Wood stains contain a combination of chemicals, dyes, and other ingredients that can be extremely difficult to get out of fabric, carpet, or other surfaces.

Unfortunately, accidents happen even when you take all the necessary precautions, and you can end up with these stains on your carpet. When such an accident happens, you will want to know how to get wood stain out of carpet.

While the stains are typically very stubborn, addressing the problem in good time and following the correct procedure can increase your chances of success.

Can You Remove Dried Wood Stain from a Carpet?

Removing dried wood stains from a carpet is very challenging but possible. Wood stains typically come off the carpet more easily before drying on the fabric.

However, you can still remove dried stains by soaking them with a stain remover followed by thorough steam clean. First, you want to remove any dust and debris from the area by vacuuming.

The next step is to apply a suitable stain remover and let it soak into the carpet for about 10 minutes to loosen the stain, allowing the pigments to be dislodged from the fabric.

Next, you will need to dry the spot with an iron on low heat before steam cleaning it to remove the stains. That is an overview of what you should do to dry wood stains on a carpet.

Read along to learn how to approach removing specific types of wood stains from your carpet.

How to Remove Wood Stain from Carpet

As already noted, wood stains become more stubborn and difficult to remove from a carpet as they dry. In addition, the ingredients used in wood stains are formulated to create permanent color changes to the surfaces where they are applied.

While this characteristic is ideal for the correct purposes of wood stains, it is a major source of trouble in accidental spills and splatters.

In any case, always test the stain remover you intend to use on the carpet in an inconspicuous area before using it for the project. The testing will help you ensure the product does not discolor your carpet fabric.

For carpets labeled “dry clean only,” your stain removal options are limited specifically to dry cleaning. Consider taking the stained piece to your dry cleaner as soon as the spill occurs.

In such cases, ensure you indicate the stained spot for the professional cleaner to help remove it using the appropriate method. That said, here are the approaches for removing different types of wood furniture stains from carpets.

How to Remove Water-Based Wood Stain from Carpet

Water-based wood stains clean more easily with water and soap from tools. Similarly, you can use clean water to dilute the stain when removing it from a carpet.

What you’ll need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Absorbent towels
  • warm water
  • Paper towels
  • Mild dishwashing detergent (without bleach)
  • Hand gloves

Procedure for removing water-based stain from carpet

Once you have assembled all the requirements, follow these simple steps to get the wood stain out of the carpet.

Step 1. Remove any dust and debris from the carpet

Start by dusting out and cleaning the affected area to remove debris and dirt around it. You can vacuum the dust and debris or use any other method within your reach.

Step 2: Blot the wood stain 

Once the loose dirt and dust is gone, you can proceed to blot the area if the stain is wet. Follow this step only if the stain is wet. For dried stains, skip to the next step.

Use a paper towel to soak up as much of the stain as possible. Alternatively, you could use a clean, absorbent towel instead of a paper towel to soak up the wet stain.

Repeat this process until much of the stain has come off.  While at it, keep moving to a clean area of the white towel to avoid spreading the stain with the towel.

Step 3. Work the stain with dishwashing soap and ammonia solution

Create a mild carpet cleaning solution by mixing 2 ounces of household ammonia and one teaspoonful of liquid dishwashing soap with 16 ounces of warm water.

Ensure you wear a pair of protective hand gloves before you start handling ammonia. Your workstation must also be well-ventilated because you will be working with potentially toxic material.

The detergent used here must not contain any bleach. Chlorine in the bleach can react with ammonia to produce toxic fumes that will be dangerous for you to inhale.

Once the cleaning solution is ready, dunk a clean sponge, preferably white, into it. Use the sponge to apply the solution to the stained area.

Blot the stained spot, working from the edges of the stained area toward the center to void spreading the stain. Keep blotting the stained carpet until no more color comes out of the carpet onto the sponge.

Step 4. Rinse the carpet

Don’t rinse the entire carpet, just the affected area. To ensure you do not wet the unaffected areas that might require additional time to dry, use a clean white rag saturated with plain water.

You may have to repeat the rinsing several times to get the desired outcome.

Step 5. Air-dry the carpet

As soon as all the stain has come off, allow the carpet to air dry, the vacuum it to straighten the carpet fibers. Cleaning the carpet often tangles the fibers.

Even when the cleaned area has dried, the fibers will likely remain stuck to the base. Thankfully, this issue is easy to resolve; simply vacuum the area to lift and restore the fibers.

What if there is still some pigment on the stained carpet?

If the stain on your carpet persists even after cleaning, consider using hydrogen peroxide on the affected area. Note that hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleaching agent and should not be used on a dark-colored carpet.

However, if your carpet is light-colored, create a hydrogen peroxide solution by mixing one-part hydrogen peroxide with three-part warm water.

You can apply the bleaching agent to the stained area using an eye dropper or cotton swab and leave it there for about half an hour. After approximately 30 minutes, use a clean towel to blot away the hydrogen peroxide and the dislodged stain.

