Best Stain Remover

Best Stain Remover

Oh, darn it! It has happened again, hasn’t it?

You were spending the day with the kids and getting creative with crayons and markers, but there it is – that stain. Most of the time it can’t be helped. Stains happen, whether it’s from the kids being coloring happy, or because you spilt some wine onto the flooring.

It is a miracle if you can go a month without something becoming stained. Whilst you could use home remedies to remove it, there is an easier, tried and tested option: a stain remover.

So long as you follow the instructions, they will be able to remove a stain without much effort, if any scrubbing or wiping is needed at all. In fact, the ingredients in the stain remover should do the majority of the work.

In this article we shall take a look at the best wood stain removers, from gum to marker, and even cup stains, we have narrowed them down to just 5. We have also added a handy buyer’s guide to focus on areas to look at when buying a stain remover.

So, let’s get to it! That stain isn’t going to remove itself.

Guardsman Water Mark Remover

Guardsman Reusable Water Mark Remover Cloth | Wood Cleaner for White Rings & Haze Caused By Moisture and Heat, 1 Count

One of the most common stains when it comes to wooden furniture are rings from hot and cold cups. 

Haze and rings look unsightly, but they can be easy to remove. In fact, the Guardsman have created a simple cloth which is not only reusable, but easy to use. All you need to do is wipe the surface to remove the ring stain.

They are already pretreated, meaning there is nothing extra that you need to use when removing the stain. At only 4 by 5 inches, the cloth is small, but you only need that amount to do a good job.

They can be used for other purposes too, such as polishing both chrome and metal. Over time it will likely lose its effectiveness, but when this happens, just buy a new one.

Despite it being targeted at removing cup rings, it can also remove marker stains – though it is always best to remove these fresh. Also, with this kind of stain remover, you can avoid using nasty chemicals and sprays.

It is inexpensive too, making this great value for money, however it has a very limited range with what stains it can remove. 


  • Budget friendly
  • Pretreated cloth
  • Very easy to use
  • Company was founded in 1915 – been around for a long time
  • Can also be used to polish chrome and metal


  • Limited stain removal. Best for cup rings, haze and marker pen
  • Only 1 in a pack

Goof Off Household Heavy Duty Remover Spray

Goof Off Household Heavy Duty Remover, 4 fl. oz. Spray, For Spots, Stains, Marks, and Messes

If you need something a little more heavy duty, then the Goof Off Household spray is a good option. It is said to be able to remove stains that other stain removers struggle with, such as lipstick, shoe polish and other tough stains.

As a spray it is easy to use. All you need to do is aim it at the stain and spray. You then let it work for a minute, and then wipe it away with a cloth. Once it has been removed, you then clean the area with another damp and clean cloth.

It is safe to use on wood, and can remove everything from glue, pen and dried latex paint, to candle wax, crayon, and stickers – it really is a do-it-all stain remover. 

Alos, Good Off are known for their stain removers, as well as sticker residue removers, so you know you are in good hands. 

It does come in a small bottle of 4 ounces however, so if you are needing to remove stains a lot, then it might be worth finding something that is housed in a bigger bottle. However, the small size suits the fact it is to be used on small area stains. 

It’s also really budget friendly, and should last a long time due to not much being needed each time you use it to remove that stain. 


  • Works on a variety of stains from gum and latex paint, to pen and crayon
  • Budget friendly
  • Really easy to use
  • Can be used on wood and plenty of other materials


  • Small bottle – if you use it a lot you may run out quite fast

The Amazing Whip-It Stain Remover Professional Strength Spray

Whip It Cleaner, Multi Purpose Stain Remover Professional Strength Spray, Plant Based Enzyme Cleaner, Cleaning Food, Coffee, Wine, Baby Stains, Pet Stains, Over 500 uses, Made in USA, 32 OZ

If you are looking for a plant based cleaner that has over 500 uses, then the Whip-it is your answer. It isn’t called ‘The Amazing..’ for no reason!

