How to Get an Alcohol Stain out of Wood

You may be enjoying a glass of wine at the dining table, or cooking with alcohol in the kitchen when some of it spills onto your wooden furniture or your wooden floor. Either way, this may send you into a panic. 

While wood might be difficult to clean, an alcohol stain does not have to spell complete disaster. You just need to know how to get an alcohol stain out of wood in a safe yet effective way. 

Armed with the right products and methods to use, you can effectively remove the stain from the wood furniture without damaging the wood surface. This article guides you on the best and safest ways to get alcohol stains out of wood, and which products are best to use with these methods. 

What this article covers:

How to Get Alcohol Stains out of Wood

An alcohol spill on wood can be removed if you use the right product, which is any form of oil that you may already have in your kitchen cabinet. 

Remove Excess Liquid 

If the spill is fresh, there might be excess alcohol liquid sitting on the stain. You should first remove this excess liquid using a paper towel. 

how to get alcohol stains out of wood

When doing this, dab the area gently until it is dry rather than rubbing it, as the latter can spread the stain and/or push the alcohol deeper into the wood, making it more difficult to remove. 

Apply Oil 

Next, you will need to get some form of oil that you will likely already have in your cooking supply cupboard. 

This can be olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or any other type that you have available. The oily consistency is what is important, so the exact kind you use does not matter. 

Dip the corner of a clean, soft cloth into the oil. To remove excess oil from the corner, you can rub it against a paper towel or another cloth before you continue. 

Then rub the corner of the cloth with the oil on it over the stained area, with very gentle pressure. Rub the stain in small circular motions, re-dipping it into the oil at regular intervals, until the stain completely fades from the wood. 

how to clean wood furniture with rubbing alcohol

Rinse & Dry

Once the stain has cleared completely, you will need to remove the oil from the wood furniture or floors. Dip a fresh cloth into plain, cold water and then wipe down the affected area. Then use a dry cloth to wipe off the water and dry the area. 

You can repeat this step more than once if necessary to completely remove the remaining oil. This can also be used to remove body oil from wood furniture

Polish Area

Finally, you can use a wood polishing wax to polish the area of the wood that you cleaned. This will leave the wood looking as fresh as new. 

How to Get Rubbing Alcohol out of Wood

Often if we spot a bit of dirt on wood, we instinctively use rubbing alcohol to remove it or to sanitize an area. This is sometimes used to remove pen ink from wood furniture. But this may worsen the issue as the rubbing alcohol can leave a stain behind on particular types of wood. 

To remove this, it is best to use a non-alcohol solution so that you can clear the stain effectively and safely for the wood. 

how to get rubbing alcohol stains out of wood

Wipe Off Excess

First, you will need to check if there is any wet rubbing alcohol on the wood. This might be the case if the stain is quite new, as some of it may not have dried yet.

Use a paper towel to gently blot the area to absorb this excess alcohol. Avoid rubbing it, as this can just push the rubbing alcohol deeper into the wood. 

Mix & Apply the Solution

Vinegar is a proven home cleaning solution, as it can remove stubborn stains and fix discoloration. It can also help with odor, especially getting the musty smell out of wood

Combine 1 part white spirit vinegar with two parts cold water in a small bowl or bucket. Transfer this to a spray bottle, and then spray the stained area with the solution. 

how to get rubbing alcohol stain out of wood

Use a soft cleaning brush to gently scrub the area. You can use our Handfit Horsehair Brush, as it is non-abrasive on the wood. Apply very light pressure while scrubbing to avoid damaging the wood. 

You can also use a CRB machine for this step if you have one available. 

Continue with this until the stain has cleared out. 

how to remove rubbing alcohol stains from wood furniture

Rinse Area

Dip a fresh cloth into plain, cold water and wipe the cleaned area to remove any remnants of the vinegar. You can re-dip and wipe the area a few times if necessary. 

Leave To Dry

Leave the area to air dry for a few minutes, then check it to ensure that the alcohol stain is completely removed. If not, repeat the entire process. 

how to get isopropyl alcohol stains out of wood


Cleaning wood floors or furniture needs to be done safely, with the right methods and products to adequately protect the wood. It is relatively challenging to remove dark stains from wood because of the sensitive nature of the material, but if you use the right methods you can do it effectively. 

With an alcohol stain, it is always best to attend to it as soon as it occurs, as this allows less time for the liquid to seep into the wood, making it tougher to remove. 

How to Get an Alcohol Stain out of Wood (FAQs)

Does Alcohol Damage Wood Stain?

Yes, when alcohol is in contact with wood or wood stain it can leave behind a stubborn stain. 

Depending on the type of alcohol, you can use simple cleaning methods such as oil or vinegar to remove it, but this should be done as soon as possible after the stain occurs.

Does Toothpaste Remove Wood Stains?

Yes, toothpaste is a common household item that can be used to rub onto wood to remove small stains. It is often combined with baking soda to create a cleaning paste solution. 

how to remove rubbing alcohol stains from hardwood floors

Does Alcohol Permanently Stain Wood?

Alcohol can permanently stain wood if it is left too long without cleaning it up. It is crucial to attend to an alcohol stain as soon as possible so that it is not left to settle too deep into the wood. 

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