How to Remove Water Stains from Wood

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Wood furniture is beautiful and great for everything from dining room tables to bedside nightstands. Wood furniture can complement any room in the home but when accidents happen and water stains occur, it can be very disheartening. If you want to save your wooden furniture after this type of stain happens there are a few tricks of the trade you can try. These suggestions can also be used to remove water stains on wood flooring as well.

Chlorine Bleach

Bleach sounds like one of the last things you would want to put on wood but it can actually help remove water stains on wood. White water marks sometimes occur because water has seeped in between the wax surface covering the wood and the wood itself. Apply the bleach and let it sit on the wood for 15 minutes and continue to reapply one or two more times until the stain is gone. Rinse the bleach off completely and wipe dry. Bleach also works well on water stains that have darkened, this is usually caused by mildew growing on the water stain.

Create A Paste

There are several different pastes you can create with things from your home that can help remove water stains. Rubbing toothpaste on a water stain can help remove the mark on the wood. You want to use a regular white toothpaste that is not a gel. Create a thin film of toothpaste completely covering the stain and then allow it to dry. Use a clean, damp cloth to remove the toothpaste once it has dried and then dry the wood with a dry cloth.Another option is to create a paste of baking soda and water to rub on the water stain. Apply the paste and let it dry and remove it the same way as described for the toothpaste. A paste can also be created using cooking oil and salt. Rub it on and and remove the same as the other pastes.

Apply A Hot Iron

Heat applied to wood furniture is not usually a good thing but using a heated iron on a water stain can sometimes remove it. Use a white clean cloth to lay on the stain and then apply a heated iron on top of that. Do not use the steam setting on the iron. Only apply the iron for a few seconds. Remove the cloth and check the stain, if it is still there reapply the iron for another few seconds.


This suggestion may seem a bit crazy but it can really work. Spread some mayonnaise on the water mark and cover it with a napkin or paper towel. Press down on the napkin slightly to get the mayonnaise down into the wood. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes to start with and the life the napkin to check the stain. If the stain is still visible, replace the napkin with the mayonnaise on it for a while longer. It can left to sit overnight if necessary.

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