Best Wood Stain Remover Reviews | Top 7 Picks

Whether you are upgrading your hardwood floor's looks or are planning to refinish a wooden structure or furniture, the first thing that you need to is to take care of the imperfections that might be on the surface. And by imperfection, we are referring to the stains that the surface might have developed over time.

But without the right remover, you will have a tough time trying to get them off the surface. And it is not that easy to choose the right one. That is why we have decided to offer you the best wood stain remover reviews, which will make the choosing process more manageable for you.

Hopefully, by the end of this article, choosing one will be a piece of cake for you.

Table of Contents

7 Best Wood Stain Remover Reviews

Because of how oversaturated the market is, it can get quite tricky to choose the right remover for the wooden surfaces. To make things easier for you, we have selected the ones that we believe are worth the recommendation for the overall performance that they offer. The ones that we have chosen for you are:

1. DEFY 2.25 LBs

DEFY 2.25 LBs

Even though there are plenty of stain removers in the market, not all of them are eco-friendly. However, this one that DEFY is offering it.

First of all, the formula that it implements is entirely safe. The bleach that it contains is oxygenated, which makes this eco-friendly. It will not cause any harm to the environment.

Most of the plants will not react to it as well. That bleach is capable of open the pores of the surface, which will increase the absorption rate of wood bonding primers and other color coatings.

Aside from just opening pores, it is highly capable of deep cleaning the surface. It is powerful enough to not only clean the surface but also to cleanse the graying effect that the harsh weather conditions cause.

You can revert the damages that the UV rays might have caused to your furniture. That means you would be able to use it to replenish the outlooks of the outdoor structures.

Other than that, it can remove the mill scale from the surface as well. So even if you are planning to clean a wood that just came out of the mill, you would be able to use it to clean the surface.

And most importantly, it can increase the bonding capacity of the surface, making sure that the paint holds onto it for an extended amount of time.


  • Utilizes oxygenated bleach
  • Eco-friendly and environmental-safe
  • Deep cleans the surface
  • Capable of removing mill scale
  • Increases the absorption capability of the surface


  • Can not be used with a pump sprayer
  • Not that effective on Cedar structures

2. FDC 99.6% PURE OXALIC ACID Powder


If you were on the lookout for one of the versatile stain remover, then you can stop searching because FDC has got the thing that you were probably looking for all this time.

Just like the label states, the chemical formulation of the unit is 99.6 percent pure oxalic acid. That purity does not only make it safer for the skins but also for the environment.

Even if you do spill a bit around the environment when you are removing the outdoor deck's imperfection, you would not have to worry that much. It will cause no harm to the plants and the grass.

Apart from being safe, the formulation that it utilizes is exceptionally versatile. You would not only be able to use it to remove the stains from the surface but also can use it as a bleaching agent.

It can also use for cleaning the pools and many more. So you would not have to opt for other chemical formulas for performing those tasks if you have this.

Other than that, the container that it comes with is resealable. That means even if you do not use the entire amount for the project that you are planning to carry out, you would be able to store it pretty easily. The cap is also child-resistant, which will prevent accidents and leakage. Alongside that, it is pretty easy to dilute as well.


  • Chemical formula is environmentally-safe
  • Exceptionally versatile
  • Comes in a resealable container
  • Container is leak-proof
  • Can be diluted pretty easily


  • Shelf-life of the formula is not that praiseworthy
  • Some of the containers might not have a leak-proof cap

3. Howard WC5012

Howard WC5012

Though there are plenty of stain removers in the market, there are only a few that can both clean the surface and enhance the beauty. And this one that is from Howard is one of those few.

First of all, the formula that it implements is exceptionally versatile. It does not only remove the marks from the surface but also inlaid dust and dirt, grease, oil, cooking residues, and other types of imperfections.

Basically, this is an all-in-one cleaner that will remove each of the imperfections that the surface might have accumulated over time.

Aside from just removing the imperfections, it has the capability to enhance the aesthetics of the wood. And no, it will not add an artificial gloss or add a silicone layer on the top.

Instead, it will increase the luster and the sine of the surface. It does a decent job of polishing the surface as well. The spray bottle that it comes with will also make it easier for you to apply this on the surface.

Other than that, as the formulation is just lemongrass-lime, you would not have to worry about adverse effects if it does come into contact with your skin. Also, it is safe for the environment too.

And because of the vegetable-based formula, it will not even cause any damage to delicate woods. So you can use it in most of the types of woods.


  • Ideal for all types of wood
  • Can revitalize the surface
  • Removes scuff marks, grime, residues, and many more
  • Formula is vegetable-based
  • Polishes the outer exterior


  • Sprayer tends to clog from time to time
  • Might leave sticky residues on some woods

4. Woodrich Stripper EFC38

Woodrich Stripper EFC38

Not all of the units that you will stumble upon will be able to both clean and condition the woods' outer exterior. But if you were looking for one, you should keep this one in your consideration.

