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Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

Water Mark on Wood

Whether someone forgot to use a coaster or a plant got over watered, water marks on wood furniture can happen very easily. Cleaning them off is a chore, but it can be done. This is a guide about removing water marks from wood furniture.



Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Water Stain on Oak Table

How do I remove a water mark from an oak table?

By Roger from Crete

Tip: Magic Eraser For Water Marks On Wood

I just removed some water marks from my sister-in-law's table using Mr. Clean Erasers. I was doubtful but tried it and presto, it worked! We need to polish it yet, but it looks great.


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Here are questions related to Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture.

Question: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

How do I remove white water marks from cherry furniture?

By Beverly from NY

Most Recent Answer

By Raisencain03/31/2011

I was very afraid to try the iron and cloth method on my dining room table but after trying everything else I decided to try it. After 5 minutes of moving the iron around the water mark was gone. Hope everyone else has the same luck as me.

Question: Removing Watermark on an Oak Table

How do I get an old water spot off a solid oak kitchen table (light wood)?

By Onesummer

Most Recent Answer

By Babette09/11/2009

RE: Heat Marks on Wood Furniture

I have found the best way to get rid of the white rings from heat or moisture on furniture, I have tried with no luck using Mayonnaise, cigarette ashes, toothpaste, hot iron and towels and what I have found that works is the Mr. Clean Magic eraser dampen the eraser rub gently with the grain of the wood and then polishing as usual, I happen to like Armor All as a furniture polish, if it's not a bad white mark the magic eraser will removed it completely, if it solid white you may have to do it several times It may leave a bit of a ghost but that's still better than having a big white mark.

This was not a bad 1, you can see on the right it's gone. Now that I know how to fix them nobody's making them.

RE: Removing Watermark on an Oak Table

Question: Black Water Marks On Light Oak Table

I have a light oak table with black water marks after a flower arrangement was placed on the table which sat there for a couple of weeks last June 2012. Also someone spilled wine or port on my table. Please help.

By Lorraine

Most Recent Answer

By MKarel08/26/2013

I wish I had an answer, but I too, need help with this kind of damage.

Question: Refinishing a Table with a Water Mark

I stripped the varnish and stain from the wood and I am left with a large (12 inch) water ring. How can I get the whole top to mimic the stain?

By KRC from Sheboygan, WI

Question: Removing Water Stain from Wood Table

How do I remove a water stain from my wooden dining room table?

By Linda D.

Most Recent Answer

By Dena Roberts12/12/2012

Try rubbing it with the cut edge of a walnut.

Question: Removing a White Water Mark on Furniture

How do I get rid of a white water mark on furniture?

By soochatty from Middletown, DE

Most Recent Answer

By Vi Johnson02/11/2012

Try a dab of Mayo, rub in with a soft cloth and buff with a dry cloth. It did a great job on my old sewing machine. GG Vi

Question: Water White Ring on Oak Table

I did try to remove the white ring made by a glass of ice water left overnight on my new oak table with mayo and baking soda paste. It turned out darker. Then I tried the white vinegar with olive oil still and it still hasn't improved. Please help


Most Recent Answer

By mamalaurie06/04/2012

The best solution I have found for this problem is a product named "Liquid Gold"'ll find it right where you find furniture sprays...i.e 'pledge'

Spray Liquid Gold on the stain, let sit overnight or for a few hours....then wipe away.

Question: Water Spots on Wood Table

How do you remove water spots on a wood table?

By Sonny H. from Galveston, TX

Most Recent Answer

By Joyann01/20/2012

Heat a dry iron, place 2 layers of a white t-shirt on top of the stain, press a few seconds, then peek under the t-shirt. Keep doing that until the stain is gone.

Question: Removing Water Stains from Wood

How do I remove water stains from light colored wood?

By D from Home

Most Recent Answer

By cettina01/02/2013

I have never tried this myself but I am passing along a hint I saw from the Farmer's Almanac newsletter. It says to use mayonnaise to remove water stains from wood. Perhaps you could try a small area where it doesnt show so much?

Question: Removing Water Marks from Furniture

How can I remove watermarks from the polished surface of a table?

By Penny W

Most Recent Answer

By Christina G03/28/2013

This sounds ridiculous but try mayo. Just rub mayo on the mark and then rub in till it's all gone. It worked for me on my cedar chest.

Question: Removing Water Marks on Furniture

What is the iron cloth method to remove white water stains from a mahogany coffee table?

By Tricia H

Question: Removing a 55 Year Old Water Stain on Wood Furniture

I have an small antique table that my mother, for years, used to keep her prized African violets on. A lot of times she would over water and the excess would lay underneath the dish that they sat on. This destroyed the finish and penetrated the wood. I had no choice, but to strip the old finish off, but now there is a large darker ring that I'm afraid I can't get rid of. Any suggestions?

