I boiled my driftwood for a month and everytime I check up on it, the water woulds still be brown. I finally had my 125 gal ready and hoped for the best, and sure enough, it didnt stain the water. Guess I was one of the lucky ones.
But follow Nates instructions on preparing driftwood. Best way to go or use as an alternative.
The simplest, but longest method is to submerge the wood in a bucket of tap water. Change the water a few times a week. When you discover that the water you are changing is clear, the wood is ready. This may take many weeks or even months.
A faster way to leach lignins and tannins is to boil the wood. If the wood is too large for any of your pots, you can pour boiling water (or just hot water from the tap) into the bucket or even trash can holding the wood (as long as you do not melt the container). The hotter water will leach the lignins and tannins very quickly. After the wood boils for 10 to 20 minutes, let it cool. Change the water and repeat the process. Then, after the second cooling, place the wood in a bucket as described above and continue until the water is clear when you change it. With a small piece of wood, the boiling may be enough. With larger pieces, it may take a few weeks of water changes to get clear water.
Aquarium salt can be added to the water during boiling or sitting in the bucket. The exact amount in not important but it should be about the concentration found in a salt water tank. In the boiling situation, it increases the boiling temperature, thus leaching even more lignins and tannins. Also, both the salt and boiling water kill any bacteria and live creatures in the wood (a must if you treat virgin wood). The salt seems to help leach the lignins and tannins faster too. Be sure to soak the driftwood in a bucket of water without salt for a week or so to leach all of the salt back out of the wood (unless you already have a high salt concentration in the tank anyway).