How to Get Rid of Water Stains on Wood

Wooden items are one of the most popular choices among customers when it comes to home decor. Since the market is quite expanded, you can find anything made out of this material, from coffee tables and unique chairs to wooden lights.

What’s more, you can pick between several types of wood. The list includes rustic wood, modern wood, bamboo, and similar. Not only is it charming, but the wooden decor gives a special kind of warmth to the entire home atmosphere. It’s a natural beauty that always stands out. 

You can easily decorate the entire home with wooden items and achieve maximum comfort. Additionally, you can always choose wood for your outdoor furniture too. But, wooden furniture is no different than other goods. This means it can easily get damaged. 

That’s why how to get rid of water stains on wood is a question often asked by many people. For that matter, we have created a short guide to help you out.

Methods for Removing Water Stains From Wood

Our guide includes simple yet incredibly effective methods. They consist of using either home ingredients or home appliances. The last method refers to store-bought removers.

However, your budget is something that you probably won’t have to worry about. This is simply because you might already have all the needed products at home. So here is how to get rid of water stains on wood in 7 simple ways: 

Method 1. Grab your hair dryer

Using your hair dryer is the first and most logical step when it comes to removing water stains from wood. This is simply because the electromechanical device blows constant hot air, which is exactly what you need.

The hair dryer is particularly great if the stain is larger or there is more than one stain on the wooden surface. It will help you dry out the stain (or stains) very quickly. Before you start, make sure you have set up the device on its lowest setting.

Point the hair dryer directly into the stain. However, you mustn’t put it too close to the surface. This way, you will avoid overheating it and causing more damage. Next, move the device around more often, as much as you need until the surface is all dried out.

Method 2. Take a little from your toothpaste

Toothpaste is another excellent solution to quickly remove stains from wood. But before you apply it, read the ingredient list. Your toothpaste mustn’t contain whitening ingredients. In addition, it mustn’t contain silica. So it must be a paste, not a gel toothpaste.

Next, pay attention to the application of toothpaste. You must apply a small amount of your toothpaste in the same direction as the woodgrain. Woodgrain is the arrangement of wood fibers. You can easily notice in which way their pattern is created.

After that, let the toothpaste sit there for a short period of time before you remove it. Lastly, after you remove it, polish the wood. This will help make the wooden surface shiny again as it was before.

Method 3. Put mayonnaise on the water rings

Mayonnaise is another kitchen product that can effectively rejuvenate your wood furniture. Since it represents an emulsion of oil, egg yolk, and acids, it has an oily texture. This kind of texture is precisely what you need to successfully remove water stains from wood.

For that matter, start by applying a small amount of mayonnaise to the water stains. Use a piece of soft cloth to apply it. If there are still some water stains left, repeat the process. This time, add more mayonnaise than the first time and leave it for up to 2 hours.

You can also use this practical method before you go to sleep. This means that you can safely leave the mayonnaise to sit overnight on the wooden surface and remove it the next day. You can use the popular condiment for polishing any wood surfaces.

Read more: How to White Wash Furniture

Use Your Iron to Remove Water Stains From Wood

Method 4. Use your iron

Besides using the hair dryer, you can also successfully get rid of water stains on wood with your iron. For that matter, you will need a clean cloth. It is used to protect the wooden surface. Therefore, lay it over the water stain.

Make sure it’s a cotton cloth that has a clean design. This means you should avoid cloth that comes with prints, so they don’t get stamped on the wooden surface. Furthermore, ensure that there is no water left inside your iron.

Next, set the iron device up at a low temperature. Wait for a little while until it gets warmed up. Then gently and fastly press the iron against the cotton cloth that is covering the water stains. Wait for a few seconds, then lift both the iron and the cloth.

If you notice there are some water stains left, then repeat the whole process. However, we usually recommend this method for stains that are still wet. If the water stains are already set on the surface, try some of the other methods mentioned.

Method 5. Apply lemon oil using steel wool

Steel wool is also known as iron wool or wire wool. It represents a bundle of super fine and ultra-flexible steel filaments. In addition, they are also known for their sharp edges. You can easily find this product in a hardware store.

On the other hand, lemon oil is extracted from the skin of the lemon. It will keep your wood from drying out. At the same time, it will restore the depth of its texture and give back its beautiful natural look. It’s excellent for polishing and protecting all types of wood.

So these two components combined are the perfect water-removing solution you need. All you have to do is apply a small amount of lemon oil to the wet wooden surface. By using the steel wool, gently rub the oil in the direction of the wood grain.

Do not apply any pressure while rubbing the oil. This will prevent creating any further damage to your wood. Using this method may only take a few minutes of your time.

In addition, you don’t have to worry about lemon darkening your wood. This oil enhances the look of the wood. Moreover, it makes its grain pop out. It won’t change the color in any way if it doesn’t have any additives.

Method 6. Put petrolatum on the water stains

The petrolatum is a mixture of mineral oils and waxes. Since they form a jelly-like substance, it is also known as petroleum jelly. In stores, you may also find it under the name of soft paraffin or vaseline.

You can easily use petrolatum to get rid of the water stains on your wood. For that matter, you will also need a soft cloth. By using the cloth, apply a small amount of the substance. Next, you will need to rub it while making circular moves at the same time.

If by any chance the water stain is still there, then repeat the process. The second time we recommend you apply a larger amount of the petroleum jelly. In addition, you should leave it on the surface for 1 or 2 hours before you try rubbing it again.

If you don’t want to wait during the daytime, you can also leave the substance on the surface overnight. The very next morning, you can continue with the rubbing process and easily remove the annoying stains.

Method 7. Choose store-bought removers for water stains

All of the mentioned DIY solutions give efficient results. Besides, using them you might not have to spend additional money. However, you can always buy cleaning products that are specifically made for removing water stains from wood.

When going shopping, you can easily find them under various names. They are best known as ring spot removers and kitchen cleaning wax. Check places like The Home Depot, Amazon, or Walmart for this purpose. Pick what best fits your budget.

Also read: How to Clean a Velvet Couch


Damaging your wooden furniture by accidentally spilling water on it, is something we all face sooner or later. Surely, you can slightly prevent these kinds of inconveniences by being more careful. However, you can’t always watch out 24/7.

Moreover, through little accidents like this, you can learn many things. This includes learning new cleaning methods on how to get rid of water stains on wood. If you face this situation, you have nothing to worry about. You can easily pick any of our offered cleaning methods above. All of them require a minimum investment. This is simply because you may already have the needed ingredients at home. So you probably won’t have to spend any additional money. 

However, you can always buy cleaning products if you don’t want to bother with any DIY methods. There are stain removers specifically made for such stain problems. Since there are many brands, you will have no problem choosing the best product for your budget.

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