How to Get Brown Wood Stain Off of White Siding

Written by irene a. blake
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After staining a fence, deck, porch, window frames or eaves with brown wood stain, many people find brown stain accidentally dripped, splattered or smeared on house siding. Given the extreme contrast in colour between brown and white, brown wood stain can stand out on white painted or vinyl siding detracting from the clean look that white siding gives the exterior of a home. As most wood stain ingredients break down when slightly abraded or exposed to a solvent, getting brown wood stain off of your home's white siding typically only requires the use of mild cleaning supplies, light scrubbing and a mild solvent.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Coloured tape
  • Scissors
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Mild detergent
  • Commercial siding cleaner
  • Commercial siding stain remover (optional)
  • Gloves
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Nonabrasive scrubbing pad
  • Soft-bristled, nylon brush
  • Melamine resin foam eraser (optional)
  • Hose
  • Solvent (optional)
  • Mild acid (optional)
  • Razor blade scraper (optional)
  • Ladder (optional)
  • Metal bucket

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Mark each brown wood stain spot on the siding with a piece of coloured tape.

  2. 2

    Fill a bucket with hot water and enough mild detergent, commercial siding cleaner or siding stain remover to make the water soapy and put on a pair of gloves.

  3. 3

    Remove the tape from the first spot---starting from the bottom of your siding and working your way up---and wash around and across the area with the hot, soapy water using a sponge or lint-free microfiber cloth to remove away loose dirt and debris and begin the process of breaking down the stain.

  4. 4

    Scrub the spot gently using a side-to-side or circular motion with a nonabrasive scrubbing pad or soft-bristled nylon brush. If the scrubbing action doesn't remove the stain, dampen a melamine resin foam eraser and, using light pressure, rub at the area gently side-to-side.

  5. 5

    Rinse the area with water from a hose. If some of the stain remains, dry the spot thoroughly with a soft, clean microfiber cloth and blot a solvent such as acetone or acetone-based nail polish or rubbing alcohol or mild acid such as undiluted white vinegar onto the stain with a cloth until the wood stain transfers to the cloth. If necessary, scrape the stain away carefully from the siding with the sharp edge of a razor blade scraper.

  6. 6

    Wipe the spot and surrounding siding with a soapy sponge or microfiber cloth and rinse.

  7. 7

    Repeat with the rest of the brown wood stain spots. If necessary, use a ladder to reach hard-to-reach areas.

  8. 8

    Spray the siding thoroughly from the top to the bottom with your hose when finished.

  9. 9

    Toss any sponges, cloths or scrubbing pads that you used to remove the wood stain into a water-filled, metal bucket that has a seal-style lid as most wood stains contain chemicals that can flash or automatically ignite. Seal the bucket and contact your local refuse authority for information on local disposal options.

Tips and warnings

  • If using a ladder, ask another person to support the ladder as you work.
  • Always test any cleaning or stain removal product or tool on a small inconspicuous area of your white siding before cleaning as some products can scratch, pit or melt different siding materials. Additionally, solvents can damage painted finishes on siding. Never use harsh, abrasive or highly acidic cleaners or stain removers for the same reason.
  • Never use sand paper or steel wood to remove wood stain from your siding.

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