Isopropyl Alcohol Stain on Wood Furniture

January 20, 2009

Isopropyl AlcoholTake a clean, dry paper towel and rub the stained area while heating the area with a blow dryer.

Source: My own experiment.

By Rochelle from Blue Springs, MO


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7 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

May 20, 2020

How do I fix this without ruining the wood?

Repairing Alcohol Damage to Wooden Table Finish - white marks on table


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May 21, 20202 found this helpful
Best Answer

Your table looks like real wood and not veneer but be careful as the solution for the two finishes may be different.

The most recommended solution is to use a damp cloth with a small dab of white toothpaste (not gel) and rub gently. Do a little at a time to see if it is working.


Some people have had good results using furniture polish and a blow dryer (I've never tried this).

I have used Olde English scratch remover and covered the spot using a soft white cloth. This product comes in several colors so you can match your wood.

I would definitely try the toothpaste remedy first and be sure to wait an hour or so between trying different solutions.

Let us know if any thing (method?) works for you.


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May 23, 20201 found this helpful
Best Answer

Cooking oil has always worked for me in cases like this. You can take a few drop of cooking oil and a clean white cloth to rub it in with. Just add a few drop of cooking oil on the spot and take your cloth and gently rub the oil into the spot on the table.


Continue to rub the spot with the cloth until the stain is gone. You may need to add a little more oil to the spot. Once the stain is gone you will need to clean off the excess oil.

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February 24, 2018

How can I remove alcohol stains (whitening) from a wood dresser?


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February 25, 20181 found this helpful
Best Answer

If it is a light stain, and didnt go too deep, you can mix ground pumice stone and linseed oil into a purée. Use a fine steel wool to apply, and then polish with furniture polish.


If the stain is deeper, the piece will have to be refinished.


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February 26, 20182 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can try using a furnisher polish and blow dryer. You may also try toothpaste.

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March 13, 2021

Hello. I have a bare walnut butcher block desk top that I am getting ready to finish with Daly's Benmatte tung oil. It was my first time using a tack cloth and it left a sticky/oily residue on the surface of the wood after I sanded it. I then used 90% rubbing alcohol to remove the wax spots from the tack cloth. It removed most of the spots but at some point I must have splattered the surface with the alcohol leaving a white alcohol stain.

Two questions:

1. How do I get rid of the residue from the tack cloth that still looks oily in some spots?

2. How do I get rid of the white-ish stain splatter stain left from the rubbing alcohol? Should I re-sand the top surface to remove both issues?

Your help is greatly appreciated!


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March 14, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

You could try Mineral Spirits. Use a clean clothe , and dampen spirits. Rub in a circular motion over the stain, make sure you do not soak the wood. This works well on lighter stains.

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June 25, 2009

I spilled rubbing alcohol on my dresser the other day. I tried rubbing with soap and water, but the white stain is still on my dresser. It's an antique dresser. What do I do to get that white stain off of my dresser? Thank you.


July 5, 20091 found this helpful

I'm not sure how you would remove it, maybe goo gone? But most stores actually sell these pens that come in a variety of stain colors (got mine at Walmart) you can use over the stain possibly.


I have used it many times on dents or scratches on different pieces of furniture (coffee table, chairs, & dresser).

May 8, 20126 found this helpful

I will try to give you info re limited info you supplied. Was the dresser wood? If it was made before 1910 the protective coating would not have been lacquer but either varnish or shellac. Do not use soap and water.

Did the alcohol eat thru the protective coating? Are you seeing a spot where the finish was removed? Use a soft rag like a washcloth - dampen a corner and use a little dab of white toothpaste - not a gel and rub gently. This is one of the mildest abrasives you an use. Do a little at a time to see if it is working.

If the coating has been completely removed and the bare wood is showing you may need to refinish the top. Hope his helps.

August 30, 20160 found this helpful

I use furnished polish and blow dryer it I worked thank God

September 5, 20161 found this helpful

Thank u for this info. My son was doing a chemistry project and spilled rubbing alcohol all over my wood dining room table. I used the toothpaste and it worked well enough so u don't see the white spots.