By Jack

Question: Repairing a Water Mark on a Dining Table

Mark on dining table.I had a water mark on my dining table. I thought it would be no big deal to sand the whole finish off and stain and presto it would be beautiful, but oh was I wrong. I sanded and stained the spot and it turned much darker than the rest of the table. Then I sanded and stained again, still not fixing the problem. Then I tried bleach and sanding which then made the spot really light. I tried to make the spot bigger in hopes to blend it better and then stained again. And it is still turned much darker than the rest of the table. What is the best way to repair my table?

By Emily T

Most Recent Answer

By Lizzyanny10/24/2013

You certainly get an A for effort. If the table is worth it, find someone experienced in wood refinishing and have the whole top redone. Or you could redo the entire top yourself. Patching a finish on wood is difficult to impossible. If the table is a veneer, be careful not to sand so much you break thru the veneer. Good luck!

Question: Removing Water Marks on Pine Dresser

I split a glass of water on a pine dresser and would like some advice as to how to remove it.

By Eileen


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Removing Heat and Water Marks from Wood Furniture

I am trying to get a heat stain off my pine table. As well as water marks? Any suggestions?

Tanya from Milton, ON

Removing Heat and Water Marks from Wood Furniture

For heat marks or water marks on wood furniture, mix some wood ashes with mayonnaise (really!) and rub the glop into the stain with a soft cloth. You may have to use more than one application, but there's a good chance the stain will become invisible. Once it has disappeared, polish with regular furniture polish. And next time, use a trivet or a coaster!

By Becki in Indiana

Ashes on Light Oak

This worked wonderfully-but now I have black from the ashes in the grain of the wood (light oak). Any ideas how to remove that? (01/03/2005)

By Kim

HairDryer to Remove Water Marks from Wood Furniture

Try a hairdryer, heat the watermarked spot, using a very soft cloth to rub hard. The sooner the better, but sometimes will work with old watermarks. Cloth must be absolutely soft -- no seams or anything that will scratch the finish. A diaper is best. Let sit and cool. Then apply your regular furniture polish. (05/11/2005)

By Robert

Thanks for the Tip

Thank-you so much! This worked on a white heat mark that had gone through from a hot teapot on a thick rush mat!! Also worked on 2 white heat marks that had happened last Christmas. I mean, these were not small marks! Thought my pine table was ruined but thanks to your tip it looks as good as it ever did! (09/27/2005)

By Cornish Queen

Mayo With Ash Worked, Mayo Alone Didn't

I had already tried Mayonnaise on a water stain and it didn't work. So I got some ashes out of the wood-stove, mixed the mayo again and this time it worked! Thank you so much! (10/12/2005)

By Sharon Forbes


I just couldn't believe this when I read it but having tried all else on a very large heat mark on a dark mahogany table (and yes I did have mats out) I thought I had nothing to lose. Miraculous- Thanks! (11/13/2005)

By Anne Davies

Hairdyer and a Diaper

Hairdryer and diaper worked great on a white watermark on antique sewing machine with original finish. First tried mayo only with little or no results Wiped up mayo and then heated stain with hair dryer while rubbing with diaper. Stain is completely gone.

Thank so much (12/12/2005)

By Rick

Mayonnaise and Ash

I had previously tried everything and this morning found your site and also the mayonnaise and ash trick I cannot believe how ridiculously easy it has been to remove a white heat mark on our large antique dining room table! A big thank you!! (12/18/2005)

By Rod (UK)

Aloe and Baking Powder

i tried aloe vera oil and baking powder and it worked better than anything I'd seen in my life. (12/31/2005)

By pongo

Hair Dryer

Hairdryer worked great on a 3 day old watermark. Just hold it close to the wood and watch it disappear. AMAZING! (01/15/2006)

By William from GA

Burnt Some Paper and Twigs for Ash

Thank you! I didn't have any wood ashes, so I burnt some paper and twigs and got the ashes. It worked! my favorite dining table is saved! (01/18/2006)

By wendy


My Mother always used Mayonnaise to remove water stains from any of the wood furniture. Depending on how the water was on it you may need to leave the mayo on the surface for a long time. (01/26/2006)

By Jackie


Wow - really works - Felt a bit daft mixing the mayo but watched the mark disappear - thank you ! (03/09/2006)

