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Is It Safe To Use Alcohol Based Stain On Hardwood Floors

Rubbing alcohol alcohol based stain on hardwood floors is an excellent & effective ingredient to clean the floor efficiently. You can pick up sticky, grimy, and hard-to-remove stains from the surface with this DIY cleaning agent. 

But many homeowners complain that rubbing alcohol leaves residue on their wood floor. In the worst case, it also damages the hardwood surface.

So, it’s natural this question will appear in your mind- Is it safe to use rubbing alcohol on hardwood floors instead of any safe cleaning vacuum?

Read on to know what we explore about rubbing alcohol and its effect on the hardwood surface. 

Should I use Alcohol Based Stain On Hardwood Floors?

The answer to this question might be tricky. Whether rubbing alcohol is safe or not depends on multiple factors.

For example, the effect of alcohol on the wood surface will vary depending on hardwood surface types and how concentrated the rubbing alcohol is. 

We don’t recommend you apply the rubbing alcohol if you have a solid hardwood surface. 

Rubbing alcohol eats through a hardwood floor finish. The isopropyl alcohol will soften the hardwood surface finish to scratch off with your fingernail. And when it gets hardened, it causes the finish to cloud over.

Indeed, rubbing alcohol is not safe to use on hardwood surfaces as it destroys the floor finishes. 

But, you can use the rubbing alcohol if you have engineered the hardwood floor. 

The engineered wood floor has different finishes applied to it. The finishes are polyurethane, varnish, or lacquer.

We find rubbing alcohol can hardly damage the varnish and lacquer finishes. It’s because rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly and shouldn’t penetrate deeply enough. 

Rubbing alcohol can damage the polyurethane or urethane finish if you concentrate it more and let it soak into the finishes.

In simple words, rubbing alcohol will damage the engineered hardwood floor finishes if you overuse it. However, Isopropyl alcohol doesn’t leave a stain like a red wine would, and it’s colorless

On the other hand, denatured alcohol is a strong solvent. If you apply it to your hardwood surface, it will surely damage the wood surface.

In short, rubbing alcohol is not safe to use if you have solid hardwood floors.

On the other hand, you can use isopropyl alcohol on the engineered hardwood surface to clean the floor. 

Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol On Laminate Floors

Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol is neutral. It means it’s not acidic or alkaline. So, you can use it to make an effective homemade cleaner to clean the floor efficiently. 

You can use rubbing alcohol on your laminate flooring to clean it. But there is still a possibility that it will damage the finish.

If you use alcohol as a cleaning agent, you need to dilute it with water. And this solution will break down the coating of the laminate flooring and damage the finish. 

We recommend you use other homemade cleaners like vinegar or baking soda to clean the laminate floor safely. 

Does Rubbing Alcohol Damage Vinyl Flooring

Yes, rubbing alcohol damages vinyl flooring. Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol attacks the plastic or destroys the sheen off of the plastic and leaves a residue. Later, you can’t remove the residue. 

And you know that vinyl flooring uses PVC or plastic. So, applying rubbing alcohol to your vinyl surface will damage the shiny look by leaving a residue. The prolonged or extended use of rubbing alcohol will dull the finish of your vinyl base. 

How To Fix Rubbing Alcohol Stain On Wood

If you apply the rubbing alcohol to your wood floor to clean the surface, you can then understand what mistakes you made.

It will leave a stain on the wood surface if you use rubbing alcohol for cleaning. And the following cleaning process will help to remove the stain. 

  • First off, put a few drops of cooking oil or lemon oil on a soft microfiber cloth.  
  • Start rubbing the stained area with the cloth gently. It will take a minute or more to remove the spot from the wood floor. 
  • Once the stain disappears, wipe away the excess oil from the surface. 
  •  Use furniture polish if the lemon oil or cooking oil fails to remove the rubbing alcohol stain. 
  • Lastly, you should refinish the wood surface if any of these tricks will not work for you. Just use a stripper to scrape the stained area and apply a coating that matches the floor finish.


We never recommend you use rubbing alcohol on your hardwood surface. It will eat through the finish of your solid wood surface.

On the other hand, you can use rubbing alcohol to clean the dirty surface if you have an engineered wood floor.

You can apply homemade cleaners like baking soda to clean your hardwood surface. The best suggestion we can give is- vacuum your floor regularly to avoid dirt accumulation.

And deep clean the floor once a week to protect the shiny look for a long time.

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