How to Remove Water Stains from Unfinished Wood

Water is the number one enemy of a well-finished wood. Because wood is naturally absorbent, it can take in water in the form of moisture. When this happens, wood becomes weaker and can be vulnerable to water damage and to pests and molds.

Even small amounts of water and moisture could affect wood. Water that stays on top of wooden surfaces, even in unfinished surfaces, can cause stains.

How to get rid of water stains? Here is a guide to help you out.

Removing water stains from unfinished wood

Removing pesky water stains from unfinished, untreated wood is no rocket science. You can remove these even with ordinary household items and easy water stain removal techniques. Here are the steps.

Things you will need

  • Salt
  • Water
  • Lint-free towel
  • Flat iron
  • Hair dryer
  • Toothpaste
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Lemon oil

Using salt

Step 1

Mix a teaspoon of salt and a small amount of water until you get a salt paste.

Source: https://www.thegfcflady.com/2009/04/26/epsom-salt-lotion/

Step 2

Apply the paste to the water stains on unfinished wood.

Source: https://www.bhg.com.au/how-to-remove-water-stains-from-wood

Step 3

Gently rub the paste into the mark using a clean, damp towel.

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/145804106668440296/?lp=true

Step 4

Rub the paste until the stain is removed. Repeat the steps if the stain persists.

Source: https://www.123rf.com/photo_32522138_male-hand-cleaning-and-rubbing-an-hardwood-floor-with-a-microfiber-cloth-.html

Using hair dryer

Step 1

Heat can remove fresh water stains. You can use a hair dryer to remove stains on unfinished wood.

Power on your hair dryer and place it in the lowest setting. Let the hair dryer face the water stain and move the hair dryer around the area to avoid burning any unaffected area.

Source: http://werefinish.net/sp/remove-heat-stains-from-wood/

Step 2

Frequently check the condition of the stain. Repeat the steps as needed.

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/368591550734076535/?lp=true

Instead of a hair dryer, you can also use a flat iron to remove the water stain. However, you cannot place the flat iron directly over the stain. You must apply an old towel above the stain before you place the iron. Place the iron in moderate setting (not too hot and not too low), and then place on top of the towel. Check the condition of the stain more frequently than the previous technique using a hairdryer.

Using toothpaste

Step 1

Use your fingers to apply toothpaste on the stain. Rub this in the same direction as the grain.

Source: http://rothbartsfoot.info/tag/remove-black-marks-from-wood-furniture/

Step 2

But don’t rub the toothpaste very hard because you will only end up scratching and damaging the surface of your furniture.

Source: https://thepatriotwoodworker.com/forums/topic/20622-tgif-white-water-spotsrings-august-29-2017/

Step 3

Use a damp cloth to remove any toothpaste residue. Fold the same cloth to expose its unaffected area and use this to wipe the area free from residue. Repeat the steps if the water stains remain.

Source: https://newengland.com/today/living/home-repair-diy/repair-wood-scratches-rings/

Using petroleum jelly

Step 1

Petroleum jelly is another stain remover that you can use on water stains. Use a dab of petroleum jelly on a soft cloth.

Source: http://furniturerepairman.com/how-to-remove-water-stains-from-wood-furniture/

Step 2

Apply this on the surface with a circular motion. Do not rub very hard because you will only damage the surface of your wood furniture, wooden flooring or wooden wall.

Source: https://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-remove-grease-stains-from-wood

Step 3

Repeat the steps if the water stains remain. Leave the petroleum jelly on the stain overnight especially if the stain is too heavy or just too stubborn to remove from the surface.

Source: https://www.hunker.com/12000561/how-to-get-stuck-paper-off-wood-furniture

Using lemon oil

Step 1

Lemon oil is a popular water stain removal and an effective way to reduce stains, marks and smells. You can use lemon oil on its own or it can be added to cleaning products.

Source: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/repair-water-marks-wood-furniture-lemon-oil-101000.html

Step 2

Place a few drops of lemon oil or the cleaning products and lemon oil mixture on the surface you want to treat.

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/574771971178909570/?lp=true

Step 3

Use fine grit sandpaper to scrub the area. Fine sandpaper is used so that it will only remove the stain and not the surface of the furniture, wall or flooring.

Source: https://hometriangle.com/articles/60/painting-wood-a-ready-reckoner

Step 4

Gently scrub the lemon oil on the stained area. Use a dry cloth to remove the oil. Check the presence of the stain.

Source: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/shelf-life-olive-oil-lemon-juice-wood-polish-105261.html

Conclusion

Water stains on untreated wood can be hard to remove especially when these stains are old and deep-seated. You can use a natural cleaner which is mostly everyday household items and chemical-based products. The best treatment is still prevention. Never expose wooden furniture, flooring or walls to water and moisture.

  • January 5, 2019
  • DIY
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