One of the most standout features of this unit is that it is capable of removing the wood cells that die from the extreme heat from the sunlight. This capability is what makes this ideal for the wooden structures that are usually placed outdoors. You would also be able to use them in the indoor structures. Yes, it is that versatile.

Aside from just removing the dead cells, it can also revitalize the wood. Therefore, the primers for treated wood work wonderfully on it. After that, the surface will regain the color that it once had when you first bought it.

Also, it works exceptionally well on new woods that came right out of the mill. It can remove those scuffs and scale marks that those usually have.

Alongside that, it increases the penetration capability of the surface. That will make it easier for you to recoat the exterior with new paint. The coatings are going to adhere to the surface pretty easily because of the increased penetration capability.

Lastly, the formula that it implements is not only safe for plant lives but also for animals. For that reason, you would not have to worry about any allergenic reactions when you are handling it.


  • Cleans and conditions the wood
  • Works on both indoor and outdoor wooden structures
  • Capable of removing dead cells from the exterior
  • Can remove mill scale marks
  • Helps to bring back the original color of the exterior


  • Not compatible with power washers
  • A bit hard to dilute

5. Formbys 30013

Formbys 30013

Pressure or power washers are the equipment that many prefers to use to clean the wooden structures. However, not all of the deck cleaners are capable of working with those. But this one that is from Formbys is.

To begin with, it implements a highly dissolvable formula. Because of that, you will be able to use it with pressure and power washers if you want to. Also, it can dissolve in shellac, lacquer and vanishes. So you can use this without any issues if you are planning to carry out an extensive project to fully condition the surface of the wood.

Also, you are not going to have to prepare the surface before you apply this. That means there would be no need to sand the exterior. You can apply this straight to the surface without going through extra hassles.

Also, it is capable of removing the stains that occur due to the harsh sunlight and UV rays. So you will be able to make the outdoor furniture regain the new look that it once had with this.

Other than that, it comes in a 32 ounces bottle, which might not seem that much. But as you will dissolve it in other solutions, it would be more than enough for carrying out a large scale stain removal project. The cap is also leak-proof, making sure that you do not face any problems while moving it around.


  • Easily dissolves in solutions
  • Comes in a three ounces bottle
  • Bottle has a leak-proof cap
  • Does not require a sanded surface
  • Capable of removing UV and sunlight stains


  • Does not offer the shine that most of the other units are capable of
  • Evaporates pretty fast if not dissolved properly

6. Florida Laboratories OXALIC ACID 99.6% 8 oz

Florida Laboratories OXALIC ACID 99.6% 8 oz

Are you searching for a stain remover that can efficiently remove the marks that harsh sunlight exposure leaves? Well, then you should definitely check what Florida Laboratories has to offer here.

To start with, it comes in an eight ounces packet. As you would have to dilute it to a considerable amount, that amount of oxalic acid is more than enough to carry out large scale cleaning tasks.

You might not really need any more than what is already in the packet to finish all your stain removal projects. And the formula is environmentally-safe as well.

Also, the package is resealable. For that reason, there would be no need to get yourself one of the resealable containers just to store it after opening the packet.

And, if you can make sure that too much moisture does not get inside the package, it will be in good shape for an extended amount of time. The shelf-life is quite praiseworthy.

Other than that, it works exceptionally well on the stains that UV rays and harsh sunlight causes on the exterior. So if you were looking for something that will work perfectly on outdoor furniture, then this is the one that you should consider.

And if you are not that familiar with the oxalic acid, you should not worry that much because all of the usage instructions are on the package.


  • Powder is environmentally-safe
  • Comes in a resealable packet
  • Package contains usage instructions
  • Long shelf-life
  • Capable of removing harsh sunlight marks


  • Tends to crumble when it comes to contact with moisture
  • Some of the packages do not have the instructions printed

7. Restore-A-Deck Wood Stripper

Restore-A-Deck Wood Stripper

We are going to rap up our review section with this unit that Restore-A-Deck is offering. You should take a look at it if you were looking for something that is extremely cost-effective.

First of all, it utilizes a highly capable formula. That enables it not to remove the clean and transparent stains but also the semi-solid and semi-transparent ones as well.

It also can strip and restore the uppermost exterior pretty effectively. So after carrying out the cleaning task using it, the surface will have a minimal amount of flaws.

Aside from that, as the formula is powdered, you would have to dilute it in water or other cleaning solution. And each of the packs can make five gallons of solution, which makes this one of the cost-effective stain removers that are out there. You can also make a strong solution by changing the ratio up a little.

Alongside that, the formula is totally safe and environmental-friendly. So even if you plan to restore the outlooks of the outdoor deck with it, you will not have to worry about harming the plants and the grasses.

Also, you can use it bundled with pressure and a power washer. It will not clog up the hose, which is not really that common with the other units out there.

Lastly, it comes in a resealable package, which will enable you to use one packet for an extended amount of time.


  • Can remove transparent and semi-transparent stains
  • Capable of lifting up semi-solid stains
  • Does not harm the environment
  • One pack can make up to 5 gallons of solution
  • Container is resealable


  • Some of the stripping tasks might require more than two coats for this
  • Not that effective on marks that sun and UV rays causes

What to Look for Before You Buy?

