7 Ways to Remove Water Stains From Wood

Peter Chambers

Sep 26, 2022

sirisvisual-4p8Rxlpli5w-unsplash

We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

You’ve probably had a house guest accidentally place a cup on the surface of your wooden furniture without using a coaster. When a dish that’s too hot or cold gets placed on wood, a white water ring appears. These marks occur when water seeps through the finish of the wood. The good news is that learning the ways to remove water stains from wood is made easy with just a few items you probably already have around the house.

If you have some white ring spots on your furniture or floors, there are a few things you can do to clean these marks off and restore the glory of your favorite conversation piece. Before you think about tossing out the affected fixtures, try these seven Before you think about tossing out the affected fixtures, try these seven ways to remove water stains with different household products to see how they perform. You might just be surprised and delighted by the results they provide.

1. Turn on a Hair Dryer

Using a hair dryer on the specified area can dry the stain away entirely. When you turn on your device, make sure it’s on the lowest setting for the safety of the wood. Switching to a higher heat can cause damage to your surface. Move the hair dryer back and forth to prevent the spot from overheating in any one spot. If you keep it up, the water ring will eventually clear up after a few minutes.

It’s best to use this method when you see a fresh stain soon after it’s been made. If the mark has been there for a bit, you can still try a hairdryer, but it will benefit you to try other strategies as well.

2. Rubbing on the Mayonnaise

As surprising as it may sound, mayonnaise is a one of the best ways to remove water stains from your wooden furnishings. The primary chemical makeup of mayonnaise is oil, vinegar, egg yolk, and lemon juice, which also makes it earthy and simple. The acids and fats in this kitchen condiment draw out the water while oiling your wood at the same time.

Take a soft rag or a paper towel and lather the area with your choice of mayonnaise. You can leave it on for several hours or even overnight if you like. Gently wipe the mayonnaise away and then, hopefully, your spot will have disappeared like magic.

3. Use a Clothes Iron

By applying gentle amounts of heat to the stain, you can lift it right out of the wood. A clothing iron is a perfect tool for this example. Use a thicker cloth, such as cotton, and place it over the spot. The material prevents you from damaging both the fixture and the iron. Move your device back and forth several times at a lower temperature. Keep at it until the stain is gone.

Inspect your wooden furnishings for any water droplets that haven’t soaked into the wax and try out an iron for any spots you’re worried about leaving a stain.

4. Deploy a Magic Eraser

Magic erasers, also known by their generic name of “melamine pad” or “melamine sponge,” have the ability to pick up dirt that other cleaning agents just can’t. You can use a magic eraser on both white rings and darker stains on your furniture. Inspect the area you’re about to clean and then scrub the eraser along with the wood grain.

You may need to pass over the spot several times if the mark has been there for a while. Use special wood cleaners to help your magic eraser glide along the area with ease.

5. Fine-Grade Steel Wool

Steel wool is an excellent choice for tough stains, but you can scratch your wood if the material is too hard. Before you make your purchase, make sure your product is a finer grade. You can find steel wool at hardware stores or other convenience stores.

When using steel wool on your stain, make sure to apply some wood oil to help the process along. Go with the wood grain to keep your fixture natural.

6. Try Out Toothpaste

Specific toothpaste, such as non-whitening varieties and non-gel ones, are good tools for cleaning off wood stains. To try out this method, dab a decent amount of your chosen paste and buff it into the mark with a rag. Use circular motions as you rub the paste into the spot. You can add more toothpaste as necessary until the wet ring starts to come off.

7. Olive Oil Mixed With Vinegar

Make your own polish with a mix of olive oil and vinegar. Mix equal parts of both liquids to create a perfect wood cleaning agent.

Vinegar is helpful to use on wood because it won’t cause warping or strip away any finish. You can apply this product on wood stains and gently rub them in with a towel or dishcloth.

8. Give Salt a Try

Salt is one of the most common household staples, and it may work wonders for the stains on your wood as well. To give it a shot, make a paste using just salt and water. There should be just enough water that the paste holds together without getting runny. Apply this mixture to the surface you’re trying to treat, slowly, and let it sit for a minute or two. After that, wipe it off and appraise the finished look.

9. Raid Your Medicine Cabinet

Some of the items in your medicine cabinet might work for those stubborn water-based stains on the surface of your favorite wooden piece. Petroleum jelly, which typically appears in medicine cabinets as Vaseline, isn’t just good for soothing irritated or chapped skin. You can also give it a try for stains on your wood.

To try this method, dab the Vaseline onto the surface featuring the stain. For the best shot at success, leave it on overnight and then wipe the surface clean and dry in the morning and see how it looks.

10. Go Pantry Diving

Finally, for one final try if nothing else has worked, try diving into your pantry one more time and grabbing the baking soda. Any self-respecting cook has some! A bicarbonate of soda is simply baking soda plus just enough water to bind it together into a paste. Too much water could actually make your stain worse, so take care during this step!

Make this paste and then wipe it onto the surface you’re trying to restore. Wipe it off after letting it sit for a minute or two.

Resolve Any Wood Stains With Homemade Products

White wet rings on your wooden furniture are a common occurrence in many situations, especially in the aftermath of hosting a party or gathering. You can’t always control what happens in your home, but you have options if you find yourself worried about potential damage to your wood furnishings.

You can remedy this issue quickly with these different ways to remove water stains and keep your wooden furnishings in excellent condition. Try out these suggestions the next time you notice some water damage on your furniture to make each piece look good as new!


Did you enjoy this post? Join the Renovated community!

A house is more than just where you live. It's where you build a community. We'll give you all the latest trends you need to make your home your haven. Subscribe and never miss out!
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

About The Author