How to remove water marks from your finished table

How to remove water marks from your finished tableYou probably think that the look of your 10-years old wood table has been ruined by the water marks left by wet glasses or bottles, forgotten to clean water spills and even hot dishes. But there is something you could try to get your piece of furniture back to its original condition and get rid of the unsightly stains and rings caused by the liquid.

If the water marks are white or light-colored, they haven’t penetrated more deeply than through the waxed or polished surface. If the stains are dark, however, it means that the moisture has seeped deep into the wood and it will be a little harder to remove it.

Start by treating light-colored water marks with mayonnaise or oily furniture polish. The oil is meant to displace the mark.

If this solution doesn’t do the trick and there are still marks left, try gently rubbing them with a little toothpaste (or a mixture of toothpaste and baking soda for stubborn water marks) on a soft, damp cloth. This way the mild abrasive will help get rid of the stain.

Another solution for removing white water stains is to place a clean, thick towel on top of the stain. Then, use your iron on a dry low-to-medium setting to press over the towel for a few seconds. Check if the stain has disappeared and repeat if needed. The heat created by the iron will warm the finish to be easier for the moisture to evaporate into the towel.

Finally, clean the area, polish and buff with a soft, clean cloth.

Dark water spots on your finished table can be removed by stripping the finish and bleaching the wood. The reason for such spots to appear is the liquid that has penetrated through the finish on the wood causing mildew. The bleach kills the mildew. After the bleach has completely dried, you can reapply the wood finish.


To keep your wood table clean and away from water damages, be in the habit of placing some trivets to hold drink glasses or jugs.

There are also water ring removal cloths which you could use to rub out water or perfume stains.

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