When applying the deck stain, the materials which come first in our mind are the roller or brush. But do you know there is another material which can be used for staining wood?

It’s rag cloth, which is another simple, effective, and budget-friendly component. You can use it instead of a roller or brush to apply exterior wood stain. Regardless, it’s the most important material for removing the excess stain from the wood.

Again, do you know what the final task is after applying the stain on a wood? Of course, it’s wiping off the excess components from the deck. You can use either the chip brush or rag to wipe off the excess stain. But, what kind of rag to use for staining?

Below, we’ve explored the five best rags, which is extremely beneficial for applying the best wood stain. Let’s jump into the article and decide which one should select.

Best Rag For Staining Wood

Whether it comes staining or wipe off the excess stain from the wood, you’ll need the best rag for staining wood. So, what are the best rag for applying stain? Here are the five best staining rags which are highly recommended for use in staining wood.

1. Axtion Products Cotton Cloth Rags (Editor’s Choice)

best rag stain

Axtion products cotton clothes are a right-sized quality rag. It comes in a rectangular shape and white in color, which makes the rag amazing to look at.

The Axtion product is one of the best lint-free rags for staining. It’s made of the cotton t-shirt; hence you can purchase the rag with no worry. A single box of Axtion cotton clothes rags comes with several pieces of clothes.

However, rag can be used for multiple works. Hence, it’s called multi-purpose clothes. You can apply the cotton rag for dusting, cleaning, and wiping off the excess stain after application. You can also use the cloth for applying stain, varnish, polish, paint stain on the wood regardless of dusting or cleaning.


  • Lint-free.
  • Ideal for multi-purpose.
  • Excellent quality.

2. Nabob Wipers Premium Knit Rag

nabob wipers premium knit rag

With the endless possibilities, the nabob wipers premium knit rag is an environment-friendly product. It’s a lint-free cotton material that absorbs the liquid from the object quickly.

When the paper product is costly and inappropriate for many cleaning tasks, the Nabob wipers are suitable for all. You can use the cloth for wiping dishes, cleaning shoes, toilets, cars, and so on.

Regardless of these, the Nabob wipers premium kit rag is also suitable for heavy-duty tasks, such as wiping up the grease, oil, spills, grimes, etc.

The purity and softness of the clothes make it useful to apply on the light to heavy-duty tasks. Staining a wood becomes easy on wood when using the Nabob wipers premium kit.


  • Lint-free clean.
  • Heavy-duty task.
  • Multiple uses.
  • Premium-quality.

3. Big Cut Cleaning Cloths

big cut cleaning cloths

The big cut cleaning cloth is a high-quality and convenient multi-purpose wiping cloth. It comes with 55 separate clothes in a pack where each clothes are about 10”x15” cut size.

You can use each cloth of the rag multiple times by washing properly. So, each pack of big cut cleaning clothes will go for a long time.

However, the product is made with a mixture of rayon, cotton, and synthetic material. These materials have made the product an absorbent and durable material.

As a consequence, the rag works very well when it comes to cleaning, painting, and polishing tasks. For applying stain with a rag, the big cut cleaning cloth is one of the best choices.


  • Durable and absorbent.
  • Washable for multiple uses.
  • High-quality cloth with large size.

4. Eagle Rags All-Purpose Premium Grade Cleaning Towels

eagle rags all-purpose premium grade cleaning towels

To cover a wide range of the area while cleaning, you’ll need a large sized cloth. The white eagle mops are large-sized clothes which include 24 pieces of cloth in a pack.

Likewise, the big cut cleaning cloth, it also can be reused after proper washing. That’s why the rag is suitable for regular home use; also a good choice for commercial use.

The solid cotton material makes the rag super-absorbent. Because of the length and absorbance, the rag is suitable for the heavy-duty tasks in a restaurant, bars, etc.

Regardless, you can also do the maintenance works like staining, mopping floors, cars with a large rag.


  • Great value pack for the price.
  • Contains commercial quality.
  • Washable and reusable.
  • Super-absorbent.
  • Low-lint cleaning.

5. Bag of Reclaimed White Cotton Rags – One Pound

bag of reclaimed white cotton rags

The reclaimed white cotton rag is another high-quality absorbent rag that comes from the recycled t-shirt. That’s why it’s the best drop cloth for staining on our list.

The quality and absorbency make the rag suitable for all types of household chores, including cleaning, polishing.

The USA imported cotton rag features with 50% cotton. Before making and processing rags, the recycled T-shirt is washed repeatedly. That’s why the rag is soft and absorbent, although it has been processed by blending the cotton material.

However, the product includes lint-free nature, which makes it the best cloth for staining wood. Regardless of the rag, you can also use the roller brush, to stain your wooden deck.


  • Highly absorbent.
  • The USA imported product.
  • 50% cotton.
  • Lint-free nature.
  • Soft and absorbent.

What Cloth to Use For Staining Wood?

Durable and absorbents

Unlike the household chores, staining a deck is a heavy-duty task. The regular pieces of cloth of your home cannot do the task perfectly. It needs an absorbent and durable rag to complete the staining smoothly without making any imperfection.

So, before choosing rag clothes, look for its durability and absorbency. If the rag can quickly absorb the wood’s liquid, it’s suitable for staining the wood. Regardless of staining wood, the durable and absorbent material is good for all the cleaning tasks.

Suitable for multiple uses

Choose rag clothes that are suitable for multiple uses. Not all the rag comes with so good Washability. As a consequence, you cannot use them more than once.

But wouldn’t it be good if you use a piece of rag clothes more than once after washing? It’ll not give you a clean surface, but also save lots of your costs.

Possibly, that’s why the durable and absorbent rag clothes are superior for commercial and household use.

