How to Bleach Maple Wood


If you're tired of looking at the same old maple wood in your house, but don't want to replace it, then bleaching it might constitute a viable alternative. Bleach gives maple wood a lighter color, providing you with a change of scenery for little comparative effort. You don't have to worry about damaging the maple wood because the bleach only gives it a lighter color. The only tricky part about bleaching maple wood is applying too much bleach and giving it a lighter color than what you want.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Vinegar
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Water
  • Sponge


  • Clean the wood thoroughly in order to apply the bleach. Depending on if you are bleaching a maple wood floor, a shelf, or something else, you should use a mop or sponge and soap and water to clean the wood. Let the wood dry completely before bleaching.

  • Mix a solution of bleach and vinegar. The solution should be about 50/50 since bleach is very strong. Any laundry bleach will work just fine, along with regular white vinegar. Using only bleach may cause the wood to lighten too much.

  • Apply the bleach and vinegar solution to the maple wood. Use gloves and goggles to keep the bleach from burning the skin and eyes if it comes in contact. Use the sponge to apply the solution evenly on the wood.

  • Allow the solution to set for several minutes. The wood will gradually turn lighter as it sets. When the wood reaches the color that you want, apply some warm water on it to neutralize the bleach so it won't get any lighter. Be careful about how long you let the bleach set because the wood will still get a little lighter after you apply the water.

  • Let the wood dry and see if it is the color you want it. If the wood isn't as light as you want, then you can repeat the process until it reaches your desired color. Allow the wood to dry for at least 12 hours before staining or doing anything else with it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful when working with bleach so you don't get any on your skin. If you do get some on your skin or eyes, be sure to wash it thoroughly right away to prevent irritation.

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  • Photo Credit ULTRA.F/Photodisc/Getty Images
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