohol stains from wood:

  • The blotting method
  • The steam iron method
  • Use a white vinegar and water mixture
  • Appy baking soda paste
  • Apply perfume
  • Apply denatured alcohol & boiled linseed oil
  • Use shaving cream
  • Use a non-gel toothpaste
  • Use bon ami powder cleanser

1. How To Use A Steam Iron To Remove An Alcohol Stain From Wood?

If you want to remove alcohol stains from your wooden furniture without worsening the situation, try using the steam iron method. 

In this method, you can apply steam and controlled heat to lift the stain and restore the wood’s original beauty. Below, we have included the steps to remove alcohol stains from wood using the steam iron method.

  • Step 1: You should fill the steam iron with water and set it to the lowest steam setting.
  • Step 2: Wipe off any dust from the alcohol-stained area on the wood using a microfiber towel.
  • Step 3: Soak a cotton cloth in water and place it over the alcohol stain on the wood.
  • Step 4: Turn off the steam button and adjust the iron to low heat to prevent wood damage.
  • Step 5: You need to press the warm iron onto the damp cloth that covers the alcohol stain and move it around for 12-15 seconds.
  • Step 6: You should raise the cloth and see if the alcohol stain is transferring onto the cloth. If it is, simply switch to a clean portion of the cloth and continue ironing.
  • Step 7: Once the stain is gone, use a dry cloth to pat the wood surface and remove any excess moisture.

For more information, you can watch this YouTube video.

2. How To Remove Alcohol Stains From Wood Using White Vinegar And Water Mixture?

If you want to remove alcohol stains from wood surfaces naturally and efficiently, consider using a mixture of white vinegar and water. This non-toxic and simple method is especially helpful for minor spills and stains. 

Follow the steps below to discover how to use white vinegar and water mixture to get rid of alcohol stains.

  • Step 1: To begin, mix half a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of water in a small bowl.
  • Step 2: Before you apply the mixture to the stained area, perform a patch test on a hidden spot to ensure that it is safe to use.
  • Step 3: Once you confirm that it is safe, soak a clean cloth in the vinegar-water solution.
  • Step 4: You need to use the soaked cloth to gently blot the alcohol-stained area without saturating the wood.
  • Step 5: Let the vinegar-water mixture sit on the stain for a few minutes to break down the alcohol residue effectively.
  • Step 6: After the mixture has been sitting for a while, use another clean towel to gently blot and remove the stain.
  • Step 7: When you have successfully removed all the stains, take a wet tissue and wipe away any remaining vinegar residue.
  • Step 8: Finally, dry the surface with a fan or microfiber towel.

3. How To Use Baking Soda Paste To Remove Alcohol Stains From Wood?

How To Use Baking Soda Paste To Remove Alcohol Stains From Wood

Baking soda paste is another natural alcohol stain remover from wood surfaces. 

  • Step 1: Mix a small amount of water with some baking soda and lemon juice to make the baking soda paste. 
  • Step 2: After that, apply the paste directly on the alcohol stain. 
  • Step 3: Use a sponge and gently rub the paste into the stain in a circular motion. 
  • Step 4: Let the paste sit on the stain for 3-5 minutes without letting it dry completely.
  • Step 5: When the time is up, wipe the paste away using a damp, clean cloth. If the stain persists, repeat the process until it fades completely.

4. How To Get Rubbing Alcohol Stains Off Wood Using Perfume?

You can use perfume to remove rubbing alcohol stains from wood. Check out the steps below to understand how to use perfume to get rubbing alcohol stains off the wood.

  • Step 1: Firstly, you should ensure the affected area is clean and debris-free.
  • Step 2: Take a cotton ball and damp it in the perfume.
  • Step 3: Gently dab the stained area with the cotton ball.
  • Step 3: Once you have dabbled the stain, use a dry cloth to remove any excess perfume.

Check out the YouTube video added below for more information.

5. How To Remove Alcohol Stain From Wood Using The Blotting Method?

Using the blotting method could be helpful to remove alcohol stains from wood surfaces. You have to use the method immediately after  spilling alcohol on the surface. To use the method effectively, follow the steps below. 

  • Step 1: Use a dry and clean cloth to blot the fresh spill immediately to absorb any excess liquid.
  • Step 2: Even if you are in a hurry, remember not to rub the surface because it might spread the stain.
  • Step 3: After that, take two tablespoons of mild dish soap and mix it well with water.
  • Step 4: Soak a clean cloth in the solution and gently blot the stained area to remove the stain.
  • Step 5: You need to be careful not to soak the wood with too much water. This is because extra water can make the wood vulnerable to bacteria and fungus infections.
  • Step 6: Rinse the cloth with clean water and repeat the blotting process.
  • Step 7: Lastly, you need to dry the wood with a fan or dry cloth.

6. How To Get Alcohol Stains Off Wood Using Denatured Alcohol and Boiled Linseed Oil?

If you have found a fresh alcohol stain on your wooden surface, you can use denatured alcohol and boiled linseed oil to get rid of the stain. 

  • Step 1: First, put denatured alcohol on the stain and begin wiping the area. 
  • Step 2: Put some boiled linseed oil and wait for a few minutes before gently rubbing the area.
  • Step 3: If the stain doesn’t disappear, keep the oil on the surface for 24 hours. Once the time is up, use a soft microfiber towel to clean the wooden surface. 

To avoid future stains, you can apply wax or wood sealer to protect the wooden surface.

7. How Can You Use Shaving Cream To Get Rid Of Rubbing Alcohol Stains?

You can use shaving cream to remove rubbing alcohol stains on wood surfaces. This method is also effective in removing alcohol stains from fabrics and carpets. 