In fact it is pretty much safe to use on most surfaces (though best to check first), including wood. It includes lemons, oranges, limes, coconut, seasalt and essential oils, amongst other natural ingredients.

It is also said to be cruelty free, SLS free, and have professional strength. So don’t be put off by its natural ingredients – it packs a punch when it comes to cleaning stains. 

Just like the Goof Off spray above, all you need to do is spray it onto the stain and then wipe it away with a clean cloth. Instantly you should see the results of the stain being removed – it’s quite magical!

Having been praised on the Today Show and QVC, it’s no wonder that it is a highly rated stain remover. At 32 ounces, it isn’t the cheapest, though you get a lot of product for your buck.

If you want a stain remover that contains no harsh chemicals, then the Whip-it is a good go-to. There is no bleach, alcohol or ammonia, making it safe to use on wood. 


  • Big size at 32 ounces
  • Works on a variety of materials and fabric
  • Brand has been going since 1989
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Highly rated having been praised on Today Show and QVC


  • Quite expensive

Orange De-Solv-It Citrus Solution Odor and Stain Remover

Orange-sol 10497 De-solv-it Citrus Solution Spray, 32 Oz

A ‘mom approved’ formula, the De-Solv-It is based around citrus fruits, and is said to be safe to use on pretty much any surface – but it is always best to check.

At 32 ounces, you do get a lot of product, though just like the Whip-It, it means the product is on the higher end when it comes to price. However, it will last a long time, and you will have it available as soon as you need it.

To use, all you need to do is spray it onto the stain. Depending on how tough the stain is, wait for around 20 to 50 seconds for the ingredients to get to work. Then, wipe it away to watch the stain disappear. 

Due to its lovely smell of orange, it can also be used to remove foul odors left by stains. This is best for carpets and clothes.

If you are worried about using it around your children, then you will be happy with this one. It is absolutely fine to use around the kids, and very likely pets too. In fact, it is safe for human hair and skin.


  • Safe to be used around children and pets
  • Can be used on a variety of surfaces
  • Organic ingredients
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Also able to remove bad odors from stains
  • Easy to use


  • Expensive, although you do get 32 ounces

Pine-Sol 35418 Multi Surface Cleaner Pine Scent

Goof Off FG653 Professional Strength Remover, Pourable 16-Ounce,Liquid

Whilst likely not to be the top choice for many people at first, if you have stubborn stains that cannot be removed from your wooden furniture, then the Goof Off Professional Strength remover is going to be your go-to.

Sometimes stains become absolutely impossible to remove, or so it seems like it. That is when something a little stronger is likely to be your only option.

The Goof Off is a pourable liquid using proprietary chemistry. It is very smelly, so it is best used whilst wearing (non-latex) gloves and a mask, and in an environment with lots of ventilation. 

It is also best used for harder surfaces such as wood, grout, concrete, brick, hand tools, automotive and fiberglass, either around the home or the workshop.

When using the product, pour it onto a terry cloth, but make sure to not overdo it. Then wipe it onto the stain. This should remove it quite easily. Once finished, wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove any residue. 

Do be warned that it isn’t safe around children and pets, but it does do an amazing job at removing stains. 


  • Budget friendly for 6 ounces
  • Removes really stubborn stains
  • Tried and tested brand
  • Can be used for various stains and on different surfaces


  • Not safe around children and pets
  • Must use non-latex gloves and a mask whilst using it

Buyer’s Guide

Now that you have taken a look at the best wood stain remover products, here is a buyer’s guide to show you what to look for when generally buying a wood stain remover. 

Suitable For Wood

Whilst there are lots of stain removers on the market, not every single one is suitable for wood. In fact, there are more not suitable for wood than suitable, so do your research first.

If you happen to use one that isn’t suitable for wood, then you are risking damage to your furniture. 

To completely avoid this, make sure you read the information clearly and properly. A lot of the different stain removers are multipurpose, rather than just used for wood itself.

With the exception of the Guardsman cloth, you will find every single stain remover works on other material as well as wood. This can be quite confusing and make you miss the word ‘wood’.

