How To Get Wood Stain Out Of Shoes

How To Get Wood Stain Out of Shoes?

What if your sneaker or shoes accidentally got some wood stains? That seems frustrating as removing stains might be troublesome considering the shoe material, and scrubbing hard might damage the shoe, so what the fix for the problem is? Let’s try wiping out the stain, but how to get wood stain out of shoes? Any ideas? 

Wood stains are versatile, and removing them might require various methods; not only this, but based on the wood stain residing time, the cleansing would get more rigid and more challenging over time. So don’t let wood stains stay for too long; check out the best method to get wood out of your shoes, sneakers, leathers, or boots without causing notorious effects to shoe material. A slight mistake can put you in ruining your shoes, so be careful when choosing the suitable method. 

How To Get Wood Stain Out of Shoes?

Removing the stain as soon as it implies to the shoes is better by opting for the most accessible home remedies, including immediately cleaning shoes using a clean cloth. If the stain somehow got hardened, try using a damp cloth, vinegar+ detergent + water solution, either go for nail polish remover or baking soda, depending on the type of wood stain. Water-based stains are easily removed compared to oil-based wood stains. So first ensure the kind of stain and then opt for the fix!
How To Get Wood Stain Out Of Shoes

Types of wood stains:

Wood stains come primarily water-based and oil-based, ensuring adequate absorption and maintaining the accent of the wood grain. Some wood stains or finishes are sideways used for wood protection against tress factors (sunlight, moisture, extreme temperature) called Clear wood finishes. These finishes include water-based finish, varnishes, lacquers, shellacs, and natural oils. 

Let’s check out different products before preceding the main query, as knowing the stain type helps remove them quickly. 


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Wood Stains cleaning techniques:

Cleaning Cloth:

Use: fresh wood stain, water-based wood stain

Working with wood paint and accidentally spilling on shoes, what’s next? Ensure to clean it before it dries because dried wood stain seems more complex to clean than fresh ones. To remove the stain, quickly take out a dry cloth and try to wipe out the stain as soon after accidental spillage. 

What if the dry cloth isn’t working? No worries! Damp the fabric with any solution available, like vinegar, dishwasher, etc., and try again. But opting for a solution shouldn’t cause a negative to shoe material; else, our remedy would be considered failed.  


  • Please do not soak the cloth too high with vinegar; dampen it a little! Works best!
  • Works best for fresh stains

Detergent Soap and Water:

Use: wood stain and red stain (wine or grape juice stain).

Whether it’s the spilled red wine stain or wood stain on shoes, the easiest way applicable is to remove it using a dishwashing soap or solution. The method is simple and easy to wash off wood stains from shoes. To remove wood stains, you only need to scrub and brush the hardwood stain till the shoes are clear and cleaned cause wood stains are usually more stubborn than others. 


  • While using dishwashing soap and water, ensure the water content is manageable to manage shoes. Different shoes have versatile water resistivity, so be careful while opting for the method. 
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive brushing.

Vinegar solution or Lemon Juice:

Use: wood stain, salt stain, or coffee stain.

What if using water, a dishwasher, or baking soda is not enough to wipe the stain off? It’s fine! It might happen when the wood stain gets hardened and is left untreated initially, but we still have hope, and what’s that? Use vinegar or lemon!

  • Take a dry cloth and dampen it with the vinegar solution. 
  • Apply the cloth on the stain and gently rub it.
  • Try scrubbing hard if the stain isn’t removed in a pinch. 
  • Once the stain wipes off, take a fresh damp cloth damp and apply it to the stained area. 
  • Dry it and enjoy stain-free shoes!


  • Do not use vinegar alone; add some water to dilute the solution.

Rubbing Alcohol: 

Use: wood stains

Want to get rid of wood stains at home? Try using rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol- a disinfectant). 

  • To wipe out stains, you need to dampen a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol and rub the stained surface. The alcohol would settle on the shoe surface and help in removal. 
  • Let the cloth stay on the stain or continue rubbing if necessary.
  • Once done, let it stay for a few minutes.
  • Take a dry cloth and wipe out the moistened stain.


  • There is a chance that shoe material isn’t compatible with rubbing alcohol, so avoid such cases.
  • Check the shoe care label before opting for rubbing alcohol.
  • Apply patch test before rubbing alcohol on shoes.

Nail Polish Remover (acetone):

Use wood stains, and nail polish stains.

Wood stains are similar in appearance to nail polishes, so you get another remedy to try out! Why not check whether nail polish remover removes wood stains or not? Let’s try it out!

  • Take the stained shoe and apply a small nail polish remover. You could also use nail polish to remove clothes if any.
  • Once applied, gently rub it against the stain.
  • Leave for a couple of minutes so that acetone in remover gets the actual duty of stain removal.
  • Afterward, wipe it out with a dry clean cloth and check whether the stain remains. If not, you are done; good job!


  • Repeat the process three times if the stain isn’t washed off first.
  • Do not apply a high amount as it can damage sensitive shoes.

Baking Soda: 

Use wood stains, and everyday stains.

Wood stains are hardened over time, so it’s better to use baking soda paste to scrap off the wood stain. Let’s check it out!

  • Add 02 tablespoons of baking soda and enough water that results in a paste. 
  • Mix it well. Then take a brush or spatula and apply the paste o the stain.
  • Let the paste stay on the stain for 02-03 hours until thoroughly dried. 
  • Once dried, brush or scrub off the hardened paste, and you will observe the stain is removed.
  • Wipe it out and enjoy stain-free shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

How do you get wood stains out of sneakers? 

What if your favorite sneaker got wood stains? No worries, try using a detergent solution with the help of a brush or cloth to wipe off the wood stain. If detergent alone didn’t help, make vinegar solution or lemon detergent to eliminate the nasty stain quickly.

Once done, clean the shoes using a wet cloth and then dry them, ensuring no remains are left behind. For the vinegar solution, let the damp cloth remain for 30 seconds to cause active penetration in the stain and its removal. 

How do you remove stains from shoes? 

A typical home remedy that seems very effective for removing stains from shoes comprises baking soda with paste or vinegar/ lemon. If your white shoes get a wood stain, make a toothpaste paste with 1 tsp baking soda and an equal amount of water to make the paste.

Apply the paste with a brush and go with a circular motion. The remedy does work and could easily wipe off the stain from your shoes after cleaning dry using a clean cloth. 

How to get wood stains out of leather shoes? 

Remove the wood stain from your leather shoes:

  • Check whether it’s fresh or old.
  • If it’s new, try a gentle detergent wash to wash off the wood stain; however, if it seems hardened, try using talcum powder or corn starch as per availability and apply it on the wood stain.
  • After application, let the powder sit for 12 hours.

After the specified time, wipe out the powder with a clean cloth; if it’s removed, you are done, but if it persists, try using detergent soap and gently wipe the rest. After removing the stain, clean it with a dry cloth, and remember to apply a leather conditioner to retain the shoe’s shiny look. 

What removes wood stains?

Wood stain seems difficult to remove, but certain products and remedies quickly eliminate these stains. Wood stains are removed with traditional chemical strippers, citrus strippers, and white vinegar when soaked with cloth and applied on the wood stain; acetone solution and detergent also remove water-based wood stains. 

Besides these, baking soda and lemon juice do some more work for removing the wood stain. Scrubbing the surface using mineral spirits can also remove wood stains.

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