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How to Remove Oxidized Marks in Oak Wood

Samantha Volz

The oak tree has played a vital role in man's development from the very beginning to modern day. Used for food, shelter, warships and modern homes and decks, oak displays resilience and strength beyond many other types of wood. However, exposure to the elements, such as sunlight, wind and precipitation, will weather the oak, giving it a dull gray color over time. This process, known as oxidation, can leave small marks or can encompass the entire wood project, ruining the beauty of the wood. Bleaching the wood can remove oxidation marks and spots on the wood, returning it to its original look.

Oxidation can leave wood looking gray and faded over time.
  1. Pour 1 gallon of warm water into a garden pump sprayer.

  2. Mix in 1 gallon liquid chlorine bleach. These bleaches contain a 5 percent sodium hypochlorite solution that will clean the oxidized areas without damaging the wood.

  3. Pump the cleaning solution onto your discolored wood. Allow the solution to sit on the wood for up to 30 minutes. Do not let it dry completely on the wood surface.

  4. Rinse the cleaning solution away with a garden hose or power washer set at or below 1,500 pounds per square inch (PSI). The added power of a pressure washer may help to remove any remaining oxidized marks.

  5. Repeat the cleaning, if necessary, to remove the oxidation marks. The wood should return to its tan or dark brown color. If necessary, scrub stubborn areas with a stiff-bristle scrub brush soaked in the cleaning solution.