How To Remove Water Stains From Wood

How To Remove Water Stains From Wood

As water is a clear liquid, it can be easy to assume that this liquid cannot cause stains. But this simply isn’t true. Despite being a clear liquid, water can leave stains on a number of different materials. Wood is one of them. 

How To Remove Water Stains From Wood

If wood that you are using for an area of your house becomes wet, then there is a good chance that the water stain will remain in the wood. Often these stains will be very obvious, and they can become quite an eyesore to look at.

This is why you might find yourself wondering how to remove water stains from wood. 

In this guide, we’ll take a look at how to remove water stains from wood. So if you want to find out how to do this, keep on reading! 

Can Water Stain Wood?

First things first, let’s take a look at whether, or not, water can stain wood. Well, as we have just established, yes it can. Water is able to stain wood because the water itself will often penetrate the surface of the wood and seep into each individual grain.

It will often change the color of the wood, staining it a darker color than the wood was originally. 

Sometimes when water penetrates wood, it can cause the wood to become distended. The water can cause the wood to lose its shape, and this will only make the stain itself even more noticeable. 

Most of the time, the water stains that you will notice are water stains that occur on wooden furniture in the home.

Typically, these will consist of white water stains that often occur where glasses or cups have been placed on the surface of the furniture without the use of a coaster. 

These are referred to as white water stains, but typically the stains themselves are not white. Instead the stains will typically be a darker shade of the wood itself, almost as if the wood has been deliberately stained darker. 

Will Water Stains Go Away On Wood?

If you notice that water stains have occurred on your wood, you might be wondering if these stains will ever go away.

While these stains may look like they are permanent, and it might often seem impossible to get them to go away, most of the time, water stains on wood will go away. As long as you have the right methods for the job. 

There are lots of different methods that you can use to get rid of water stains in your wood, and that is why it is very important not to get disheartened if the first method that you use doesn’t work.

Of course, whether, or not, you will be able to remove the stain from the wood will depend on a number of factors, including how deep the water had penetrated the wood.

But, most water stains in wood will be surface level stains, and thankfully, surface-level stains are really easy to remove. 

It is important to note that water stains will not simply go away on the wood. The only way to remove water stains from wood is to actively use methods to do this.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the different methods that you can use to remove water stains from wood.  

How To Remove Water Stains From Wood

There are a couple of different methods that you can use to remove water stains from wood, so let’s take a look at them one by one.

Olive Oil And Vinegar

The forest method involves using a mixture of olive oil and vinegar. In a small bowl, mix equal measures of olive oil and vinegar. Once you have mixed it, apply the mixture to a small cloth and then wipe the stain in the direction of the wood stain.

The vinegar will remove the stain and the olive oil will polish the area, ensuring that it blends right in with the rest of the wood in the furniture. Cool right?

Use A Hairdryer

How To Remove Water Stains From Wood

If you spot fresh water stains on your wood, then you can usually use a hairdryer to remove them from the wood. As soon as you spot the stain, run to your dresser and grab your hairdryer. Plug in your hairdryer and set it to the highest heat setting.

Point your hairdryer towards the stain, and hold it there until the stain has gone. This is probably the best method to use to remove stains, but you have to be super quick for it to work. 


There are all sorts of household items that can be used to remove stains when cleaning. Toothpaste is one that works incredibly well for removing water stains.

You can easily use toothpaste to remove water stains by adding a small amount of standard toothpaste to a cloth, and then wiping the cloth across the stain. Buff the toothpaste onto the stain and then wipe away any residue with a paper towel. 


Finally, let’s wrap this up by taking a look at a method that uses something which you almost certainly have in your home: mayonnaise.

Mayonnaise can seem like a very strange thing to use to remove stains, but as we have shown in this guide, some of the strangest materials work the best. 

To use this method, simply take some mayonnaise from the fridge and a paper towel. Pop a little bit of mayonnaise on the towel and dab the mayonnaise onto the stain. Leave the mayonnaise on the stain for a few hours, and then wipe away the residue.

The oil in the mayonnaise is excellent at displacing the moisture left by the water, leaving your wood looking like new. 


In short, water stains in wood can be a real pain, but thankfully it is possible to remove them. In this guide, we’ve taken a look at a couple of different methods that you can use to do this. 

Thanks for reading!

Diarmuid Brock

I'm a carpenter by day and an amateur woodworker by night. I don't believe in limitations, and I love to help others. I'm here to answer your questions and make your life simpler. I craft and create with all-natural, reclaimed, and repurposed materials.

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