How to Remove Wood Stain From Plastic

Are you looking for ways how to remove wood stain from plastic? Wood stains can leave an unsightly and stubborn mess when applied to plastic. Thankfully, you can take a few easy steps to remove the stain and restore the original look of your plastic surface.

Stains on plastic surfaces can be some of the most difficult to remove, especially if that stain is wood stain. Wood stains are designed to penetrate and bond with the grain of a surface, making it hard to shift without special tools and techniques. However, fear not! With some clever application of solvents like mineral spirits or turpentine, plus some elbow grease for scrubbing, you can make wood stains disappear from even your toughest plastics in no time.

How to Remove Wood Stain From Plastic

Read on as we explore how you can easily remove wood stains from plastic materials.

Is Wood Stain Removable?

Fortunately, it is possible to remove wood stains from plastic surfaces. The key is to work in stages, starting with solvents designed to penetrate and dissolve the binding elements of the wood stain without damaging the plastic surface underneath. You can use mineral spirits or even turpentine for this—both are thin and will get into all those nooks and crannies where wood stain may have settled.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to remove wood stains from plastic.

What Will You Need?

You’re ready to get started once you have gathered the necessary tools and supplies. Here is a list of items that you will need:

  1. Mineral Spirits: A petroleum-based solvent used in paint thinners and other products for oil-based stains.
  2. Turpentine: Another type of paint thinner, turpentine is made from the resin of coniferous trees.
  3. Scrubbing Brush: Soft-bristled scrubbing brushes are best for delicate surfaces. Avoid using steel wool or other abrasive tools on plastic.
  4. Bucket: To hold your cleaning solution.
  5. Towel or Rag: For wiping and rinsing the surface after scrubbing it.
  6. Soft Cloths: If you need to protect delicate surfaces from scratching, use soft cloths instead of a brush for scrubbing.

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to start removing the wood stain from your plastic surface.

10 Easy Steps on How to Remove Wood Stain From Plastic

Step 1. Use Mineral Spirits or Turpentine:

Start by filling your bucket with warm water and a few tablespoons of mineral spirits or turpentine. Mix the solvent carefully with your hand as you add it carefully until it is completely dissolved. Try not to use too much solvent, as this can have a damaging effect on the plastic.

Bucket With Warm Water

Step 2. Prep Your Surface:

Gently scrub the stained area with your brush or cloth, using circular motions to break up the stain. Make sure you only concentrate on the stained area and not rubbing an excess amount of solvent onto any other plastic parts. If possible, use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess solution.

Step 3: Rinse With Water:

Once you’ve removed as much of the stain as possible, rinse off the surface with warm water and a clean cloth or sponge. You can also use a mild detergent if needed. If the stain still lingers, repeat steps two and three.

Step 4: Dry and Inspect:

Dry the now-cleaned area thoroughly with a clean towel or rag. Once it is dry, closely examine it to ensure all the wood stains have been completely removed. If not, repeat the process until all of the stain has been eliminated.

Step 5: Re-apply Stain:

Once you’re satisfied that the wood stain has been removed, you can re-apply your desired wood stain or finish to the plastic surface. This will ensure that it looks as good as new and is protected from any further staining. As a bonus, the re-application of stain can also help seal and protect the plastic from any future damage.

Step 6: Inspect Again:

Before you start using the plastic surface again, it is a good idea to inspect it one final time. Ensure that all the wood stains have been completely removed and no residue remains on the plastic. Avoid contact with water and other liquids until the stain has fully dried and set in place.

 Start Using the 
Plastic Surface Again

Step 7: Test On An Unseen Area:

If you’re unsure about the effects of your cleaning method, test a small area in an unseen location before proceeding with your project. This will help ensure the cleaning solution won’t damage or discolor the plastic. Additionally, it will give you an idea of how much scrubbing and rinsing is required to remove the stain.

Step 8: Dispose Of Excess Solution:

Once you have finished removing the wood stain from your plastic surface, dispose of any excess solution properly. Never pour it down your sink or drain, as this can damage the environment. Keep any leftover solution in a safe, airtight container and discard it according to local regulations.

