Stubborn stains can be a nightmare at times. Wood stain spilling on your concrete driveways or surfaces is the last thing you want to happen to you on a good day.

However, do not feel overwhelmed; there are several ways to get rid of these stains. This article will discuss how to get wood stain off of concrete, and you will learn one or two hacks.

How To Get Wood Stain Off Of Concrete

You can remove wood stain from concrete using mineral spirits and a piece of cloth to clean up if the stain is oil-based. At the same time, you can use water and liquid dishwashing soap to clean the concrete surface if it is a water-based stain.

What You Should Know About Wood Stain and Concrete

There are two things you should know. Most types of wood stain options are oil-based, and concrete surfaces are porous as concrete is an absorbent material.

So you need more than just soap and water to remove the stains. The only way you do not have to deal with a discoloured concrete surface or using harsh chemicals for removal is if you’re quick to clean the stain before it soaks into the concrete.

How To Get Wood Stain Off Of Concrete – Ten Ways

Wood stains can be as stressful as getting rid of pet stains like cat litter. Well, do not worry; we will talk about ten different methods you can use to remove wood stains from concrete. Let’s get into it.

1. Scrubbing

You probably scrub your concrete floors once in a while to keep them clean, so this is not new.

The tools and materials you would need are:

  • A piece of rag
  • A bowl
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Scrubbing brush

How to do it:

Step 1: Mix warm water and dish soap in a bowl.

Step 2: Pour some soap mix on the concrete and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Then grab a scrub brush and scrub into the stains repeatedly till they come off.

Step 4: Proceed to wipe off with water and a clean piece of rag.

2. Sandblasting

A sandblaster is a machine that blasts abrasives like sand, steel grit and aluminium rust. It is very effective when the stain has dried on an outdoor concrete surface like the garage floor.

Note: It is not suitable for use indoors.

The tools and materials needed are:

  • A sandblaster
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • A protective eyewear
  • Water
  • Vacuum cleaner

How to carry it out:

Step 1: Put on your protective eyewear so you do not get abrasives into your eyes.

Step 2: Turn on the sandblaster at low pressure and keep the nozzle at least 8 inches away from the surface it will be used on.

Step 3: Blast the sand on the surface and smoothen it with fine sandpaper.

Step 4: Repeat all these steps above till the stains come off.

Step 5: You can use water or a vacuum cleaner to clear the abrasives from the surface.

3. Using hydrochloric acid

You can use muriatic acid, aka hydrochloric acid, to remove wood stain from concrete. However, this should not be your first resort due to how harmful acids are. So, you have to be extremely careful while using this method.

The tools and materials needed are:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Hydrochloric/ muriatic acid
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Concrete sealant

Step 1: First, wear protective gear, which includes putting on clothes to protect your skin, chemical-resistant gloves to protect your hands and eyewear to protect your eyes. If you stained your hands, here’s a guide on how to get stain off skin.

Step 2: Get a bucket and mix a small amount of the acid with about 20 times the amount of water.

Step 3: Proceed to use the mixture to clean off the stain.

Step 4: After all the stain has been removed, rinse off the surface with water.

Step 5: When the water has dried off, you can apply a concrete sealant, as the acid would have stripped off the concrete surface.

4. Using bleach

Wood bleach can be used to remove concrete stains. The wood bleaching agent contains oxalic acid. However, do not utilise household bleach.

The tools and materials you would need are:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Eyewear
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Wood bleach
  • A scrub brush

The steps involved are:

Step 1: Put on rubber gloves and protective eyewear.

Step 2: Following the manufacturer’s instructions, mix the bleach with water correctly.

Step 3: Apply this mixture to the concrete and let it sit for about 15 minutes.

Step 4: Then use a scrub brush to wash the stained surface.

Step 5: Rinse the bleach off the concrete using clean water.

5. Using WD-40

When it comes to cleaning chemicals like stains and paints, WD-40 is no stranger, which is why it can also be used to remove wood stains from concrete.

