How to Remove White Water Stains From Wood?

How to Remove White Water Stains From Wood?

How to Remove White Water Stains From Wood? A hairdryer is a perfect appliance for removing a water ring from your table! Begin by setting it to its lowest heat and lower the dryer over top of where you want to work. Next, direct air towards the mark in circular motions until it disappears. If this does not get rid of all of that pesky white line, mayonnaise or petroleum jelly will do just as well when applied with a soft cloth on top if brush marks are present. For stubborn stains like those left behind after fruit juice has seeped into wood or stone such as marble countertops (which can be expensive!) try some toothpaste mixed with light scrubbing; while steel wool might seem out-of-place here because there’s no metal, it can work.

Wood furniture and floor come in all shapes and sizes of beauty and elegance. But they’ve got their perks. One of which is the regular care they demand. 

Having a fantastic party, enjoying it to the fullest, only to find yourself later looking at your wood furniture or floor in horror as you see white circular stains lining up and down. Sounds familiar? I’m sure we’ve experienced it sometime or the other. 

However, the good news is that removing these stains is not too difficult; you don’t even need to do a home store run. Thankfully, these stains can easily be removed by daily-use products available at home. Read on to see how. 

Understanding and Identifying the Stains 

Before proceeding to see how you can tackle stains, let’s understand the types of stains. Upon having this clarity, you will know how severe a problem your stain is and the amount of effort you need to put in, respectively. 

So, there are either light stains, also called white water stains or dark stains. 

White water stains are light-colored, mostly in the form of rings. They are formed often from the bottom rings of glasses or rings when kept on a wooden surface for a significant time. 

Water from the vapors (either cold or hot) gets absorbed into the surface. But that’s the most; it doesn’t penetrate the wood itself. It remains in the polish or finish of the wood, giving it a milky white color. 

This type of stain is less severe and easily manageable. You can remove it easily from daily-use home products (more on that below). 

The other type of stains is the dark stains, which are either brown or black. They indicate that water has been left for a long time, such that it has penetrated beyond the surface and into the wood itself. Either that, or there was a lot of water left uncleaned. 

Whichever it was, the damage is more. You would need to do more than just a quick fix. Nevertheless, there is still hope for your beautiful wood to return to its original glamor. 

Ways to Remove White Water Stains From Wood

Now that you’ve identified the type of stain you’re dealing with, let’s get moving. 

Remember, it is likely that every fix might not work for you. Trial and error is the way. You will eventually find something that works for you since most of these methods are tried and tested. 

Moreover, for all the methods that require application and rubbing, it is best to do so in the wood grain direction. This makes the entire cleanup process easier and quicker. So, here we go. 


Water is wood’s enemy, and currently, it’s stuck inside the wood. Your task is to free it. So, take your hairdryer and do the magic. 

What you’re looking to do is setting the hair dryer on its lowest setting and moving it gently across the circumference of the ring. 

Make sure to not overheat the wood, either by using the hottest setting or by keeping the dryer in one place for a long time. The extra heat can damage the wood. 


Head over to your kitchen and make a salt paste by adding a few drops of water to a teaspoon of salt. 

Apply this mixture over the stain and gently rub it across the entire stain. Keep doing it until it disappears.


Like the hairdryer, iron, too, works by evaporating the water out of the wooden surface. And, I don’t recommend direct heat in this case either. 

So, take a small napkin or any cotton cloth, place it over the stain and move your plugged-in iron gently across the fabric. 

Putting the iron at the highest setting is not advisable. Furthermore, if your iron is the kind that carries water inside it, make sure to empty the water before ironing. You’re wrestling water, and iron water won’t help. 

Keep checking under the cloth to see when the stain disappears. 

Mayonnaise or Petroleum Jelly 

Now, if none of the easy afore-mentioned methods work, use something that carries some oil content in it. 

The oil does the trick by replacing the moisture trapped inside the polish. As it goes in, the water goes out since they are mutually insoluble. As a result, you get your original look back. 

For this method, take some mayonnaise or petroleum jelly and apply it to the ring. Leave it for some time to let the oil soak in. After about an hour or so, remove it via a cloth. Leaving it overnight is even better. 


Toothpaste works wonders for many home remedies. White water stains are no exceptions. 

Take hold of any toothpaste that’s non-gel and non-whitening since you don’t want to create a reverse effect. 

Apply the toothpaste to the ring with a gentle rub. Then, using a damp cloth, wipe it off. You can repeat the procedure until you see the white water stain completely disappearing. 

Furthermore, adding some baking soda to the mixture also helps, mainly if the stain is a stubborn one. 

Some Other Methods 

Now, if you’ve done all the above remedies and the stain still hasn’t budged, worry not. 

There are more methods to go. However, you can use them as backup ones. Most likely, your stain would disappear by any of the above-listed techniques. 

Vinegar and Olive Oil

Create a neat mixture of the two liquids, using each in equal quantity. Now apply the mix, and wipe it off with a dry cloth or tissue. 

The vinegar is useful for removing the stain, while the olive oil leaves a polished look. Thus, if you’re short of olive oil, plain vinegar would do too. 

Pro-tip: This mixture is useful not only for water stains but also for blood stains on wood. 

Car Wax

Car wax is something you might not readily have in the house, but you can get hold of it relatively fine. 

A dab of your car wax can be enough to get the water stain moving. Let the wax dry before buffing it off with a soft cloth or sponge.

Steel Wool and Lemon Oil

Like car wax, you might not have it. So, ask your hardware store manager for the finest grade steel wool because the last thing you want is scratches. 

Rub the lemon oil gently using the wool, and watch the stain disappear. 


Now, sit back and take a sigh of relief. Your wood is back to its original beautiful look. 

Remember to apply furniture polish after cleaning the water stain, irrespective of the method used. This will bring back the gloss of your wood. If you do not find furniture oil, olive oil works fine too. 

The stain is gone, your wood is restored, and the worry has evaporated. Now is the time to have a good drink and regain your energy.