Step 9: Protect Your Plastic Surface:

To ensure that your plastic surface remains protected from further staining, apply a coat of wax or sealant once it is scorched. This will help keep dirt and grime away and prevent any new stains from sticking to the plastic. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for advice on which type of wax or sealant to use.

Step 10: Enjoy Your Sparkling Clean Plastic:

Once you’ve completed all the steps above, your plastic surface should be free from wood stains and sparkling clean! Now you can enjoy the beauty of your freshly cleaned plastic without worry. Remember, prevention is always better than cure – clean and protect your plastic surfaces regularly to keep them looking their best.

With these easy tips, you can remove wood stains from plastic in no time. Now that you know how to do it properly, you can keep your plastic surfaces looking their best and free from unsightly stains.

Enjoy the Beauty of Your 
Freshly Cleaned Plastic

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

1. Use a damp cloth and dish detergent to remove the wood stain from the plastic. This is often an effective way of cleaning, as it can loosen the stain and allow it to be wiped away.

2. If you don’t have any dishwashing detergent, try using a light solution of vinegar and water as an alternative. Apply the mixture to the stained area and scrub it off with a clean cloth or sponge.

3. Rubbing alcohol can also help remove wood stains from plastic if you cannot access other cleaning solutions. Saturate a rag with rubbing alcohol and gently rub it over the stained area until the stain is gone.

4. Use a commercial wood-stain remover product specifically designed for removing stains from plastic surfaces, following all instructions on how to use it properly and safely. Be sure to wear protective gloves while using this type of product.

5. If the stain is too stubborn, use a plastic scraper or razor blade to carefully scrape off any excess wood stain residue from the plastic surface. Be careful not to scratch or damage the plastic in the process. Once you’ve removed as much of the stain as possible, clean it with a damp cloth and some dish detergent, then rinse it off with warm water.

These tips should help you remove wood stains from plastic surfaces quickly and easily. 

Remember to be careful when dealing with commercial products or sharp tools – always follow safety instructions!

5 Things You Should Avoid

1. Do not use abrasive cleaners or scrubbers on the plastic surface, as this can scratch and damage it.

2. Never use bleach to clean wood stains from plastic surfaces, as it can cause discoloration or fading of the plastic over time.

3. Avoid using harsh chemicals like acetone or mineral spirits to remove wood stains, as these may react with the plastic material and cause further damage.

4. Don’t try to sand off the stain, as this could be dangerous and ineffective anyway – most plastics are too soft for sanding tools to work properly.

5. Don’t use a hairdryer or any other heat source to dry the area after cleaning since this could warp or melt the plastic.

By following these tips and avoiding what you should avoid, you can help ensure that your wood stain removal job is done correctly and safely.

Can Toothpaste Remove Stains on Plastic?

No, toothpaste should not be used to remove wood stains from plastic surfaces. Toothpaste is abrasive and can damage the plastic surface, leading to scratches or other permanent damage.

Additionally, toothpaste is unlikely to completely remove the stain as it does not contain any specialized ingredients designed for cleaning plastic surfaces. Stick with household cleaners, commercial wood-stain removers, or a mixture of water and vinegar instead!

Instead of toothpaste, you can use dish detergent, rubbing alcohol, a commercial wood-stain remover product, or a mixture of water and vinegar to remove wood stains from plastic surfaces. 

Toothpaste Completely 
Remove the Stain

Follow the instructions on the label of each product for the best results.

By following these steps and using the right products for the job, you can quickly and easily remove wood stains from plastic surfaces without damaging them!


In conclusion, removing wood stains from the plastic can be frustrating and aggravating. However, with perseverance and the right products, achieving success is attainable.

Utilizing the methods outlined above, you, too, should be able to remove even the most stubborn of wood stains from any plastic surface. With careful attention to process and outcome, you should have no problem restoring your plastic surfaces. Remember to use an appropriate safety mask and gloves when using harsh chemical products for wood stain removal! 

Hopefully, the article on how to remove wood stain from plastic has helped guide you to a successful outcome. With careful attention and the right products, you can easily restore your plastic surfaces free from wood stains! Good luck with your project, and stay safe!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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