Genius Ways To Remove Water Stains From Wood

Quality wood furniture costs a pretty penny — for good reason. The material is gorgeous and can elevate its surroundings. For this reason, those who possess wood furniture likely do whatever it takes to maintain its brilliance. That said, white, wispy water stains — created by embedded moisture — tarnishing wooden furniture is almost inevitable. For instance, your young child may use the kitchen table as a laundry basket when discarding their raincoat after playing in a downpour, or your unwieldy brother-in-law may ignore your strict rules about coasters at your birthday party. You may even cause an issue by not keeping track of your hot beverage as you are engrossed in reading your new favorite novel.

Even if those upsetting white stains bloom, you do not have to mourn your once-gorgeous furniture. Now, you can contact a specialist. Or, you could go the cheaper route by rummaging through your belongings for various cabinet essentials.

White toothpaste makes marred wood more beautiful

Those who are passionate about dental hygiene will likely appreciate this tip, especially knowing that a wood stain remover is as close as your nearest bathroom. Most of us are aware that white toothpaste eliminates teeth stains, but some individuals may not know it can also get water stains out. Squirt out a dollop and lubricate the white watermark with the minty paste. Wait approximately a minute and then begin delicately polishing with a soft cloth. If you are too aggressive, however, the finish will be unhappy.

You may be curious about how toothpaste can improve wood stains. According to a segment from a 2022 "Rachael Ray Show" episode, toothpaste contains abrasives, which can assist in the elimination of blemishes. Because the abrasives are gentle enough for our teeth, they're less likely to scratch the wooden surface. Spot test in an inconspicuous area, though, to be sure toothpaste won't damage it.

Mayonnaise can benefit wood surfaces

Water stains can happen at the most inopportune time. For instance, you decide to drink a nice hot cup of coffee prior to giving your house a thorough scrub down the day before guests arrive. Unfortunately, because life is hectic, you get distracted, and suddenly, your cup is perched in the middle of your coaster-less coffee table. Upon realizing the error of your ways, the damage is done, and that dreaded white stain has begun to bloom. You begin panicking because you are unsure if you have time to go out and shop around for the correct chemical solution. 

Thankfully, you happen to have a jar of mayonnaise. Unscrew the lid, and saturate the white water ring with a tablespoon of mayonnaise. The stain will likely remain for several hours. So, as long as your guests do not come earlier than promised, you should be in the clear.

During an appearance on a 2015 episode of "The Meredith Vieira" show, Taryn Mohrman, a Woman's Day Magazine editor, noted the lack of science behind mayonnaise being a worthy adversary to water rings. "While there's no scientific evidence to back this, it's thought that perhaps the oil that's in mayonnaise is going to displace the water in the rings to remove the stain," said Mohrman.

Hand sanitizer combats water stains on alcohol-soluble finishes

After 2020, we all likely have a bottle or two of gelled hand sanitizer on our person at all times. Hand sanitizer is handy for a few types of stains, including instances involving water-stained wood. However, this trick is for wood surfaces with alcohol-soluble finishes. If you know your furniture has an alcohol-soluble finish, squeeze a glob of gelled hand sanitizer on a paper towel, which should be folded over several times to prevent the sanitizer from coming in direct contact with the surface. Flatten the sanitizer-free side of the towel against the stain for no more than 60 seconds. It is in your best interest to keep a timer by your side; leaving the paper towel on for too long risks ruining the furniture's finish. Be prepared to redo this before you get your preferred results.

You could also consider using the barely moist part of the shop towel. Furniture conservator Joshua Klein, founder of Mortise & Tenon Magazine, recommends to "barely touch it" to the wood in a repetitive movement. "It's a very quick wipe," said Klein. 

Baking soda and water can erase wood stains

Sodium bicarbonate, better known as baking soda, can benefit any household. The chemical compound can get the better of unpleasant cat litter odors, improve the texture of your laundry, and be a powerful oven cleaner. In addition, baking soda and some water could beautify your wood surface after an unfortunate incident involving moisture. 

Transfer two tablespoons of baking soda into a cup containing one tablespoon of water. Whisk the two ingredients together and find a freshly washed piece of fabric or dish towel. Once the cloth is soaked, begin polishing. Ideally, the wood surface should be blemish-free once the baking soda paste is blotted out. A major bonus is that baking soda is non-toxic. This means it is an ideal cleaning solution for households with young children or animals who do not know better than to get their mouths on furniture.

Olive oil and salt can polish your stained wood

While this sounds like a start to a delicious salad dressing recipe, an olive oil and salt combination can get out some serious stains. Stir a tablespoon of salt into a tablespoon of oil and utilize the thick concoction as a polish. After taking a beat, sponge off the oil-and-salt substance.

According to Martha Stewart magazine, this salty solution and mayonnaise's oil components give water stains a run for their money. So, if you are a mayonnaise-free household, no worries at all! Just pull out the olive oil and salt and be prepared to no longer be troubled by white water stains. This cleaning trick does not require the best imported olive oil, made from the finest olives, or the highest quality, most delicious salt. Pick what is available and what is cheapest, so you can get the most bang for your buck.

Vaseline and vinegar can better the appearance of wood

By now, most people know Vaseline, made from petroleum jelly, benefits our skin. However, some may not be aware that Vaseline improves your wood furniture. Just a quick warning — this tip is for individuals willing to be patient. Pat on the substance, and by 12 to 24 hours, the white water stain should be no more. You may determine, however, that it's not quite ready despite hours of saturation. In that case, pull out a vinegar-wet cloth and cleanse the barely stained spot. 

While there's no scientific data proving that petroleum jelly fixes water-stained wood, it is believed Vaseline can improve wood for the same reason mayonnaise does. Now, that brings us to the vinegar component of this tip. According to the National Science Foundation, vinegar has been proven useful when doing deep cleanses because of its acetic acid. This organic compound can destroy unwanted blemishes, including stains. 

Your hair dryer can make your wood look great

Those who often take on home projects likely know that hair dryers are great tools to get a freshly painted wall to dry. In addition, the dryer's direct heat can take off watermark stains from a beloved piece of wood furniture. The plugged-in device should never be touching the stain, however. Rather, it should hover above the furniture, barely warming it. 

If you are not used to blow drying your hair, your wrist may get a little tired as you continually flick the dryer. Even the most expert hair dryer users may find this trick tedious, given that you may be administering warm air for quite some time. (We're talking an hour or so). For this reason, we recommend sitting while completing this method. Or, if you happen to have a friend who is a hairstylist, it might be time to call in a favor. 

A pressing iron can take away water stains

Irons can do more than make wrinkled clothes look more presentable. Pressing irons can take out relatively new wood marks. Rummage through your linen cabin and pull out a nice, stain-free white cloth, as any colors may further mark up your wood furniture. Now, think of the fabric as a barricade for your water-stained furniture. Iron as usual along the cloth-protected stain — a low or medium temperature should suffice — without the appliance resting on any given area for an extended time. 

Take notice of the milky white mark's gradual dissipation by peeling the white cloth off the surface. On the chance there is just a minimal improvement, consider activating the device's steam function. The steam should erase the stain. Finish by determining whether the surface is stain-free. Then put away the towel and spray some furniture polish to further beautify the wood.