  • Step 1: Wipe away the excess alcohol with a clean cloth. 
  • Step 2: Apply some shaving cream directly onto the stain. 
  • Step 3: Leave it for approximately 15 minutes. 
  • Step 4: You should use a clean towel or sponge to rub the area gently. The emollient properties of the shaving cream can help break down the alcohol residue and remove the stain from the surface. 
  • Step 5: You need to take a clean tissue to wipe away any excess shaving cream residue.

You can watch this YouTube video we have included below for more details.

8. How Can You Remove Alcohol Stains With Regular Toothpaste?

If you would like to use natural remedies for removing alcohol stains, non-gel toothpaste is another good option. 

  • Step 1: Take some toothpaste and dab it onto the stained area. 
  • Step 2: Gently rub the toothpaste in a circular motion for a minute or two. 
  • Step 3: Afterward, use a damp sponge to clean the leftover toothpaste. Toothpaste has abrasive properties that help to remove alcohol stains. 

It’s a simple and quick way to eliminate alcohol stains without the need to spend more on cleaning products.

9. How to Use Bon Ami Powder Cleanser to Remove Isopropyl Alcohol Stains from Wood?

If there are Isopropyl alcohol stains on your wooden surfaces, Bon Ami Powder Cleanser is an effective way to remove them. It won’t harm your wooden furniture or hardwood floors. Furthermore, it can remove tough marks left by alcohol-based cleaning products.

However, before using Bon Ami Powder Cleanser, ensure that the wood surface is sealed and the alcohol stain hasn’t penetrated deep into the wood fibers. 

Check out the steps below to properly use Bon Ami Powder Cleanser.

  • Step 1: Take a small container to mix a little bit of Bon Ami Powder Cleanser with water.
  • Step 2: Remember to add enough water to form a paste that is neither too thick nor too runny.
  • Step 3: Take a spoon and spread the paste entirely over the alcohol stain on the wooden surface.
  • Step 4: You need to leave the paste on the spot for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Step 5: Use a scrubber and gently rub the stained area in circular motions after the time. 
  • Step 6: Get a clean towel and dampen it in warm water.
  • Step 7: Afterward, you should use a damp towel to wipe away the residue.
  • Step 8: Once you have cleaned the area, remember to dry it using a dry cloth.

For more information, check out the YouTube video we have provided below.

What Precautions Should You Take To Prevent Alcohol From Staining Your Wooden Surfaces?

If you want to maintain the beauty of your wooden surfaces and avoid alcohol stains, you need to protect them in advance. Take a look at the table below to find out how you can take precautionary measures to safeguard your wooden surfaces from alcohol stains.

Precautionary StepsExplanation
Choose Appropriate Wood Sealants:You should choose polyurethane, epoxy, acrylic, and polyester sealants that are capable of resisting alcohol and can be used as coatings.
Avoid Using Harsh Cleaning Products:Try to avoid cleaning products that are harsh, as they can damage the finish of the wood.
Use Soft Cloths for Cleaning:To avoid causing scratches on the wood surface, use a soft and lint-free cleaning cloth.
Use Coasters:Always place coasters under beer bottles and wine glasses to create a barrier between the alcohol and the wood.
Wipe Spills Immediately:To prevent alcohol from seeping into the wood, you should clean up any spilled liquid right away.
If you’re dealing with alcohol stains on wood and are seeking solutions, our guide on tung oil vs shellac might also offer insights into different wood finishes that can help restore and protect your wood. Additionally, if you’re interested in comparing tung oil vs beeswax finishes and need to make an informed decision, our comparison guide on tung oil vs beeswax could help you understand the benefits and applications of these natural finishes. We understand the importance of maintaining the beauty of your woodworking projects and selecting the right finishes, and our comprehensive resources are designed to help you navigate and make informed choices.


Have a look at the FAQs below for additional information on how to get rid of alcohol stains from wood.

Q: Will an alcohol stain go away if I let it air dry?

No, allowing an alcohol stain to air dry will not remove the stain. It is important to immediately clean up any alcohol spills to avoid the stain from being absorbed by the wood surface.

Q: Can I remove alcohol stains from unfinished wood? 

It is difficult to remove alcohol stains from unfinished wood as they tend to seep deep into the wood fibers. Thus, it is best to avoid contact between alcohol and unfinished wood.

Q: Can I use sandpaper to remove alcohol stains from wood? 

You should use sandpaper as a last resort for removing alcohol stains from wood. It can remove the stain but may also damage the wood surface.

Q: Is it necessary to refinish the wood after removing alcohol stains? 

If the alcohol stain has penetrated deep into the wood fibers, you should refinish the wood. If the stain is only on the surface, you can remove the stain without the need to refinish.

Q: Is it safe to use a Magic Eraser to remove an alcohol stain from wood?

Magic Erasers are safe to use on wood surfaces. But they can damage the surface of the wood if you use them aggressively. Therefore, use the magic eraser gently and in moderation.

Q: How can I avoid damaging the wood surface while removing alcohol stains?

It is important to be gentle while removing alcohol stains from wood to avoid damaging the wood surface. Use a soft cloth and apply gentle pressure while cleaning the stain.

Q: Can I use bleach to remove alcohol stains from wood?

You should not use bleach to remove alcohol stains from wood as it can damage the natural color and texture of the wood.

Final Words

Alcohol stains on wood can be challenging to remove without the right equipment and methods. However, using the proper cleaning supplies and DIY techniques, you can effectively remove alcohol stains from the majority of wood surfaces.

You should act swiftly to stop the stain from penetrating deeper into the wood. Additionally, it is a good idea to perform a patch test before using any harsh chemicals or cleaning products. 

Your wooden furniture and flooring can remain in superb condition for many years if you take the proper and quick approach to removing alcohol stains.