There is a stain on my wood pallet, now what?
Don’t panic. Stains on pallets are usually not a concern. Find out why and how stains happen.
Let's take a closer look at wood. Wood is made up of:
With the exception of the water soluble extractives, these components are relatively stable when using wood for pallets.
Except for oak, most wood species used in pallets have a low level of extractives. Oak is one of the strongest and most durable of the pallet materials. Unfortunately, oak also has some of the highest levels of these water soluble extractives.
When oak comes into contact with metals like steel - and moisture is present - these extractives can react to create blue or black stains. Staining does not cause performance loss but it can be an issue with products sensitive to discoloration.
Any of these metal contacts will create the stains:
For international shipments staining can become even worse. Required heat treating brings large amounts of moisture to the surface of the pallet.
Stains are OK for most products. If you find the stains to be a problem, try these solutions:
Do you have a stain on your wood pallet that concerns you? Snap a photo and post it below. I will evaluate your stain and give you feedback on what you can do to avoid stains on your wood pallets.
Post by: John Clarke, Technical Director
Call Us: (410) 477-3000
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