So, clearly look at whether the solution can be safely used on wood, and whilst the stain remover might have highly rated reviews, don’t use it if it isn’t suitable to be used on wood.

Application Of Product

When it comes to removing the wood stain, there are a few things that you will need to think about. One of them is the actual process of doing so. 

If you purchase a wood stain remover that needs specialized equipment or products to use which you do not own, then that means spending extra money. 

It can be annoying having spent the time looking for a wood stain remover, only to find that it requires additional help as soon as you are about to use it. To avoid this, always read the instructions and figure out whether the wood stain remover is usable or not.

If you do not mind buying extra items to use alongside it, then go ahead. However, if you are after something that is fuss free, always read before you buy. 

Odor And Protection

It might not come as a surprise, but there are stain removers which can really, really smell. If this is something you are concerned about, then opt for a stain remover which has little or next to no odor – they do exist.

If this is not a concern, or you cannot find one that does not emit much of an odor, then you will need to take extra precautions. As with anything like this, you will not want to breathe up the odors. 

When the fumes are really strong, it is much safer to wear a mask, glasses, and protective clothing. Also, make sure you work outside. If you cannot, then open up all of the windows and doors, and get a fan going – you will want as much fresh air as possible.

Even if you buy an odorless stain remover, you still may want to protect yourself. You never know what chemicals you may be breathing in. 

Planet Friendly

If you are concerned about the planet, as well as your family, you may want to look at eco-friendly options. There are many that do not contain harsh chemicals and toxins that may cause terrible outcomes for your outdoor space, as well as your health.

For example, you will want to avoid a stain remover that includes VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). VOCs are considered to be toxic in high amounts and struggle to dissolve in water. They are also often man-made. 

It is also said that VOCs have the potential to cause cancer, and can react with other chemicals in the air to create harmful pollutants.

There are alternatives available that do not include harsh toxins, and instead can biodegrade due to bacteria helping to break the stain remover down. Also, they will not create any pollutants and are safer around you and your family.

These biodegradable alternatives are just as effective, and are great for those who would like to use a stain remover that is a little more friendly to themselves and the environment.

Project Choice

Before you purchase a stain remover, think about the project at hand. There are stain removers that are better suited to bigger projects, whilst there are others which may be best used on furniture.

Make sure you know exactly what the wood stain remover can be used for, as well as having the right amount for the job. You do not want to work on a big surface area, and then realize that you are running out. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Vinegar To Remove Stains Off Wood?

Whilst vinegar can be used as a home remedy for cleaning, it is best left away from wood. This is because it is naturally acidic, it can erode wood and ruin it. So if you have wooden furniture that is stained, avoid using vinegar.

Can I Use Baking Soda To Remove Stains Off Wood?

Baking soda is great at removing stains in the home, but it isn’t as suitable for wood. This is because it can cause the wood and soda to have a chemical reaction with each other.

In doing so, it can react with tannins which are present in the wood. This then can create dark patches which you will not be able to remove. The only option here would be to paint the wood. 

Can You Use Lemon To Remove Stains On Wood?

Just like with vinegar, lemon is far too acidic to use on wood. It is, however, a really good disinfectant for other areas of the home. It also smells nice!

Do You Need To Sand Wood After Removing The Stain?

No, you do not need to sand the wood after using a stain remover. If you use something that has been specially designed to remove stains off wood, then it should not affect the wood’s appearance.

If you have used something that will affect the wood after removing the stain, then you may have to take additional steps to sort out the permanent mark that has been made. Technically another stain!

Does Rubbing Alcohol Remove The Finish Off Wood?

Some people like to use rubbing alcohol to remove stains off wood, however it has been known to be quite hazardous to wood. 

Due to it being a solvent, it can actually destroy the wood, even if used in smaller quantities. So, if you want to avoid making the wood worse, don’t use rubbing alcohol. 

What Can Cause Stains On Wood?

There are many culprits when it comes to causing stains on wood. For example, it might be glue, cup rings, marker, lipstick, or wine. 


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