Get the Color Out With Wood Bleach
When it comes to altering the color of wood, woodworkers routinely turn to stains to give wood more-or a slightly different-color. But wood bleach lets you remove color from wood.
You'll find three kinds of products marketed as wood bleaches. But only one will remove the natural color from wood: a two-part wood bleach of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) and hydrogen peroxide. Other wood bleaches are chlorine bleach and oxalic acid.
Chlorine bleach, which is like ordinary laundry bleach, will remove dye color from wood, but not the wood's natural color. Oxalic acid is commonly employed to bleach out water or rust stains. Teak stain remover sold by boat dealers is often based on oxalic acid.
All the bleaching chemicals pose health and safety hazards to varying degrees. So be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions and warnings before use. And always wear rubber gloves and eye protection around bleaches.
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