How to Remove Water Stains on Wood

No matter how careful you are, in spite of using all the coasters and table covers, it is difficult to stop the problem when water stains wood on your furniture. A white water ring mark or the black ring on your precious furniture does not always mean that you have to discard it; there are several simple ways to removing the stains, and here are some of them.

Tools and Materials Needed (each dependent upon severity of stain):

  • Absorbent cloth
  • Paper towels
  • Blow dryer
  • White toothpaste
  • Baking soda
  • Furniture polish
  • Mayonnaise
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Steel wool

For White Rings

Step 1 - Gentle Buffing

If the stain is fresh, the best and most effective way to remove a stain would be to buff it gently with an absorbent cloth, then place a paper towel on that region for a few hours to absorb extra moisture.

Step 2 - Blow-Dyer or Medium Hot Iron

Another way is to use a blow-dryer and drying the region before the water seeps in.

Place a lint-free, white cotton cloth over the stained region and dry iron it in medium or low heat for 2 or 3 seconds. Remove and check the region and repeat process until the stain vanishes. Never iron for more than a couple of seconds and do not use steam.

Step 3 - Toothpaste

Apply some non-gel, white toothpaste to a soft cloth and rub it gently till the stain disappears.

For Highly Finished Wood

Make a paste of equal parts of baking soda and toothpaste and using a clean white cloth rub in circular motion till the stain disappears. Apply polish once you wipe off the paste.

Step 1 - Mayonnaise

Apply a large amount of mayonnaise on the stain and rub it with a paper towel. Next, allow the mayonnaise to remain on the stain overnight. Next day, add a small amount of cigarette ash to the remaining mayonnaise, and rub it gently for about 15 to 20 minutes. Using a dry, clean cloth wipe off the paste.

Step 2 - Soft Wax Polish

Using a very fine steel wool and soft wax polish buff the region gently until the stain disappears. Finish off by buffing with kitchen paper.

Step 3 - Baking Soda

Prepare a paste of baking soda and water and apply gently on the region. Let it stay for 30 minutes. Using a clean, dry cloth, remove the paste and polish the furniture.

Step 4 - Oil and Salt

Rubbing a mixture of oil and salt on the region and then letting it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes yield similar results. Do not forget to remove the mixture using a dry, clean cloth and polish the area.

For Black Ring Marks

Step 1 - Bleach

First, start out by sanding the finish. Using a brush, apply bleach to that region. Let it stay for few hours; later, re-apply the bleach. If the stain persists, use commercial bleach in the following way. Do not forget to check with manufacturer regarding the type of bleach that is suitable for your furniture.

Use a damp sponge to moisten the wood. Mix equal amounts of liquids that come with the bleach. Brush this mixture liberally on the damp wood. After it starts bubbling, allow the bleach to stay for 5 hours. Prepare a mixture of 2 parts water and one part of household vinegar. Using a sponge dab this mixture on the area treated with bleach. Buff with a dry cloth and polish to restore its previous shine.