Because of how the market is overfilled with options, you might find yourself in a tricky situation while trying to get effective stain removers. However, aside from just going through the reviews, if you keep these factors in mind, you would be able to get one of them pretty easily:

Quantity and the Bottle

Before anything else, you need to consider how much quantity do you actually need. You might require a small amount of remover to perform a small-sized stain removal project.

Hopefully, we were able to cover each of the sections that you were expecting to find in the . Alongside that, we hope that our recommendation was short enough that you can now choose one for your cleaning needs pretty easily.
Wood Stain Remover

In those cases, you are going to have to consider whether the bottle or the package of the unit that you are planning to purchase is resealable or not.

If you do get one of the units with proper packaging or bottle, you would not have to worry about it getting ruined over time because of having a shorter shelf-life. However, if you are planning to carry out a large mark removal project, you need to ensure whether the one that you are purchasing is enough or not.


Apart from the quantity and the bottle, you need to consider the formula. The ones that we would recommend are the environmentally-safe ones. As you will probably remove the marks that the exterior of the outer furniture has developed over time, there is a high chance of the cleaner getting washed to the environment.

Wood Stain Remover

And if the formula is not environmentally-safe, you are going to cause harm to the plats and the animals that are around you, which would not be right, would it? For that reason, you need to ensure that the formula is safe for the environment or not. 

Also, environmentally-safe ones will also not irritate the skin, which will make it easier for you to work with it. And while we are on that subject, we have also made a list where you'll get to know of some environment-friendy stains for your softwood as well. Consider taking a peek if you're interested.

Dilution Capability

If you are mainly planning to remove the marks on your outdoor deck, you are most probably planning to use a pressure washer. And for using a pressure washer, you are going to need a remover that can be easily diluted, or else the pipe is going to get clogged.

Wood Stain Remover

So if you plan to use a pressure washer, you need to factor in the formula's dilution capability before making a purchase.

UV Rays and Sunlight Damage Removal Capability

The last thing that you need to consider is whether the one that you are planning to purchase can remove the marks that UV ray and sunlight exposure causes or not.

If you happen to get one of the units that do not have that capability, you will not get that much effective result by using them on the outdoor structures. So you need to factor this in when you are purchasing one of these.

And obviously, you need a wood stain that's capable of resisting UV rays. For that, we consider this article to be a fantastic read.

How to Use Wood Stain Remover?

If you do not really know how to use one of these to remove the marks from the exterior of wooden structures, no matter how effective remover you purchase, you are going to get little to no result after them.

How to Use Wood Stain Remover

Now you might wonder that the application process is pretty tedious, but in reality, it is as easier as driving a warm knife in a piece of butter if you do it right. And the proper way to use these are as follows:

Step-1: Dilute the Remover

If you have a powder-based unit, the first thing that you need to do is to dilute it. Now, the ratio is going to depend on how strong the formula is. For the stronger ones, eight ounces would be able to make about 3 to 4 gallons of a strong solution.

But for the weaker ones, you might have to use more than ten ounces to get that amount of strong solution.

On the other hand, if the one that you purchased is already in liquid form, then you might not have to dilute it further. However, do check the instruction to get the best results.

Step-2: Apply the Solution

If you are planning to use a pressure washer, you need to insert the solution inside the tank of the device and spray it. However, if the one that you have is already in a spray bottle, then you have to simply spray the solution on the surface of the wood that you are planning to clean.

After spraying it on the surface, you have to wait a bit for the solution to dry up. Depending on the consistency and how diluted the solution is, you might have to wait anywhere between 10 to 2 hours. Again, for the best result, check the suggested time period that is in the instruction.

Step-3:  Scrape and Clean

Now that the solution has dried up, you are going to have to scrub the stains by applying a bit of water to them. Once they are off, rinse the entire surface and dry it up properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it possible to remove dark stains from the wood?

With the right remover, you will be able to remove any stains from the surface. Whether it is dark, inlaid, or semi-transparent, the right cleaning solution can take them all off.

2. Should I mix vinegar with the stain remover solution?

Most of the stain removers are meant to be used as a standalone cleaner. For them, it is not required to use any sort of other ingredients. However, if the instructions do recommend using vinegar or other things, you can mix them with the solution.

3. Are powder stain removers worth it?

The well-performing powder cleaners are definitely worth it, in our opinion. Those also have a longer shelf life than the diluted versions that most of the manufacturers are offering.

4. Do I need to sand the surface before applying these cleaning solutions?

No, sanding is not necessary for removing the stains using the removers. Even for most of the units, sanding might result in damaging the surface.

5. Does a stain get darker over time?

Yes, stains do tend to get darker over time. And the darker they get, the more difficult it will be for you to remove them. So we would recommend removing them as soon as you notice them.

Final Words

Hopefully, we were able to cover each of the sections that you were expecting to find in the best wood stain remover reviews. Alongside that, we hope that our recommendation was short enough that you can now choose one for your cleaning needs pretty easily.

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