Household Cleaning Tips: How To Remove Water Stains From Wood Furniture

Quick and easy instructions for protecting and cleaning waterstains from wooden furniture.

Wood furniture takes special care. That's why so many of us use covers and coasters and take other means to protect our wood pieces. Sometimes though, accidents do happen. Every now and then, a well-meaning guest or family member might inadvertently put a glass of water down directly on our wood furniture. When this happens, a white water stain or ring is left behind. This doesn't have to be the end of your furniture, however. There are steps you can take to rectify the damage, and hopefully, save your wooden piece from the dumpster.

Gentle buffing is the key. As soon as you see the mark appear, try rubbing gently until the stain disappears. It's important to act quickly so the water doesn't have much time to penetrate the wood. In many cases, buffing with a clean, dry cloth, and a little patience, is all that's needed to remove a water stain. If the stain is set in, you can try polishing with an oil-based furniture polish and see if that removes the mark. When using any of the methods detailed here, try to use a cloth that won't leave any lint behind, and when buffing, always go with the grain. Also, if you're unsure about any of the methods you see here, test first on a hidden area of the table, underneath for example, to make sure no further damage will occur.

Toothpaste is supposed to work wonders on water-stain removal. Who knew? Apply a small amount of toothpaste - the non-gel kind, to a damp, clean cloth and gently rub into the water stain. Wipe toothpaste off with a clean, dry cloth and polish as you normally would.

You can also try a paste of baking soda and water. Gently rub paste into the stain and leave on for a half-hour or so. Remove the paste with a clean dry cloth and polish with your choice of furniture polish.

Another home remedy to try is a paste of salt and cooking oil. Rub this paste into the stain and wait about fifteen or twenty minutes. After that amount of time, wipe off the paste with a clean, dry cloth and polish as usual.

Sometimes, the answer is sitting inside your refrigerator! Apply a coat of mayonnaise over the stain and let sit over night. The next morning, wipe off with a clean, dry cloth and polish with your favorite furniture polish.



Some folks recommend using a hair dryer to dry the stain while it's still wet. Another suggestion is to rub the stain with cigarette or cigar ashes. Wipe the surface clean and polish as usual.

If none of these methods work, you may need to consult a professional who can, perhaps, recommend a product, such as oxalic acid, a wood bleach, that will do the trick for you. If the stain has deeply penetrated the wood, however, you may need to sand and refinish the wood.

As you can see, it's not too difficult to repair a water-stained piece of wood furniture. On most occasions, you won't have to use smelly chemicals or anything that might strip the wood and cause more work for you. In fact, most of the cleaning products mentioned above can be found in your pantry. Don't automatically think a watermark means you'll have to carry your furniture out to the curb. There are some quick and easy solutions.

Wood furniture takes special care. That's why so many of us use covers and coasters and take other means to protect our wood pieces. Sometimes though, accidents do happen. Every now and then, a well-meaning guest or family member might inadvertently put a glass of water down directly on our wood furniture. When this happens, a white water stain or ring is left behind. This doesn't have to be the end of your furniture, however. There are steps you can take to rectify the damage, and hopefully, save your wooden piece from the dumpster.

Gentle buffing is the key. As soon as you see the mark appear, try rubbing gently until the stain disappears. It's important to act quickly so the water doesn't have much time to penetrate the wood. In many cases, buffing with a clean, dry cloth, and a little patience, is all that's needed to remove a water stain. If the stain is set in, you can try polishing with oil-based furniture polish and see if that removes the mark. When using any of the methods detailed here, try to use a cloth that won't leave any lint behind, and when buffing, always go with the grain. Also, if you're unsure about any of the methods you see here, test first on a hidden area of the table, underneath for example, to make sure no further damage will occur.

Toothpaste is supposed to work wonders on water-stain removal. Who knew? Apply a small amount of toothpaste - the non-gel kind, to a damp, clean cloth and gently rub into the water stain. Wipe toothpaste off with a clean, dry cloth and polish as you normally would. You can also try a paste of baking soda and water. Gently rub paste into the stain and leave on for a half-hour or so. Remove the paste with a clean dry cloth and polish with your choice of furniture polish.

Another home remedy to try is a paste of salt and cooking oil. Rub this paste into the stain and wait about fifteen or twenty minutes. After that amount of time, wipe off the paste with a clean, dry cloth and polish as usual. Sometimes, the answer is sitting inside your refrigerator! Apply a coat of mayonnaise over the stain and let sit over night. The next morning, wipe off with a clean, dry cloth and polish with your favorite furniture polish.

Some folks recommend using a hair dryer to dry the stain while it's still wet. Another suggestion is to rub the stain with cigarette or cigar ashes. Wipe the surface clean and polish as usual. If none of these methods work, you may need to consult a professional who can, perhaps, recommend a product, such as oxalic acid, wood bleach, that will do the trick for you. If the stain has deeply penetrated the wood, however, you may need to sand and refinish the wood.

As you can see, it's not too difficult to repair a water-stained piece of wood furniture. On most occasions, you won't have to use smelly chemicals or anything that might strip the wood and cause more work for you. In fact, most of the cleaning products mentioned above can be found in your pantry. Don't automatically think a watermark means you'll have to carry your furniture out to the curb. There are some quick and easy solutions.

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