A man removing stain from wood by using a wood stain remover

Best Wood Stain Remover Reviews

Where did this stain come from? This furniture used to look all kempt and lustrous. Where do I even start? This stubborn stain won’t go out even after rigorous cleaning!
Or, it could also be that your deck looks old and straight out of the ’90s.

Another instance could be the floor of your home looking dull and old even after just painting it not long ago.

That’s why in this article, we reviewed the best wood stain removers just for you. Because dull woods are a no-no as they make the environment look boring and gloomy. And, all hope is not lost yet.

There is still a chance to bring back the luster to your wood. Scroll further and keep reading!

Best 7 Wood Stain Removers of 2021:

Now that you know what to look for when buying the best furniture stain removers. You will need to get one that works. This review of our seven top contenders is going to help you decide.

1. DEFY Wood Cleaner:

Defy is an oxygen-based bleach that is safe to be used on almost every surface. It has been proven to clean and remove all forms of stains from wood, and opening up the pores of the wood to ease the absorption of the stain.

In addition to cleaning the wood, the stain remover also works to remove the grey color from the surface of worn-out woods. Greying is caused mostly as a result of continuous exposure to the ultraviolet ray of the sun.

This wood cleaner can be used on plants, but it is encouraged to cover plants before you start. This does not, however, reduce its potency as a wood stain cleaner.

Defy is not just proper as a deck cleaner but also for every part of the house like the driveway, wood fence, sidewalk and many more. It can also be used to clean new wood surfaces by removing the small grain of wood left after milling. This shows the versatility of Defy as a stain remover.

Special Features
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent for removing greying caused by harsh weather.
  • Suitable for use all over the house.
  • Opens pores of the wood to ease the absorption of stains.
  • Can be used on new wood.

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This product is a heavy-duty chemical cleaner that has been formulated using acids that can be derived naturally from plants and vegetables like buckwheat. It can be used in the home, garden and industries as a wood stain remover, pool stain remover and many more.

To use this product, protective clothing like goggles and gloves (chemical resistant) is required because of its acidic nature. Luckily, the product comes in a re-sealable storage container with child protection cap to reduce risk while using.

Another feature of the oxalic acid cleaner is that it comes in a powder form. You have the liberty to mix it as required. It is imperative to note that the powder, when used in high dose, can be harmful and dangerous. The moderate treatment is, however, suitable for cleaning various surfaces. Moderation is important!

While using this cleaner, you should also ensure that it DOES NOT come in contact with your skin, and make sure you DO NOT swallow even if it’s just a drop.

Special Features
  • Requires the use of protective clothing.
  • It should only be used in a moderate dose.
  • Comes in powder form.
  • Serves numerous purposes like bleaching, cleaning and rust removal.
  • Not suitable for use around pets, children and plants.

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3. Howard WC5012 Natural Wood Cleaner and Polish:

The Howard natural cleaner is a natural, non-toxic vegetable-based cleaner that has no bleach, petroleum distillates, silicone, ammonia or artificial gloss.

It’s efficient for indoor use and is also suitable for use around pets and plants. The cleaner is effective for use on home and office furniture like wood chairs, tables, benches and cabinets, veneers and antiques.

This non-toxic cleaner is enriched with natural oils and smell of essential oils that can ease the cleaning process while leaving you feeling relaxed during and after cleaning. It does, however, have a fragrance-free variant.

Plus, Howard natural cleaner is easy to use. It comes in a spray bottle that makes it easier to spray on surfaces while cleaning to remove grime, grease, food, oil and dirt from wood surfaces, thereby restoring its natural luster and shine.

This product is safe for use on finished products and can be used to polish wood surfaces as the natural oils help enriching the stain, thereby leaving the surface clean and graceful.

Special Features
  • Vegetable-based and has no added chemical.
  • Easy to use.
  • Safe for use indoors on furniture.
  • It has the fragrance of essential oils for added aromatherapy.
  • Restores and revitalizes wood without using chemicals.

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4. EFC38 – Woodrich Brand:

This wood cleaner is suitable for use on a lot of surface like wood decks, wood fences, and so on. It is environmentally friendly hence can be used around pets and plants. The cleaner is efficient for wood restoration projects because it not only cleans but also conditions the wood for natural staining.

It is excellent for both new and old wood. You can remove the littlest of mill scales to more difficult stains like mildews, molds and greying wood from exposure to UV rays.

EFC38 wood cleaner is also easy to use and does not take a long time to apply. It also does not require rigorous scrubbing. This cleaner is easy to mix and can clean up to 3000 Sq. Ft. if appropriately mixed.

Another advantage of this cleaner is that it is fashioned to work on hard stains fast. This implies that it can be used to remove oil stains and strip most clear sealers leaving your wood looking new and freshly cut.

Special Features
  • Easy to mix and use
  • Safe for use around pets and plants
  • Works in a short time
  • Removes both small and tough stains
  • It can be used on both new and old wood

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5. Formby’s 30013 Furniture Refinisher:

Formby’s furniture refinisher is a premixed solution that you can use indoors on old furniture like chairs and tables. It works by melting or dissolving old finish when used with fine steel wool. More so, it can also be used outdoors.

To use Formby’s refinisher, you do not need to scrape or sand the surface of the wood as the refinisher thaws shellac, lacquer and varnish. Using this product keeps the furniture looking old but well maintained. It is also an excellent way to save all those memories like a cigarette burn or ring from your favorite mug.

The refinisher is easy to use. It, however, requires the application of Tung oil when the product starts drying. The oil serves as a protective finish, and this product removes harsh stain gently without destructing the wood.