By John in Grandborough UK

Mayo and Ash

How great it was to see that others "in-the-know" are able to pass on these old tricks of the trade. My grandfather who was one of the great Master Craftsman of Grand Rapids, Michigan Furniture making fame - used this same formula for working "magic" on many priceless pieces of furniture that passed through his hands. He never once had a complaint, and as many have already observed, it's such an "easy fix". Grandpa said it's because of the fats in the oil - and the wood still was porous and would drink in the oil once it was broken down with heat. I'd love to know how many gallons of mayo went onto the furniture he so lovingly cared for. He not only built priceless pieces, but, cared for old ones that were brought to him by folks to who sought out the very best hands to care for their furniture. Thanks for the opportunity to give him one more pat on the back, Bev in Grand Rapids (04/19/2006)

By Beverly K. Combs


WoW it really worked. Thanks for the help. (08/01/2006)

By Nick


Ok, we are house sitting for some neighbors while we are in between house. Being a guy, honestly, I had no idea a warm plate could leave a white heat mark on a table. So, heated up my plate, ate lunch and oops, a big white stain/mark on our friend's table. We initially thought of replacing the table or getting a furniture repair company in to fix it. Found this post. Got some ash, mayonnaise, mixed it up and rubbed it in with a soft rag. It didn't work as well until I took a hair dryer and heated the spot while rubbing vigorously. Amazing! Not even the smallest remnant. Thank you, Becki! (08/08/2006)

By Chris

Archive: Removing Heat and Water Marks from Wood Furniture

I have old dark water marks on a light wood table top. How do I remove them?

Billie from Roy, WA

RE: Removing Heat and Water Marks from Wood Furniture

Oil and vinagar works for me everytime. Put a bit of both on rub in and wipe off with a cloth. (08/26/2006)

By Kinga

RE: Removing Heat Marks from Wood Furniture

The day after having friends over for dinner, we successfully removed seven prominent heat marks from our refinished 1860s walnut dining room table by first using toothpaste (Colgate Cavity Protection) followed by mayo and ashes. We were so happy to find this website with suggestions and advice. 9/26/06 (09/26/2006)

By Kay

It worked... but now its too shiny.

One of our relatives place a HOT cup of tea on our new black-stained rubberwood dining table from World Market and left a huge white ring. The mayo and ash only worked after we really heated it up with the blow dryer.

The problem is now that spot looks too shiny (overpolished, or too much heat from blow dryer?). I cleaned the area to remove any excess oil. I very lightly rubbed 150 grit sandpaper over the area, but now it looks slightly whiteish. I used a cream polish over it, but with no change. Can anyone give some tips to help us save our satin-finish? (09/27/2006)

By Brian

Hair Dryer

The hair dryer realy does work! Make sure its not on the same spot for a long time as the varnish may bubble) any tips for bubbling varnish? (10/26/2006)

By vicky

RE: Removing Heat and Water Marks from Wood Furniture

This is just not working for me! I tried the mayo, heated mayo, tooth paste, tea. Then I finally burnt some paper to make ash - then I mixed that with the mayo. I scrubbed and scrubbed under a blow dryer - still nothing. The one mark I am working on was just made this morning!(11/23/2006)

By Katelyn

RE: Removing Heat and Water Marks from Wood Furniture

I tried using mayonnaise on my white water mark, but it didn't seem to help. Then I tried the hair dryer, and I could NOT believe my eyes when it gradually disappeared! Thank you for great advice! (01/20/2007)

By Anna Maria

RE: Removing Heat and Water Marks from Wood Furniture

I bought a used walnut table with white heat marks on it. Nothing I've tried has worked. I tried the mayo and ash, which slightly took the white mark off, but still alot there. I realize the ash provides a 'grit' similar to steel wool, so how long do I need to scrub and how hard? I'm scared of removing the shiny finish. Also tried the hairdryer, to no avail. (02/16/2007)

By Anna

Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

How do I remove water marks from wood furniture?


Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

How do I get rid of a bad water mark on my pine table?


Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

How do I remove water marks from wood furniture?


Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

We have two 'white' spots on our wooden kitchen table that I can't seem to get out. I have tried mayo and Old English.


Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

How do I remove water marks from wooden furniture?


Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

How do you remove a watermark on a wooden dining room table?


Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

I have water marks on wood furniture and wonder how best to remove them? Thanks.


Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

How do you use the wax paper, cotton cloth, and iron to remove water marks from wood?


Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

How do I remove circular water marks from a pine dresser unit? They were made by cups, glasses, etc.


Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

How do I remove a recent water stain from my antique oak counter?


Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

Use mayonnaise to remove water marks on wood from glasses. This works like a miracle. Cover water mark with mayonnaise and leave on for a couple hours.


Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

Remove white water rings from wood with a solution of white distilled vinegar and vegetable oil. Rub with the grain.


Archive: Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture

How do you remove water spots from a cherry wood dining room table?