• You can take out drinking water stains from wood with domestic solutions like distilled white vinegar, toothpaste, and even mayonnaise.
  • Mild stains are more recent and can be removed using area treatment options like polish.
  • Darkish stains are older and have mildew progress you are going to need to sand the piece to get rid of them.

Wooden furniture and flooring are timeless and classy. Sad to say, they’re also susceptible to watermarks.

“Water stains on wood furniture can be a actual eyesore,” suggests James Walton, woodworker and writer of the Wooden Router Expert. “They can make your wonderful wood furnishings search outdated and dirty.”

Drinking water stains transpire when dampness penetrates into the wooden and gets to be trapped beneath the area, which occurs most normally from the condensation from a cup, bottle, or mug, or when a spill is still left uncleaned.

No make any difference what the trigger of your water stain, there are selections for clearing it and receiving your wood home furniture, floors or counters seeking as fantastic as new.

Establish the colour of the stain






© Paul Maguire/Shutterstock


No two water stains are the exact same. But frequently, you can get a sense how to technique removal by pinpointing whether you have a light or dark water stain.

“The big difference involving light and darkish stains is the duration of time the h2o has been on the wood and thus how significantly it has penetrated,” suggests Laurence Mann, director of Wood Finishes Immediate.

  • Light drinking water stains: Gentle h2o stains seem white or mild-coloured, and may perhaps have a cloudy visual appearance. These are more recent stains, where the water has only afflicted the finish of the wood or the area layer, states Mann.
  • Darkish water stains: If mild stains aren’t dealt with, they’re going to inevitably establish into dim drinking water stains on wood. These stains, which appear deep brown or black, occur when h2o seeps into the wood, then commences to mature mildew. Because these are further inside the wood, they’re much more tough to remove, states Mann.

5 approaches to remove gentle h2o stains






© Géza Bálint Ujvárosi/EyeEm/Getty Photos


In accordance to Mann, the very best way to get rid of water stains is to use a mixture of procedures.

Get started with the minimum invasive strategy, which you will find at the leading of this list. Verify back the following working day. If the wooden is however stained, transfer on to far more invasive possibilities for removing the stain.

1. Lemon or vinegar

The most basic way to eliminate a h2o stain is by rubbing it with lemon h2o or vinegar. Mix equal areas vinegar and water or squeeze a single lemon into a cup of water. Then, lightly scrub the answer about the stain, shifting in the route of the wood grain. For extra grit and cleaning power, add a teaspoon of salt or baking soda to the combine. This strategy is effective most effective on very new stains that have only impacted the top rated layer of the wood’s complete.

2. Toothpaste

If a gentle scrub does not get the job done, seize a tube of toothpaste. You may want a white paste, not the gel wide range. The abrasiveness of the toothpaste can assist take out water stains on the prime-most surface of the wooden.

Squeeze the paste on to a cloth and rub it in a circle on the stain. Do not push far too tricky, and only do this for 1 moment — more than that, and you hazard damaging the wooden.

3. Petroleum jelly or mayonnaise

A single of the best approaches to eliminate a h2o stain is by masking it in petroleum jelly, or even mayonnaise. The oil from these substances can seep into the wood, displacing the h2o and eradicating the stain.

To consider it, put a dollop of petroleum or mayonnaise on a paper towel. Gently rub it over the stain. Depart it on for at least 15 minutes, and as lengthy as overnight, examining back periodically to appraise the visual appeal of the stain. When it has disappeared, wipe down the wooden with a cleaning resolution and cleanse fabric.

4. Hair dryer or iron

New stains can in some cases be removed by applying warmth, which causes the h2o to evaporate. Having said that, heat can also warp wood, so continue with warning when attempting these solutions, states Mann. Begin by employing a hair dryer on a very hot location. Stage it at the stain right until the h2o evaporates. If that doesn’t work, lay a kitchen towel around the stain. Then, go around the towel with an iron, building positive the iron hardly ever arrives into immediate call with the wood.

5. Commercial wooden cleaners and polish

If household solutions haven’t labored, it’s time to achieve for wooden-distinct items, suggests Mann. Get started by making use of wooden polish or wax. Leave it on for 6 to 8 several hours, and then wipe away to see if the stain is gone. If it is really still there, try a ring remover answer. Odorless mineral spirits or acetone can also be employed to slender the major layer of varnish and remove the stain, but since they’re not specially intended for this intent they might go away blemishes, says Mann.

Quick idea: Generally location-examination your water stain treatment in an inconspicuous spot. These treatments can have various effects relying on the type of wooden and its complete.

How to clear away darkish water stains






© Milanares/Getty Visuals


Dim h2o stains are extra tough to clear away for the reason that there are two measures: you must get rid of the drinking water, and also clear away mildew that has developed inside of the wood. The only way to thoroughly do that is by sanding back the surface of the wooden, says Mann.

Regardless of whether this is a massive or compact project will rely on the place your h2o stain is. A modest stain on home furniture or countertop can be sanded out by hand employing 150-grit sandpaper. Press the paper flippantly into the wood, transferring in the very same route as the grain of the wood.

Immediately after you’ve sanded down to the stain, use a mildew and mildew cleaner to destroy the mold and be certain the stain does not appear back again. When the stained location has dried, you can be ready to refinish the wooden with the identical stain or varnish as the rest of the piece.

For larger sized dark h2o stains, like people on flooring immediately after a plumbing leak, you might will need to lease a sanding device to clear away the major varnish.

Quick tip: Finding a high-quality finish when sanding down and refinishing a wood merchandise can be tricky, so it truly is greatest to contact a expert if you are set on perfection. A wood finisher or flooring qualified can support with this type of venture.

Insider’s takeaway

When it will come to treating h2o stains on wooden, time is of the essence. Newer stains can be addressed basically by wiping the area with vinegar or lemon water, or by scrubbing evenly with toothpaste. Applying wooden polish or wooden stain remover can also aid.

As the stain permeates further into the wooden it will become darker and tougher to take out. To clear away these stains you are going to want to sand and refinish the stained area.