Home Improvements

How to Remove Water Stains from Wood

Don’t you hate it when you’re having friends over, and someone forgets to use a coaster? Don’t let the sight of the water rings dotting your coffee table ruin your mood. 

Water stains are simply moisture that has soaked into the top layers of your wood finish. Luckily, you can remove these cloudy rings with products you probably already have at home! 

Keep reading to learn about more water stain removal tricks. 

remove water stains - wooden table with coffee cups on it and a dark water ring on the corner

Remove Water Stains With a Hairdryer

Since the stains come from moisture, an easy solution is to use heat to dry the moisture up. This method works best on fresh water stains. You want to use as high a heat as your hairdryer allows and keep the hairdryer pointed at the stain until it disappears completely.

Once the wood has cooled down, you’ll need to polish your table with furniture oil to touch up the spot and ensure your wood stays looking as good as possible.

silver hairdryer in front of a pink background

Using Toothpaste to Remove Water Stains

For this tip, you’ll need toothpaste that isn’t a gel and isn’t whitening (you don’t want to make the spot worse!). 

Apply the toothpaste to the wood in the same direction as the woodgrain. Using a clean cloth, buff the toothpaste into the stain until it’s removed. Once the stain is gone, you can wipe away any residue with a paper towel.

remove water stains with toothpaste - blue toothpaste tube on white background

Combine Vinegar and Olive Oil for a DIY Wood-Stain Remover

Mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl to create a stain-removing mixture. The vinegar will do most of the heavy lifting to remove the stain, while the olive oil will act as a furniture polish. 

Take your mixture and use a cloth to wipe the mixture in the direction of the wood grain. The stain will slowly start to lift as the vinegar gets to work. Once the stain is gone, wipe the area down with a clean, dry cloth to ensure none of the mixture stays on the wood.

wooden table with an open travel coffee cup, glasses, a pot plant, a phone, and a magazine on it

Removing Water Stains With Baking Soda

This tip comes as no surprise, since baking soda features in most cleaning tips. 

Baking soda dissolves organic compounds like grease and dirt that could also cause stains. Plus, the slightly abrasive nature of baking soda helps it take the crown as the best DIY home cleaning product.

To remove water stains using baking soda, mix one tablespoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of water into a paste. Using this paste, gently rub the water stain using a circular motion until it disappears.

water being poured into a glass cup on a wooden table

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best ways to remove water stains from wood?

Baking soda, toothpaste, vinegar, or a hairdryer are all effective ways to get rid of water stains. You can also purchase products specifically made to remove water stains if you don’t have any of these materials at hand.

What do I do if my water stains are dark instead of white?

Dark water stains indicate that the water has breached all the protective layers and has seeped into the wood itself. If this is the case, these tips won’t work for you. Your best option would be hiring a carpenter to refinish the wood.

remove water stains from wood by varnishing the wood

What do I do if the water stains also got on some fabric?

To remove water stains from fabric you simply need to dilute some vinegar and gently dab the spot with a microfiber cloth. Don’t use too much vinegar or you could damage the fabric and leave behind a vinegar smell. Rather clean the water stain in small patches and come back later to do some more.

My glass counter also has some water stains, what do I do?

You’ll need some white vinegar and baking soda to get rid of water stains on glass. 

To clean the stain you need to spray the glass with vinegar until the entire area is wet. From there take a cloth and sprinkle it with baking soda. Use the baking soda cloth to wipe the glass down.

Once the stain is gone you can simply wipe up the residue.

line of small succulents in mini pots on a wooden table

Say Goodbye to Water Stains

Using these tips and tricks, you don’t have to worry about water stains ruining your furniture ever again. The most important thing is to act quickly so the water doesn’t seep into the wood itself. Otherwise, it can be quite difficult to fix.

If you’re struggling to fix water stains, you can book an expert contractor to help you with any and all projects you have in mind!

You’re in good company