I am going to try this process again tomorrow.

September 24, 20160 found this helpful

Thank you so much! I thought I had damaged a coffee table beyond repair and your suggestion worked. Thank you again

September 27, 20160 found this helpful

I have a ring on my coffee table from rubbing alcohol how Can I fix this

November 11, 20161 found this helpful

Wow< I'm so glad someone knows all this stuff, I tried the toothpaste, and voila the two alcohol spots are gone from an antique dresser that I thought was ruined, I can't thank you enough!!!!!

December 21, 20160 found this helpful

My grandson spilt some hand sanitizer on our coffee table and we didn't discover it until we saw the white streaks and spots. I tried your suggestion as it seemed the least invasive and it worked like a charm. Used Aquafresh and it worked great, you can't tell anything ever happened.

March 26, 20170 found this helpful

I used a wax scratch pen for cars. I was experimenting, and it actually worked! The brand I have is turtle, but you can probably get other cheap ones from autozone.

May 9, 20170 found this helpful

You are a star. Took cloth off my lovely walnut table to find stain around where placemat would have been when last had friends in.
I decided it was probably alcohol so did your toothpaste tip. it has worked a treat.
Decided to get glass top for table when I can!!
Cannot thank you enough.

June 22, 20170 found this helpful

Try toothpaste and baking soda. If you keep rubbing the toothpaste and baking soda will combine to form a sand like texture. Keep scrubbing and the stain should come out.

October 8, 20170 found this helpful

So what is this toothpaste process everyone's talking about? I'm desperate damage to my good dining room table from alcohol

November 18, 20170 found this helpful

Do you wipe the toothpaste with water after it dries or how did you do it?

November 18, 20170 found this helpful

how did yew wipe it off

November 30, 20170 found this helpful

Worked as you said! White spots gone.

February 12, 20180 found this helpful

This worked for me. Rubbed spot down with orange oil, after. Real life saver !!

March 23, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you! The toothpaste absolutely saved my table from the alcohol spots! I was about spend money on spot removal remedies from everywhere, and just went in bathroom for toothpaste, issue completely solved! Thank you again!

April 28, 20180 found this helpful

I used an 80 or 800 med sandpaper until the stain was almost all the way gone and then I put an Old English Scratch Cover over it and you cannot see where the alcohol was.

June 22, 20180 found this helpful

we used hot coffee and it took it right off!

August 13, 20180 found this helpful

I tried the white toothpaste on my wood dresser that have several rubbing alcohol white stains and it worked incredibly! You can't see a thing.

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January 26, 2006

How do I get out a small stain left by isopropyl alcohol on my wood table?

John from FL


January 29, 20060 found this helpful

Have you tried Olde English scratch remover and cover? It might cover up the stain, probably won't remove it but it should hide it pretty well. You will just have to touch it up from time to time. I covered a waterstain on walnut this way. Every few weeks I have to redo it. But it leaves a wonderful shine on the furniture.

January 7, 20171 found this helpful

Toothpaste does the magic!
Put some toothpaste on a clean dry piece of cloth and rub in the stain..., You will be amazed!!I used colgate.

March 8, 20170 found this helpful

I rubbed some coconut oil into the wood and the white stains appear to be gone.

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August 31, 2019

Does anyone know how I can save my desk? About a month ago it was sprayed with straight 91% isopropyl alcohol. I used hot soapy water right after it happened, but it didn't help at all.

And now it's starting to look like it's getting speckles. If anyone has any ideas I would be extremely grateful.

Isopropyl Alcohol Damaged Finish on a Desk - white finish damaged


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
August 31, 20190 found this helpful

If this is a wood desk it is possible to use sandpaper on the top of the desk to remove the coating. Then you can varnish it again. However, if this is pressed wood you may need to try and find some sort of wood contact paper to put on the top of the desk so you can continue to use it.

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