After all the stain has come off, rinse the area as indicated in step 4 above, and air dry the carpet away from any direct heat source.

Removing Oil-Based Wood Stain from Carpet

Oil-based stains are generally more durable than their water-based cousins. Unfortunately, this also means they are more challenging to remove from a carpet in case of a spill.

Nonetheless, you should be able to remove oil-based stains from your carpet with the right products and a bit of elbow grease.

The tools and supplies you’ll need

  • Protective hand gloves
  • Goggles
  • Lacquer thinner (or WD-40, acetone)
  • Iron box
  • Steam cleaner
  • Clean white towels
  • Rags
  • Paper towels

Procedure for removing oil-based stains from carpet

Some of the steps for removing an oil-based stain will be similar to those of removing water-based stains. However, oil-based stains may require a slightly more thorough approach to get out of a carpet.

Step 1. Blot the stain

For a fresh stain, blotting is an effective way to suck up and remove as much of the mess as possible. You want to keep blotting until the towel picks no more pigment from the affected carpet.

Step 2. Apply a carpet stain remover

Several commercial carpet stain removers are available in the shops. You probably already have some at home—this is the point where to use them.

Alternatively, you could create your homemade carpet stain remover with ingredients already in your pantry. To make a homemade cleaning solution, add one-part white vinegar and four-part mild dishwashing liquid to a quart of warm water and stir to mix.

Once the solution is ready, apply it to the carpet stain and let it soak in for at least 10 minutes. Pouring carpet stain remover on the affected area should help loosen the stain and dislodge the pigments.

After 10 to 30 minutes, clean up the stained area with a clean white towel dampened with warm plain water.

Step 3. Slightly dry the area to remove the excess moisture

Put your iron on a low heat setting and hold it about an inch off the carpet. The heat should help remove the excess moisture and warm the area to prepare it for steam cleaning.

Do not put the iron directly on the carpet, as this will make removing the remaining pigment more difficult.

Step 4. Steam clean the area

After much of the moisture is gone, go over the affected area with a steam cleaner. You can always rent one of these if you do not own one.

Steam cleaning does an excellent job loosening the pigments to get them off the carpet fabric. You may have to be patient as some stains will be stubborn and require time to remove.

Step 5. Clean the stained spot with a suitable solvent

After steam cleaning, much of the wood stain will be gone, but the stubborn ones will still remain. Allow the area to air dry, and then apply a chemical such as lacquer thinner, acetone, nail polish remover, or WD-40 to the oil-based stain.

Remember that oil-based stains are solvent-based and require a suitable solvent to dissolve and remove them from a piece of fabric. This is where lacquer thinner or its close alternatives come in.

Do not pour the chemical directly into the fabric. Instead, saturate a cloth with the chemical and use the damp cloth to blot at the stain until it has come off.

Ensure you wear protective gloves and eye goggles when handling the chemicals. Also, test the chemical on an inconspicuous part of the carpet first to ensure it does not affect the color or the fabric.

Step 6: Do a final steam clean

This is like a final rinsing to remove the chemical from the fabric. You could also rinse the carpet with a clean towel or rag. But a carpet steamer should be more effective. Once done, allow the carpet to air dry.

Precautions When Removing Wood Stain from Carpet

  • Always wear protective hand gloves when handling chemicals like ammonia.
  • Always work in a well-ventilated area. Some of the fumes from the cleaning solutions you’ll use are hazardous.
  • Always spot test the cleaning solution in an inconspicuous spot of the carpet before use.
  • Always read and follow the usage instructions on the label of any product you use.

How to get Wood Stain out of Carpet FAQs

How do you get an oil-based stain out of carpet?

You can remove oil-based stain from a caret by spreading a thick coat of baking soda across the stained area and leaving it there until the edges form a dry crust. After that, vacuum the residue, removing the stain with it. Whatever remains should be light and removable using a regular carpet cleaner.

How do you remove wood varnish from the carpet?

You can use WD-40 to remove varnish and for cleaning wood stains from carpet. Follow the instructions on the product label to apply the product, then steam clean the area after the varnish is gone for the best results.

How do you get wood stains out of fabric?

Blot the stained spot with a clean cloth saturated with mineral spirits to remove wood stain from the fabric. Work from the outer edge toward the center of the stain. Blotting pushes the wood stain from the fabric into the white rag or clean paper towel, leaving the fabric clean.

How to get wood stain off skin

To remove wood stain from skin, use a gentle soap and warm water. Rub the stained area with the soap until the stain starts to fade. You may need to do this a few times to completely remove the stain.


The best way to handle wood stains on a carpet is to always lay a tarp and take precautions when working with wood stains to prevent them from getting onto the carpet in the first place.

However, if an accident happens and some wood stain gets to your carpet, follow the instructions in this guide to remove the stain from your carpet. The sooner you deal with the stain after the spill occurs, the better.

We hope this guide helps you remove wood stains from your carpet successfully. Leave a comment to let us know your thoughts or experience.

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