How To Remove Water Marks From Wood Furniture

How To Remove Water Marks From Wood Furniture

If you have kids and guests in your home, always prepare yourself for a major clean-up at the end of the day. Not everyone uses a coaster for his drink, so you can expect to see lots of watermarks or “water rings” on your wooden furniture after a house party.

While there are over-the-counter products that you can use to remove water marks from wood furniture, mayonnaise, petroleum jelly, toothpaste, and a combination of vinegar and olive oil can be as effective. Even salt, iron, and your hair dryer can do the trick.

To know more about these measures, read on.

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Natural Ways to Get Rid of Water Marks From Wood Furniture


Maintaining wood furniture is a serious matter for people who want their investment to last until the next generation. The good news is that removing those annoying water stains or marks from your coffee or dining table doesn’t have to be expensive; you can use some of the items inside your kitchen cabinets that you used to ignore. 

Here are some of them:


The oil in mayonnaise can seep into the finishing of wood surfaces. During the process, it displaces the moisture from the water stains, making it easier to remove the watermarks from the wood.

Apply a dab of mayonnaise to the affected area and leave it on overnight. Using a soft cloth, gently rub the water stains in a circular motion. If the watermarks are not gone completely, apply more mayonnaise and repeat the process after a few hours.

Petroleum Jelly

Like mayonnaise, petroleum jelly gently penetrates wood surfaces without causing any damage. This method is perfect for those who hate the smell of mayonnaise. 

Use a dry cloth to apply the jelly to the water stains. You may leave it for a few hours or overnight. Gently rub it with a soft cloth or a paper towel. Repeat the process if the water stains aren’t erased with one application.

You know what’s the best thing about mayonnaise or petroleum jelly? You don’t have to apply wood polish to make the wood surface shine after the stain removal process.


Toothpaste isn’t only perfect for removing marks and stains from walls and grout, but also it’s one of the most effective methods for removing water stains from wood.

Using a non-whitening and non-gel toothpaste, apply a generous amount to the water stains. Lightly scrub it in a circular motion with a soft cloth or a paper towel. Continue scrubbing until the water stains are completely gone. Apply a furniture polish after the whole process.

Vinegar and Olive Oil

In a bowl, mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil. Put a little mixture on a clean cloth and gently rub it to the water stain. Do not wipe it in a circular motion; instead, tap it toward the wood grain

Not rubbing in the same direction as the wood grain may damage the surface, worsening the problem. Using another clean and soft cloth, wipe the excess solution and the surface.

It is important to note that this method also works for leather and blood stains.


Add one teaspoon of salt and a few drops of water to a small bowl until you make a paste. Dab some of the paste into the water stain and gently rub it with a clean cloth or a soft paper towel. 

Continue rubbing until the watermarks or water stain disappears. Apply a generous amount of furniture or wood polish to make the furniture’s finish shine again like new.



If you’re using a steam iron, empty the tank before using it. Otherwise, adding more water to the stain will make it worse and more difficult to remove.

Lay a cotton cloth, towel, or shirt over the wood stain. Please do not use anything with a print or decal on it. Set the iron to a low temperature and wait for it to warm. Place the iron on the cotton cloth over the stain. Lift the iron after a few seconds and check the water stains. Repeat the process until the water stains from the wood are completely gone.

Hair Dryer

This method is considered the easiest wood stain remover for many. Plug the hairdryer and turn it to its highest setting. Aim it to the water stain or “water ring” and hold until it disappears. Apply a good furniture polish afterward.

Different Ways to Prevent Water Stains on Wood

It’s important to note that direct heat and moisture are your furniture’s biggest enemies. Even though removing a water ring is no problem, what if you forgot to do it immediately and the wood already absorbed the moisture?

There are numerous ways to prevent these from becoming a permanent problem on your wood furniture. The good news is – you may easily do the following without getting mad at anyone.


Applying lacquer is the first and the best method to protect wooden furniture since it’s exceptionally resistant to staining and water rings. Although it is commonly applied using a brush, it is more advisable to use low-pressure spray equipment and lacquer solution that you can easily find from local home centers and hardware stores. Since lacquer dries fast, you may need to re-apply several coats.

Water-Resistant Wood Wax

Any wood wax with water-repellent or water-resistant properties is the second best thing you can apply to any wooden furniture after lacquer. Using it on your coffee or dining table will help slow down the absorption of heat and moisture by providing a water-resistant coat. 

In addition, its coat also prevents minor scratches from penetrating the wood. Re-apply it periodically since it wears off like any other wax product.

Padded Table Cover

table pads

Padded table covers with moisture and heat-resistant features are available online or at home furniture stores. These are similar to ironing board pads but aesthetically better. Compared to non-padded ones, padded covers provide extra protection for accidental spills and heat while eating. 

You can easily use a dish rag to clean a padded table cover. If something spills, a mild solution of water, dishwashing soap, and a bit of baking soda will do the trick.

Place Mats, Hot Pads, and Coasters

Together with padded table covers, put plates on top of placemats, hot dishes on trivets or hot pads, and drinks on coasters.

When buying placemats, focus on the purpose since many decorative ones available today will not protect your table even a bit. Woven or braided placemats are not the best choice if your priority is protecting your solid wood table. 

Make sure that the placemat will be the first layer of protection for your dining room table or coffee table if something spills. You’ll find tons of beautifully designed waterproof placemats and coasters in furniture stores.

You might be interested in exploring if you can use Pledge in your Amish furniture.


Many people buy genuine solid wood furniture or Amish furniture because of the promise that these pieces can last for more than a lifetime. While this is true, the longevity of the products still relies on the hands of the owner.

However, even if they are created to last, it’s still important to observe good maintenance and proper cleaning methods. If your goal is to have your great-grandson inherit your Amish-made dining table, you must know how to properly remove and prevent water stains, heat, and moisture from ruining your investment as early as now.

If you are thinking of ways to get rid of old furniture pieces at home, you might want to learn more about recycling or upcycling them.

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