Tools and materials needed:

  • WD-40
  • A piece of cloth or paper towels

How to do this:

Step 1: Pour some of the WD-40 onto a piece of cloth.

Step 2: Use it to wipe the stained area.

Step 3: Do this repeatedly till all the stains come off.

Note: Using WD-40 is effective if a thin layer of wood stain is to be cleaned off from the concrete. This means it can only be used for small, indoor cleanups, not when multiple coats of stain are involved.

6. Using mineral spirits

When removing oil-based wood stains, mineral spirits are advised.

The tools and materials you need are:

  • A piece of rag
  • A bottle of mineral spirit

Steps involved:

Step 1: Pour a small amount of mineral spirits on the stained concrete.

Step 2: Immediately take a rag and use it to wipe off the stain soaked in the solvent from the concrete till it starts coming off.

Step 3: Repeat these steps if the stain does not entirely disappear.

Note: Mineral spirits have a fast evaporation rate, so you do not need to waste any second before you proceed clean.

7. Blotting

This is a very fast and easy method to get wood stains off the concrete. However, it is only effective when the floor is just freshly stained, and a small stain is involved.

The tools and materials needed are:

  • A clean rag
  • Any cleaning substance of your choice

How to carry it out:

Step 1: Add any cleaning substance to the clean piece of rag.

Step 2: Gently press the stain on the concrete with the rag applying enough pressure to remove it without rubbing it in.

Step 3: You can scrub if all the stains do not come off.

8. Pressure washing

This method removes concrete stains, such as rust and foliage. It is done using a pressure or power washer, which you can either purchase or rent from a home improvement store.

Tools and materials needed are:

  • Splash-resistant safety goggles
  • Hand gloves
  • Hose
  • Soap
  • Concrete cleaner
  • Pressure washer
  • Water

The steps involved are:

Step 1: Wear closed-toed shoes, long-sleeved clothing, safety goggles and hand gloves.

Step 2: Use a hose to spray water on the stained area of the concrete or the entire floor.

Step 3: Get the pressure washer and install the nozzle. Preferably use a narrow-patterned one as it is more effective for tough stains.

Step 4: Add any concrete cleaner you have available to the pressure washer, then switch it on.

Step 5: Spray the cleaner back and forth, then leave to soak in for about five minutes.

Step 6: Replace the cleaner with clean water in the washer and spray it on the concrete to rinse the surface.

9. Applying a poultice

A poultice is a smooth thick paste made from mixing ground limestone, hydrated lime and cement with a cleaning solution. It is very effective in lifting stains from concrete surfaces.

Before you use it, you can test a small portion of it on a small area to see how effective it is, especially when cleaning painted concrete.

Tools and materials needed are:

  • Poultice
  • Scraper
  • Soft or nylon brush

The steps involved are:

Step 1: Use a soft brush to scrub till you get as much stain off as possible.

Step 2: Apply some of the poultice on the concrete and leave for some minutes.

Step 3: Then use a scraping tool to scrape away the residue.

10. Using Vinegar

Lastly, vinegar is another chemical you can use to get rid of stains. It is effective for both fresh and dried stains.

Tools and materials needed include:

  • Vinegar
  • Warm water
  • A piece of cloth

What to do;

Step 1: Mix a small amount of white vinegar with warm water.

Step 2: Soak a piece of cloth in the mixture and then use it on the concrete surface.

Step 3: Wash the concrete with soap and water to remove any deposited vinegar residue.

Interesting Post: Do You Have to Wipe Off Stain?

How to Get Rid of Old and Dried Wood Stains Off Concrete

In certain situations, when the wood stains are not cleaned off immediately, they could dry up and become very tough to remove. What can you do regarding older stains?


You can get a scraping tool like a putty knife to scrape up as much dried stain as possible. This will go a long way in getting some of the stain off. Then even if you have to use something else to clean up, it would be a small amount.

Applying paint thinner

You can apply paint thinner on concrete surfaces, also. Although it is formulated for removing paint stains from wood, it is also effective in removing wood stains from other surfaces like concrete.

