Friday, September 13, 2013

How To Remove Water Rings From Wood

How to remove water rings, remove water marks

We've all seen this - the dreaded water ring. There's no avoiding them really, especially if you have kids.

remove a water mark from wood, water stains on wood, how to remove water rings

This little table was my grandmother's. It sits by the back door and is usually the landing spot for keys, the newspaper, or baseball caps. Yesterday someone left a glass of ice water on it (you know who you are, and you're getting 50 lashes with a wet noodle!)

how to remove water rings, remove water marks from wood

I saw the water mark on the table top, and was a little panicked.

Honestly, the table isn't in the best condition, so I always have a table runner or a large plant, or both, on it.  But I can't hide a watermark this obvious! So, I put on my big girl pants and decided to fix the problem.

Here's what it looked like up close:

Ugh! I've tried to remove water stains from wood before. I've used mayonnaise, olive oil, toothpaste - none of them worked for me. I even ordered a product from those late night infomercials - and also had limited success.

Then I remembered the iron trick I've seen over the years. You take a white cotton cloth (a cloth napkin, t-shirt, white pillow case, etc. ). Set your iron to medium heat with the steam setting OFF, and "iron" the white cloth on top of the water mark. Do this carefully, and only leave the iron on the stain for a few seconds at a time.
The heat of the iron draws the moisture from the wood. I gently ironed the spot for a few minutes in total, but was a little hesitant to do it for much longer for fear of scorching the wood. Here's what it looks like now!

I know you cans still see the mark, but it's much better. And from a few feet away, you can't even tell it's there.

Phew! Panic over!

(Encouraged by the results, I also used this method to remove a 5 year old water mark from an old desk, with the same results.)

Do you know of any tricks to completely remove water marks from wood?


Felecia Cofield said...

Hi Julia! I don't know of any other but this seems to work! I wonder if it will work on my wood floors? Guess I'll have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

Tina at said...

I just read about using old coffee grounds on water marks and scratches. I was thinking of letting my little ones have some fun on my coffee table with grounds and see if it fixes the problem areas, but I haven't been brave enough yet! Will let you know if I try! This looks like it worked pretty well though.

My mom also says that oil and salt rubbed in several days in a row can help, but I never remember to do it days in a row! :)

Good luck!

PJ @ Planned in Pencil said...

I've used that trick too and was amazed that it worked! I waited a few days and did it again to completely get rid of the mark. Thanks for sharing on the Pinworthy Project Party!

annies home said...

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Unknown said...

The mark is actually wax if it is old furniture (they used paste wax). I removed glass rings on antiques by using mayonnaise. Spread it on the ring, place saran wrap over it and leave it for about an hour or two. Wipe with clean cloth. No ring at all. Heard it on a radio program a couple if years ago. It worked for me!!

Linda @ Mixed Kreations said...

Looks much better! When someone sits a glass on one of my tables without a coaster I about have a cow. Thanks for sharing this tip! Saving for future use.

Fernanda Teixeira said...

Another way to remove stains from wood:
1-Use a soft cloth t-shirt or flannel. Moisten it with a small amount of liquid furniture wax.You can also use normal kitchen oil or even olive oil.
2-Directly on the stain, sprinkle a generous amount of cigarette ashes.
3-Very, very gently, and in small circular movements. rub in the oil soaked cloth. Once the stain is removed, just wipe the wood with a clean cloth. I've used this method for years and it works fine with me.

Unknown said...

I've spent many days trying to get water rings off of my coffee table, and I've had no luck. Right now, I'm using decorative items to cover them up, but I want the stains gone. I'm going to try your tips, and I'm hoping that it works!

Sara Welsh |

Unknown said...

I was surprised to find a 6", bright white water ring on my table this morning! After being bummed that it wasn't just dried on milk on the cherry topped table...luckily I found your blog!
Step 1-Soaked end of cotton cloth in olive oil and went over stain.
Step 2-Sprinkled Bar Keeper Helper(BKH) on top of olive oil.
Step 3-Lightly scrubbed with the grain of the wood. Yes, it took about 20 minutes, but the stain came out.
BKH is awesome for shining faucets and stainless pots and pans that you don't want scratched. Thanks for the ideas.

Anita Stryker