How to Get Rid Of Water Stains On Wood

Water stains on wood are something that most homeowners dread. It is not just about removing marks and water speckles but is also making sure that this is done fast since every smart homeowner knows that when there’s water damage, mold won’t be that far.

Removing water stains on wood basics

The problem with wood is that it is naturally moisture-loving. Even when wood has been dried well, it can still absorb water and moisture and thus it is possible even for well-stored wood to acquire water damage. The following techniques will help you get rid of water stains and will help you prevent mold growth and damage.

Things to use

  • Hair dryer
  • Toothpaste
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Lemon oil
  • Commercial stain remover


Remove water stains with a hair dryer


Freshwater stains may only need to be wiped dry. Some may need some elbow grease to completely dissolve. However, some water stains need to be thoroughly dried and a hair dryer may just do the trick. This is a good idea if you are removing water stains on old furniture

To use a hair dryer, power it on and place it in the lowest setting. The hair dryer should face directly at the water stain. Move the hairdryer around the stained area so won’t risk burning and warping any unaffected area. Check the stain after two minutes and repeat the steps. Work on the stain as long as you don’t expose wood to direct heat.

Getting rid of water stains with toothpaste


Toothpaste is a very effective stain remover and this is because it is made from an active ingredient such as baking soda. To remove water stains, the best toothpaste is the one with baking soda and should be a non-gel and a non-whitening type of toothpaste. Extra caution should be observed; take care not to apply the toothpaste roughly over the stain so you won’t end up damaging the natural finish of your wood.

Put toothpaste on wood and apply this in the same direction as the grain. Never rub the toothpaste very hard because you might end up scratching and damaging the surface of the furniture. Remove with a clean dry cloth and then use a damp cloth to remove any toothpaste residue. You may repeat the steps if the water stains still remain.

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Controlling water stains with petroleum jelly


You may have used petroleum jelly to reduce dryness but it can also remove dirt, grime, and stains. This can pick up stains on wood effectively. Apply only a small amount and only on the area with watermarks. Use a dab of petroleum jelly with a soft cloth. Rub the substance on the surface using a circular motion. Avoid rubbing very hard because you will risk damaging the stain on the surface of your furniture, wall or floor. You may repeat the steps if the stain persists. You can also leave petroleum jelly on the stain overnight if it is too heavy or too stubborn.

Lemon oil for removing water stains


Lemon oil is another popular water stain removal method. It is also an effective way to reduce other stains and marks and smells. Lemon oil may be used on its own or it can be added to ordinary cleaning products to make it more effective.

Use fine grit sandpaper and pour a few drops of lemon oil. Gently scrub this on the affected area. Use a dry cloth to remove the oil and to check on the stain. You may repeat the steps if the stain remains.

Using commercially-prepared products

In case water stains persist despite using home-based products, you can use the following UTC products. One popular product is the Old Craftsmen’s Brands White Ring Spot Remover or Jubilee Kitchen Wax. These are perfect for removing water damage and water stains and can be used on many surfaces like enamel and Formica. And these products are not just here to damage wood but can also protect the wood.


Water stains on wood can be hard to remove. Fresh stains can be easily removed by wiping it clean but old stains can be deep-seated stains so you need a strong cleaner to completely release stains and marks. There are common household items that you can use and there are also OTC commercially-prepared products to use.

  • January 5, 2019
  • DIY