Rag’s material

A thin and pure cotton cheesecloth is a suitable choice to use for the staining wood. We know that cotton is a thin material. That’s why it covers the wood perfectly and gives a fruitful result.

However, there are some other lint-free rags which are good for staining wood, such as the cotton blend, microfiber, and so on.


The quality of the rag clothes depends on the material which is used to make it. The solid cotton material is the best quality component for the rag clothes. But sometimes the mixture of cotton and synthetic material also makes an amazing product.

That’s why you must choose the quality rag clothes to ensure its durability.


The size of rag clothes does not actually matter so much. Nevertheless, when you’re purchasing the rag cloth for staining the large wooden surface, a large-sized rag will be super-convenient.

Therefore, when selecting rag clothes, consider the size of the rag as well as reusability.

How Do You Stain With a Rag?

Staining the wood with the rag is comparatively easy and faster than staining with a brush. Even if you stain with the rag clothes, the whole staining process of rag and brush is almost the same.

Using the rag reduces additional activities, which are compulsory after applying the stain with a brush. Let’s know what to do to stain the wood with a rag step by step.

Step-01: Sand the wood

Firstly, sand the wooden surface which you’re going to stain. Sanding will make the wood smooth and dirt-free.

Step-02: Clean the debris and dirt

Afterwards, wipe the surface with a tack cloth to make sure no debris is left.

Step-03: Stain the wood surface

Now apply the stain on a wooden surface with soft cotton rag clothes. Reach the stain at all corners of the surface with the cloth.

Step-04: Clean the excess stain

Let the stain dry entirely on the wooden surface. When the stain gets dry perfectly, clean the surface with another clean cloth.

Step-05: Let the stain dry

It takes some time to set the stain on the wood-based on its nature. So, give the first layer of stain some time to dry and perfectly place on the wooden surface.

Step-06: Place another layer of stain

Repeat the staining process after the first layer of stain dries.

You must have to change your stain within a few years to hold the new look and appearance of the wood. So, after staining the wood with a rag, you must know how to remove the stain from wood?

What Kinds of Rag Do You Use For Staining?

It depends on your preference which types of rag clothes you’ll love for your project. When choosing a rag, you’ll find different types of rags made of several materials.

That’s why the quality of the rag differs based on which types of materials it comes from. Here we have identified some common types of rag clothes that come from versatile materials.

best rags for staining

Reclaimed white polo

Firstly, there come the rags made of the reclaimed white polo shirts. The reclaimed white polo shirt is white in color, which resists the t-shirt from color-bleeding. Being white makes the t-shirt a cost-effective solution to the homeowner who wants to stain wood.

If you want to ensure more cost-effectivity, you can choose the grey polo shirt. It will reduce your cost because of the obtained fabric material quality, which won’t bleed. As a consequence, you can use the t-shift more than once for staining wood.

Amber knit rags

The amber knit rags are consistent pieces of recycled cloth that offer excellent absorbency. Compared to the reclaimed white polo rag, it comes in a larger size.

But you can cut the rag into smaller sizes and use it for several tasks. That’s how you can save your cost when conducting the staining process.

New cotton white t-shirt

When it comes to stain wood, lint-free cotton clothes are preferable to choose.  That’s because the lint-free cotton clothes are effective for handling large projects. Plus, the white color of the t-shirt enables the stain applier to see what color exactly he’s applying.

Paper/ disposable wipes

With the same size cut and texture, the paper wipe is a good resource to stain a deck. Similar to new cotton rags, the disposable wipes are also super-absorbent and lint-free rags.

Nevertheless, a disposable wipe is not suitable to use frequently after using it for once. Even then, the rags are very popular with its users because of cost-effectivity.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Can you use a rag to stain wood?

Certainly! You can apply anything among rag, brush, roller brush, paint pad, etc. to stain the wood. But the rag is the best component to stain, which comes as the cost-effective and fastest option. Plus, it helps you to get light colors with a smooth finish on your wooden deck.

That’s why staining the wood with the rag would be a better decision instead of a brush.

Is it better to stain wood with a brush or rag?

Wiping stain with the rag cloth is the fast and most effective way of applying stain on the wood. If you use a brush to stain the application, it might take several hours to finish the whole process. Conversely, the rag cloth needs only a few times to apply the stain on the wood.

Furthermore, staining with a rag is very important to get the lighter tone of the stain. The brush only develops deep in color with a thick stain. You’ll surely need to use the rags to remove the excess stain from the wooden deck.

Nevertheless, if you use the rag clothes, you won’t need to use the brush in the staining process.

Can you use the microfiber cloth to stain wood?

The thinner the rag clothes material is, the more it’s suitable for staining. Fortunately, the microfiber cloth is a very thin material that you’ll realize while using it. That’s why it’s easier to stain and absorb the excess stain from the wooden component with the microfiber cloth.

But the microfiber cloths are a large-sized material that needs to be cut into a small pieces. The large size cloth makes it inconvenient to stain the wood.

Final Notes

Eventually, with the inexpensive rag clothes, it’s also an inexpensive solution for staining wooden decks.

Because of the inexpensiveness, you can stain your wood deck almost every year. So, if you’ve decided to stain your wooden deck with rag clothes, you’ve taken the right decision.

So, what kind of rag to use for staining? Do you have any idea? If no, then follow the article which is arranged with the top five rag clothes. You can choose our recommended rag clothes Axtion Products Cotton Cloth Rags.

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  1. Thank you for sharing this informative blog! All the information provided by you is really very helpful for all. Whenever we do a paint job so the problem we face is to remove dust particles from the surface. I agreed by using tack cloth you can keep your project dust-free. Everyone should follow the tips provided by you, it will make their work easier. Keep Posting! Keep Sharing!

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