How to Remove Water Stains From Wood

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Wooden furniture with a nice finish can really brighten up a space in your home.
What are you to do, though, when a favorite piece has its surface marred by a water stain? Luckily, you have a few methods at your disposal for removing water stains from the wood surface of your furniture.
Licensed insurance broker Jerry has put this handy guide together to help you with that. Read on, you'll be surprised at the many different household items that can remove water stains from wood.

How to remove light water stains from wood

Materials Needed
  • Electric Iron
  • Lemon oil
  • Non-abrasive cloth
If you have a light water stain on a wood surface, then all you might need is a little heat to release the water vapor from the wood surface. The following talks about how you can use an electric iron and a cloth to remove the water stain.
Heat up the iron. Set the iron to its lowest heat level.
Turn off all of the steam modes on the iron to avoid staining the wood surface further.
Apply the cloth. Lay a non-abrasive cloth across the stained area.
Use the iron. Run the iron over the cloth, moving in the same direction each time.
Check every five or so passes to see if the stain is going away.
Keep applying heat. If you notice the water stain gradually going away, keep applying the iron until the stain is gone completely.
Make sure not to press down too hard to avoid damaging the wood surface.
Polish with lemon oil. Polish the area with lemon oil to return its shine.

How to remove dark water stains from wood

Materials Needed
  • Baking soda
  • Clean cloth
  • Lemon oil
  • Old toothbrush
  • White toothpaste
While many water stains might lift easily using the method in the section above, sometimes the water gets past the finish of the wood, leaving a dark brown or black ring.
Often, this leads to you having to refinish the surface of the wood, but that is not always necessary. Try the method below before resorting to refinishing the wood surface entirely.
Apply toothpaste. Apply white toothpaste to the stain using an old toothbrush.
Brush the water stain. Using gentle strokes, brush the stain with the toothpaste.
Do not press too hard or you could remove the wood stain.
Keep brushing. Keep brushing the wood surface until the dark water stain is gone.
You could also add a little baking soda to the mixture for even stronger cleaning power.
Wipe up the toothpaste. Once the stain is gone, wipe up any remaining toothpaste with a clean cloth.
Polish with lemon oil. Follow up by polishing with lemon oil.

Other methods for removing water stains

Materials Needed
  • Clean cloth
  • Lemon oil
  • Mayonnaise or petroleum jelly
  • Steel wool
  • Vinegar/olive oil mixture
You also have a variety of other options when removing a water stain from a wood surface. In all cases, follow up stain removal by polishing the area using lemon oil and a clean cloth. The section below provides more information on some products that work great for water stain removal from wood surfaces.
  • Car wax: Car wax can remove a light water stain easily. Just apply the wax to the stain using your finger and allow it to dry. Once it’s dry, use a soft cloth to buff the stain out.
  • Mayonnaise or petroleum jelly: Use a soft cloth to apply a small amount of mayonnaise or petroleum jelly to the water stain, rubbing the substance in using a circular motion. If the stain does not come out completely after the first application, leave it overnight.
  • Steel wool: Using a gentle rubbing motion, apply lemon oil using steel wool in the direction of the grain of the wood. Make sure to not rub outside the confines of the water stain using the steel wool to avoid damaging the wood surface any further.
  • Vinegar and olive oil: Mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil and rub onto the wood surface in the direction of the grain using a soft cloth. You can also use a sponge soaked with full-strength white vinegar to remove light water stains.
When caring for your wood surfaces, you always want to remove a water stain before it has a chance to get beneath the finish of the piece of furniture.
If a water stain does set in deeper, use one of the methods above to try and remove it safely before resorting to refinishing the wood. Water stains aren't the only threat to wood furniture. Here are tips on how to fix ink stains, marker stains, and scratches on wood.
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