If you’re a woodworker or often exposed to wood stains, the chances of your clothes getting stained are high. And you don’t want that as wood stains are almost impossible to get rid of once dry. That being said, how do you protect your clothes from wood stains? How do you remove them from your clothes?
What Are Wood Stains?
First, know if wood stains are permanent and why; if yes, you need to know what wood stains are. Passing by a piece of furniture whose stain hasn’t completely set and dried and getting your clothes stained by it is a wood stain; however, this isn’t the only occurrence of wood stains. That being said, what are wood stains?
Wood stains are paints used to color wooden pieces, either furnishings or fittings. They usually contain three components – pigments, dyes, and carriers, and provide various benefits for the wood. For instance, wood stains help to beautify wooden pieces.
Imagine how bare and lifeless the wooden chairs in your living room would look without color. You wouldn’t even be attracted to them in the showroom in the first place, not to talk of buying and bringing them home.
Asides from beautification, wood stains also protect wooden pieces from the damaging effects of the sun. The ultraviolet rays of the sun cause wood to fade and lose its original color.
This is why experts advise that your furniture shouldn’t be placed in the direction of constant exposure to sunlight.
Finally, since wood stains saturate the wood, they prevent other agents from infiltrating it. For instance, termites and other microorganisms are wont to feast on wood. If the wooden pieces in your home aren’t saturated with wood stains, sooner or later, you’ll find some parts falling away.
Who Uses Wood Stains?
Usually, those who use wood stains are woodworkers and furniture makers. However, even if you aren’t one, you can get a wood stain if you need to color your wooden furnishings or fittings. As long as you use wood stains, your clothes will be stained if you aren’t careful.
Are Wood Stains Permanent?
Wood stains aren’t common because not everyone works with wood or is exposed to wood-furnishing products. However, they aren’t the easiest stains to remove as well. What determines if wood stains are permanent is how you handle them.
Once you get some wood stains on your clothes, the next thing to do is to get rid of them immediately. If you dilly-dally, the stains will become permanent, and you’ll end up ruining the fabric.
Wood Stains On Your Clothes? Here’s How To Remove Them
The best way to remove wood stains from your clothes is to get rid of them as soon as possible. Thankfully, most of the things you need are in your kitchen or first aid box.
Wood stains typically come in 2 categories: oil-based and water-based. If the wood stain on your clothes comes from an oil-based product, you need mineral spirits to blot it out. Dip a dishcloth in mineral spirits and work it on the stain, starting from the edges.
Ensure there’s a paper towel beneath the fabric so the stain won’t transfer onto another surface. Once you’re done, rinse the fabric before washing.
If the wood stain is water-based, you need to use acetone. Before applying the acetone, place the stained part of the clothes on paper towels.
After, put a few drops of acetone on the stain and blot out using a small piece of cloth already soaked in acetone. Start from the edges of the stain so that you don’t end up spreading it. Blot until the stain is gone and after, rinse the fabric before washing.
Detergent and ammonia solution
You can make a solution of ¼ cup of ammonia, a teaspoon of liquid detergent, and 2 cups of warm water. Dip a dishcloth into the solution and use it to blot out the stain. After, rinse and wash the fabric as well.
Things to note when removing wood stains
Don’t rub the stain
You’ll be worsening the situation if you rub the stain at any point in time. The more you rub it, the higher the chances of spreading the stain.
Use non-abrasive detergents
Either you’re using the ammonia solution or washing the clothes after blotting out the stain, use a non-abrasive detergent. Abrasive ones will ruin the fabric, either by weakening or bleaching the fibers. Look out for effective but mild cleaning agents when shopping for your household items. You can also opt for environmentally-friendly products.
When using chemicals to treat stains, wear a pair of gloves to avoid your hands getting burned.
You can watch this video on how to remove wood stains from clothes :
Dried Wood Stains On Your Clothes? Try These Methods
You shouldn’t allow your wood stains to set before you remove them. But what if they do? Does that mean the affected clothes are ruined? No. You can still remove the stains, but it’s no easy task. Below are some ways to remove dried wood stains from clothes.
Dishwashing soap and peroxide
To remove dried wood stains from your clothes, use peroxide, and a non-abrasive but effective fish soap. For every 2 parts of peroxide, use one part of dish soap. Rub the mixture into the wood stain using a small cloth until you can see the stain fading. Rinse the fabric once you’re done and wash.
Vinegar and baking soda
Another solution is to use vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar is a multipurpose liquid that works for quite many things. First, apply some vinegar to the dried wood stain and let it sit for a while. After, sprinkle some baking soda over it and rub it in.
If you need to apply more vinegar, do so. Rinse the cloth to check the progress. You can repeat the process as many times as possible until the stain disappears before washing the fabric.
What If The Stain Doesn’t Go Away?
The methods mentioned above won’t guarantee that your clothes should be rid of dried wood stains. Wood stains are very stubborn, which is why you have to act fast as soon as they come in contact with your clothes. If the stains still don’t go away, you have no choice but to give up.
As for the affected clothes, you can turn them into clothes for working in the house or fixing some things on your property. However, it’ll be very painful if the clothes are very dear to you, maybe, one of your fashionable formal wears for instance.
In this case, check if you can still wear the clothes without the stains being so noticeable. For example, if it’s a gown stained somewhere above your waist, you can wear a jacket on it to cover the stain.
If there’s no way to rework the affected clothes to function as before still, you’ll have to deal with losing them. As such, do all you can to ensure wood stains don’t get on your clothes.
4 Ways To Protect Your Clothes From Wood Stains
It’s preferable if something doesn’t happen at all, than it should, and you’re left with cleaning up the mess. The latter isn’t always easy and sometimes can be irreversible. As such, you should strive to protect your clothes from wood stains. Here are some steps to guide you.
Wear work overalls
Either you’re a woodworker by profession, or you turn one due to other reasons, always remember to wear work overalls whenever you’re using wood stains. If there’s any stain at all, they’ll be on the overalls and not your clothes. As such, you’ll protect your clothes from stains.
If you don’t have work overalls, you can wear the clothes that are least dear to you, like the ones you use for household chores. That way, even if they get stained, you won’t be so pained as those clothes aren’t the type for making a fashion statement or putting up a good impression.
Treat wood stains with care
Wood stains aren’t bouquets you show to everyone or carry around, especially if they’re not properly covered. If you’re carrying wood stains, handle them with care.
You should put them in containers with tightly-fitted lids if you’re pouring them out of their original containers. If the containers have no covers, then don’t carry the stain around. Put them in a location where no one can stumble upon them.
Hire a professional
You can choose to do your woodwork projects yourself and leave everywhere messy and your clothes stained, or you can outsource to a professional who will do a good job and leave no mess behind. However, if you insist on coloring your wooden pieces yourself, ensure you seek knowledge on how to do it properly to avoid a poor job or getting stained.
Avoid wooden pieces whose stains aren’t dry
Finally, don’t go near a wooden piece whose color hasn’t completely set. In that state, it will stain anything that comes in contact with it. Wood stains take about 24-48 hours to dry completely, but as a note of caution, you should wait for 72 – 96 hours for them to cure. Afterward, you can handle them.
Wood stains don’t have to be permanent on your clothes if you take action fast and do the right things. You can also get rid of dry wood stains from your clothes; however, this doesn’t happen all the time. The best thing to do is to avoid wood stains from getting on your clothes in the first place.
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.