6 Easy Steps To Remove A Water Mark From Wood Furniture

6 Easy Steps To Remove A Water Mark From Wood Furniture
Melissa Mercier

We all love having beautiful wood furnishings in our homes. Whether it's a coffee table or a dining table, a bookshelf or original hard wood floors, there's just no substitute for the warm colors and rustic, outdoorsy feel of having real wood in all of our favorite rooms. Of course there's a price to be paid for so much enjoyment, and that price is eternal vigilance. As much as we love our wood furnishings, there's a seemingly endless number of things out there waiting for the perfect opportunity to ruin the perfect finish on our favorite pieces.

From overeager children and overexcited pets to careless drink placement and scores of other happenstances, accidents and other assorted mishaps, it can sometimes feel like preserving the look and condition of your wood pieces can be a full time job. And no matter how vigilant you are, how sharp your eyes, how fast your hands, or how many hours you stand watch over them, inevitably one of those infinite possibilities will come true and the wooden furniture piece that you love the most will eventually be marked. But don't lose hope. The battle doesn't end there. While it's true that some marks are so damaging that they need professional assistance to remove. Other can't be removed at all. But between before we reach that extreme, there's lots of stains that can be dealt with relatively easily, especially those left by water or steam. Here's the best way to clean off the types of white marks left on wood furniture by water or steam.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: A few minutes

Here's How:

  1. Spread about 2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise on a paper towel.
  2. Place the paper towel on the white water mark. Press lightly.
  3. Leave the mayonnaise on the stain about 15 minutes.
  4. Lift the paper towel and check the stain. If the mark remains, rub more mayo into it again and check it later.
  1. Stain should be gone. Reapply if necessary.
  2. Consult a furniture or antiques expert in your area if more elaborate repairs are needed.
  3. See TIPS below for important information.


  1. Follow manufacturer's instructions for the particular finish of your furniture.
  2. The sooner a white mark is treated, the better.
  3. If in doubt, test the procedure in an inconspicuous area first.
  4. If you don't have mayonnaise, you can substitute oil. Leave the mayo or oil on overnight for older stains.
  5. Call a refinishing specialist for advice if stain is stubborn or old. Get professional advice from an antiques expert when dealing with valuable furnishings.

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