How to Remove Water Stains From Wood

Posted on

You no longer need to panic when a cup of coffee, some water, or some other liquid leaves a mark on your wooden furniture.

Most of the time, removing the stain and returning the initial look to the furniture before the accident is no complicated task. The first thing you have to do is determine how deep the damage is. Difficult? No, just look at the stain or watermark color.

Spots and marks left by liquids are usually white or light in color. This means that they have not penetrated deep into the waxed or varnished surface of the furniture. On the other hand, if the stains have a darker color, then the cleaning task will become considerably more complicated as the stain has already penetrated deeper into the insulation layers and possibly even into the wood itself. In this case, it will take more work to remove the stains, but it is not an impossible task at all.

How to Remove Water Stains From Wood
Here are some tips for removing water stains from wood furniture. Start with the first step and if it does not work proceed to the following:

  1. Rub the affected area with some wood oil, mayonnaise or petroleum jelly. The goal is to “take off” the watermark with the oil. If the stain disappears, the problem solved. If the stain persists, then skip to step 6 and if the problem is still not resolved to apply step 2.
  2. Put some toothpaste on a wet cloth and gently rub the stain until it disappears. Toothpaste sometimes contains a mild abrasive that will help eliminate the stain. If this trick does not work, go to Step 6.
  3. If the stain persists, we advise mixing equal amounts of baking soda and toothpaste together to make a slightly stronger but still mild abrasive and rub the mixture over the stain. Depending on the size of the stain, a quarter or a half teaspoon of each should result. Apply a little more pressure than you did in Step 2. If the stain has disappeared, go to step 6. Otherwise, continue with steps 4 and 5 for the stubborn water stains.
  4. Clean the area very well.
  5. Dip a soft cloth – an old t-shirt will do – in a mild solvent such as turpentine or thinner (no smell). Remove excess moisture from the cloth, then rub gently until the stain is removed. To make sure it doesn\’t damage the surface, pre-test the solvent on a more hidden side of the furniture first. If the solvent dissolves the finish then it is safe to apply on the stain. If it dissolves, it should not be used.
  6. If there are no more traces of the stain left, then it is time to wax, varnish or apply an insulating layer to the furniture.
  7. Let it dry and apply a second protective coat.