Formby’s refinisher has a strong smell that tends to evaporate quickly while leaving a pleasant aromatic scent. For best result, it is best used while following the manufactures instructions strictly.

Special Features
  • The product is already mixed.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It works well on old furniture.
  • Dissolves old finishes well without residue.
  • Requires the use of steel wool.

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6. OXALIC Acid Stain Remover:

This product, like other oxalic acid cleaners, is a multi-purpose cleaning agent used to clean not just wood surfaces but also surfaces like metal, concrete and iron. It can work as a bleaching agent, rust remover, wood stain remover and many more.

Oxalic acid is more suitable for outdoor use on decks, wood fences, and wooden floor and to remove those stubborn stains that have resisted other cleaners. An advantage of using this cleaner is that even a little of it can clean the toughest of stains fast.

As with other oxalic acid cleaners, this product should be used with caution and in moderate dose. It should only be used when protective clothing such as a chemical-resistant glove and protective mask are worn.

If the product touches the body, it should be washed quickly. If anyone inhales it, move him/her to an openly ventilated place immediately. Make him/her to drink water when the product is swallowed. Also, eyes should be flushed with water if contact occurs.

Special Features
  • Heavy-duty cleaner.
  • Suitable for use outdoors.
  • Requires the use of protective clothing.
  • Should be used in a moderate dose.
  • Serves many purposes.

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7. Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain Stripper:

Last but not least, we have an ideal wood cleaner that is eco-friendly and can be used on all exterior surfaces. It is suitable for use outdoors, especially on decks.

The product is a powdered formula that strips the wood of old finishing while restoring the wood surface to its initial allure. This cleaner is biodegradable hence a safe alternative to other cleaners.

It strips the wood of oil and common latex stains as well as transparent, semi-transparent and semi-solid coatings. Additionally, it works well to remove dirt, mildews and molds.

Because the product is in powdered form, it can be mixed in different consistencies depending on how severe the surface to be cleaned. A stronger texture should be used for tougher stain. To get the best out of this product, gentle scrubbing is required during the stripping process.

This product is suitable for wood restoration projects because it can get most stains out quickly. Also, it’s easy to use. Sadly, the product does not remove solid paints and opaque stains.

Special Features
  • Easy to mix and use.
  • Eco-friendly bio-degradable formula.
  • Comes in powdered form.
  • Not suitable for paint and opaque stains.
  • Good for wood restoration projects.

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Factors to Consider While Choosing a Wood Stain Remover:

We know that most people are avid Do-It-Yourself (DIY) enthusiast, but there are just those stains that won’t come off even after trying like tons of DIY. So you start thinking of getting it done by professionals (that too reluctantly). But a friend always has their wood furniture looking polished, and professionals do not do it.

Okay, you now remember them mentioning wood stain removers and are eager to use it and get that nasty stain out.

Slow down now, because you want that horrid stain out as soon as possible does not mean you should buy just any wood stain remover.

Here are some factors you should consider before buying wood stain remover


The sole purpose of using a stain remover is to get rid of those unwanted stains from word surfaces. So why then should you buy one that is not effective?

A good stain remover should be able to clear at least 99% of stains. You should try to read through the back of the stain remover to see the types of stain that can be removed using it.

There are stain removers that are suitable for tough stains, while others work best on new furniture. Another category is ideal for both.


While some stain removers are very easy to use and are already premixed, others will require the customer to formulate them. Mixing the product can be time-consuming and will, therefore, need more time to mix and then use.

Hence people go for the premixed formulas because they are easier to use and is not time-consuming. This doesn’t mean that the powdered methods are not right; they are mostly better suited for tougher stains.

The fact that you can alter the consistency to your liking is an added advantage.


Where some stain removers can be used without gloves, others would require the use of heavy protective clothing due to their hazardous nature. Some stain removers are more appropriate for use within the house and can be used with no fear of damage to plants, pets and kids.

The removers that require protective clothing are best used outdoors on decks, wooden fences and wood siding. They should be handled with caution and may sometimes need professional help from experts.

Whichever wood stain remover you decide to use and for which purpose, remember these factors when purchasing the product to get the best out of it.

How to Use Wood Stain Remover?

Now that you are more familiar with wood stain removers and have most likely decided on which one to use, it would only be fair to let you know how to use your product. We don’t want you damaging your wood surface in an attempt to restore it.

Some products do come with their user instructions and how to use. Other products do not have a manufacturer’s instructions. So we compiled an easy step by step guide to help you with that restoration project.

Step I

Mix the powdered mixture in the tin bucket with the aid of the spatula. This should be according to manufactures instructions. If it is a premixed formula, pour it into the bucket or pump spray.

Step II

Clean the surface that would want to restore. Let it dry out. Perform a patch test to ascertain suitability of the product.

Step III

Using your chosen equipment, apply the stain remover on the wood surface. To limit hazards, work on small portions at a time.

Step IV

Allow to soften or dissolve for 20minutes to 1 hour depending on the stripper and severity of the stain. Test for readiness by scrubbing the surface. If the product comes off the area is ready, if it doesn’t, allow it to sit for more minutes.

Step V

Scrub the wood surface gently if the stain is light. For harsh stains, use heavy scrubs. You can repeat the process to ensure maximum removal.

Step VI

Rinse out the dirt and grime from the surface of the wood. You would notice a clean and neat surface.


Woods do get tired at a point in time. If not with watermarks and stains, then with dirt and grime. It is what makes it essential to know the best stain removers to restore them to their original patina and sheen.