How to Remove Spilled Whiskey Stains from Wood?

how to remove wine and whisky stains from wood

Although pure alcohol evaporates without leaving behind any residue, alcoholic drinks like whiskey may still damage the finish on the wood surfaces like your table, couch, or hardwood floor.

If that is the case, having a bottle of pure or rubbing alcohol may clear up the stain.

Simply dab a little onto a clean cloth and rub over the spilled beer, wine, tequila, or vodka stains.

This may lift the liquor stains from the wood and cause them to clear up.

However, depending on the type of wood and liquor, this method to remove the liquor stains from wood might not work in all cases.

You will therefore need to use other time-tested techniques that can work.

But before we understand those techniques and detailed steps, let’s understand why alcoholic drinks leave stains on wood.

Why Does Liquor & Beverages Stain Wood?

Liquor or alcoholic beverages like beer, champagne, and Hennessy are created from grains or plants that contain alcohol.

While liquor is mostly crafted from natural products, there may be artificial dyes included as well.

These dyes, along with the sugars and juice, can leave behind a stain on the wood if you happen to spill them on your wood floors or furniture.

You can avoid getting stains if you clean the surface immediately.

But in some cases, you may have to use something stronger such as bleach, to remove the Bourbon whiskey stain.

How to Remove Liquor Stains from Wood

How to Remove Stains Caused by Alcoholic Drinks?

The simple solution of rubbing alcohol or bleach may not provide all the answers, depending on the type of liquor that created the stain.

For example, clear liquors such as gin or vodka are fairly easy to clean up since they lack the dyes and other artificial products that often cause stains to occur.

On the other hand, red wine can be quite an issue to clean up. This is because the grape juice within the wine is causing the stain.

Because it can penetrate the wood and leave behind its natural dye, it may take bleach to remove it.

In all cases, here are the steps you should take to remove a stain from wood caused by liquor.

Step 1 – Blot

Get a paper towel or a clean rag and blot the area to remove all the liquid remaining.

Do not rub, as this will only spread the staining elements to other surface parts.

Step 2 – Wipe

Once you have blotted up all the liquor possible, mix a solution of warm water and dish soap and gently wipe it on the surface.

This will remove all the sugars and flavoring ingredients from the liquor that have not deeply penetrated the wood.

Step 3 – Rub

Take some linseed oil or wax and rub it into the location where the beer or alcohol has spilled.

This will remove any remaining alcohol so that it does not damage the finish.

If you are dealing with an old stain, you’ll want to mix the linseed oil or wax with rottenstone and rub it with the wood grain for maximum effect.

Step 4 – Sand

Use 120-grit sandpaper if the stain is still present.

This will lift away the top layer of the wood and help you get at the stain.

Once completed, you can use chlorine bleach to remove the stain.

Step 5 – Bleach

If the stain is still present, spread undiluted household bleach over the area and let it sit overnight.

If this does not remove the entire stain, repeat the process, and let the bleach sit overnight again.

If that does not work, then your only choice is to sand and scrape the stain until it is entirely removed.

You’ll need to add more finish to replace what you have removed.

Apply a coat, let it dry, scuff it with 22-grit sandpaper and apply a second coat.

liquor and whisky stains on wood

Is Getting Whiskey Stains Out of Wood Easy?

Well, the easy answer is yes, and no.

Many factors will determine how easy it will be to remove split whiskey stains from your furniture.

Some of these factors include:

  • What kind of wood is the furniture made of?
  • What kind of finishes does the furniture or tabletop have?
  • How long was the whiskey (or other alcoholic drink) left sitting there?

The good news is – if the whisky stain on the wood is not allowed to sit and seep in for very long in the wood, you can remove them.

But if it’s already had enough time (say overnight), you will have a hard time dealing with it.

Can You Use Whiskey or Wine as A Stain for Wood?

Staining furniture (like coffee tables, bed stands, countertops, etc.) with mediums like whisky, rum, and beer has been customary for centuries.

Most of the liqueur with darker colors can be a great staining agent.

And if you want, you can try this natural staining process for your indoor furniture stuff or things outdoors like garden furniture, birdhouses, and feeders.

While considering this option, it’s best to try staining the wood on a small part of the furniture where nobody would notice if things go wrong or as not per your desire.

Allow the staining to dry, and check if it’s the color you like.

The good thing is, if you are a wine collector with different colors of wine, you can try different shades of them to determine the best shade for your furniture.

How Do You Get the Smell of Wine Out of Furniture?

 Though the smell of whisky, beer, and wine dissipates over time, there are certain wood materials that can soak them and can emit a strong, pungent odor for a long.

To neutralize the smell of wine on your living room wood furniture, try making a cleaning solution out of warm water and baking soda (or ammonia).

Use a spray bottle for treating the furniture or floors where you have spilled the wine. Make sure you do not allow the odor remover solution to oversoak.  

Another good alternate solution to get rid of whiskey’s unwanted smell is heat.

You can try running your hairdryer over stained areas for a few minutes and check if the smell is gone.

When using a hairdryer, be cautious not to blow a steady stream of heat near the carpets or other nearby things that can catch fire.

Final Thoughts

When you see a stain in wood caused by spilled liquor, it is not the alcohol that creates the stain.

Many other elements in your spilled drink may cause the stain.

While there are ways to get rid of these stains, if the finish on the wood is damaged hard, you may have to remove and reapply a new finish depending on the extent of the damage.

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