Pour a thin layer of the paint stripper over the stained area and leave it for some minutes. Then proceed to use a  scraper to get the gunk off the concrete.

Applying concrete paint or sealer

Now when a large area of concrete has been stained, and you have tried all the above with not much luck getting rid of the stains, you can either paint or seal your concrete surface. This will help cover the stain up and finish the concrete floor.

Note: Brown stains should not be confused with wood stains, as they could be rust stains. These can be removed by using a commercial rust remover.

How to Prevent Wood Stains from Getting on Concrete

As you already know, preventing is always better than stressing about removal methods. There are things you can do to protect your concrete from being stained.

Lay drop cloths or old newspapers on the concrete

Remember to lay drop cloths on the concrete surface before staining furniture. You should use plastic or canvas drop cloths rather than fabric ones, as the stains could soak through them. If these are not available, use old newspapers.

Apply seal on the concrete

Having your concrete sealed can help prevent future staining. A sealant is a barrier preventing any form of stain from penetrating the surface of the concrete.

It is much easier to get stains off sealed surfaces than unsealed ones. So you can apply a concrete sealer on a clean and dry concrete surface.

Apply a coat of epoxy

A coat of epoxy can also help keep your concrete floor as clean as possible. Before this can be done, apply a sealant on your concrete and fill the cracks. An epoxy kit comes in various colors so that you can choose your preference.

Related Post: Can You Use Wood Paint on Concrete?


Does wood stain ruin concrete?

No, wood stain does not ruin concrete. The stain doesn’t contain chemicals that are corrosive to your surface. Even if it does, the chemicals are less harsh and cannot cause any damage. In fact, it is the best option to use in staining concrete because the surface is porous.

How to remove water-based stain from concrete?

Use vinegar to remove water-based stains from concrete. Apply vinegar to the stained section and let it soak for a few minutes. Add a generous amount of it and scrub towards the wood direction. Depending on the kind of stain, you may need to rub continuously until the stain comes out.

How to get oil-based wood stain off concrete?

To get oil-based wood stain off concrete, use corrosive acid and water. You will need to mix the two solutions and use the mixture to wipe the stained surface. Adding water to acid forms a more concentrated solution. So, mix the solution to be stronger until the stain is out.

What will remove deck stain from concrete?

Baking soda and dish soap remove deck stain from concrete. Mix equal proportions of the two in a bucket full of water. Then, pour the solution over the stained part on your deck and scrub. Make sure to rinse with clean water once the stain is off the surface.

You can learn how to remove solid stain from wood decks here.

What is the best way to get wood stains off concrete?

The best way to get wood stains off wood is by using acid and water. A good example of an acid to use is hydrochloric acid because of its strong corrosive properties. You can still make the acid strong by adding more water, just in case, the stain proves difficult to remove.

Will paint thinner remove wood stains from concrete?

Yes, paint thinner will remove wood stains from concrete. In fact, it will save you the hustle of rubbing and scrubbing your surface too much, as they have the power to dissolve, penetrate and remove the stain. Examples of paint thinners you can use are mineral spirits and acetone.

Can you use wood stain on concrete?

You can stain concrete surfaces with any wood stain. However, you’ll want to prepare adequately and follow the steps correctly. Also, ensure that you seal the concrete after applying wood stain.

Related read: Do you have to seal stain?


So with all that has been said, you do not have to worry about not getting your concrete clean again after carrying out a common home improvement project like staining wood furniture.

Once you have ascertained if the stain is water-based or oil-based, you can simply follow any of the ten methods described above.

Alternatively, protect your concrete surfaces before you begin to stain. Also, do not forget to protect your hands and eyes using chemicals and machines like sandblasters and pressure washers.

Once you have all the necessary tools and materials before staining around a concrete surface, you will leave no stains.

Now that you know how to remove wood stains from concrete, you may also want to know how to remove wood stains from carpet. If that’s so, read more on our guide.

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