Messes and stains are a part of everyday life. But that doesn’t mean that we have to like them. One of the most annoying types of stains that you can encounter on wood is a water stain. Water stains can seem impossible to remove.
But removing water stains from wood is not impossible, it can be done in just a few minutes with a few simple tricks. You’d be surprised at how easy most water stains are to remove, but it really is true.
Water stains aren’t easy to remove on unfinished or rough-cut lumber. The methods are meant to be used on finished wood. But before we talk about how to remove water stains, let’s talk about what water stains are.
What Are Water Stains?
A water stain is a spot, usually on wood, made of dried mineral deposits. The stain occurs when water sits on the wood and is allowed to air dry. But it isn’t just any water on any wood that air dries that causes water stains.
More often than not, things like water quality and the number of minerals in that water can affect the likelihood of the water causing water stains. Total suspended solids tests can detect minerals in your water.
This isn’t the only thing that causes water to leave water stains on wood. So no matter what type of water you have, don’t be surprised if you notice water stains every once in a while. It is only natural.
Removing Water Stains From Wood With Household Products
Since water stains on drywall or other more absorbant materials are more difficult to remove, we’re going to talk about wood today. Let’s take a look at some tips for removing water stains from wood.
These aren’t the only ways to remove water stains from wood but they are some of the easiest ways. There are over-the-counter cleaners that work too, but chances are, one of these methods will work well for you.
You may be surprised to hear that mayonnaise can help you do a lot of things in your home. It can clean squeaky hinges and faux plants. But today, we’re going to talk about the power mayonnaise has on water stains.
To use mayo on water stains, wet a paper towel with the mayo, apply it to the water stain and then leave it overnight. When you wake up, clean it with a damp rag and polish it up. The water stain should be gone.
Vinegar and Olive Oil
If you want the water stain gone asap, then a good way to do that is with vinegar and oil. This is a great combo because the vinegar works to remove the stain while the oil works to polish the wood. It’s great for quick fixes.
To remove the water stain, mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil. Apply the mixture to the water stain using a cloth, wiping in the direction of the wood grain. Keep wiping until the stain is gone! Voila!
Iron It Out
If you have an iron on hand then you can remove the water stain by ironing it out. This is a great way to remove iron stains. Try using a plain cotton cloth and laying it out on the wood over the water stain.
Then, preheat the iron to a low temperature and place the iron on the cloth. You shouldn’t need to actually move the iron. The water stain should go away without movement. Check it every few seconds to see if it worked.
Use A Hairdryer
A hairdryer works a lot like an iron. Only this time, you use a high setting instead of a low setting. This is very simple and difficult to mess up. All you have to do is point the hairdryer on the stain and watch the magic happen.
After you are done, you may want to polish the wood with furniture polish or olive oil. This will keep it from drying out or flaking and ensure it will look like the rest of the wood. But it is also optional.
If you have white toothpaste then you are in luck. Toothpaste isn’t just for dental hygiene and removing scratches from your CDs and games. Toothpaste can also do wonders for water stains on wood.
Start by using a clean, lint-free cloth and applying a little toothpaste to it. Buff the toothpaste onto the stain and gently rub the stain. This should do the trick. Wash the toothpaste off and polish the wood after you finish.
Sand And Refinish
So, sadly, not all water stains are easy to remove. Sometimes, there are stubborn stains that are far deeper than any product can reach. In these cases, you will need to sand the area until you reach the water stain.
Then, you can refinish the wood with your stain, sealer, or paint. This is not the ideal process but sometimes it is all that will work. If you are afraid you’ll mess up the wood, call a professional to help.
How To Prevent Water Stains
The best way to remove water stains from wood is to never let them appear. Because even though it isn’t really removing the water stains, it will remove future water stains, if that makes sense. Prevention is always key.
Of course, this one has to be said, no matter how obvious it is. If you don’t have a coaster already then get some because the most common type of water stain on tables is water stains left by cups and glasses.
If you do have coasters but people refuse to use them then you can either try some other tips or set down some ground rules. Just don’t feel bad about asking people to use coasters if it is your home.
Polish Your Wood
Polishing the wood on a regular basis can add a thin layer of protection, albeit temporary. So do so as often as you feel comfortable doing it and see if it helps. If you remove a water stain, always polish afterward too.
If you do start polishing your wood, then remember to use the type of cloth recommended. Some polishes even come with a cloth that is made to be used on furniture to prevent wood stains and other messes.
Add Protective Finish
Adding a protective finish to your wood is one of the best ways to prevent stains of any kind. It’s important that the finish is the right type and not just a general finish. If you have wood floors, get a floor finisher.
If you have furniture, get a protective seal that is made for wood furniture. This is an important step in protecting your wood. The protective seal should be made with a simple clear liquid or a slightly milky one.
Get Water Tested
Hard water causes stains much more often than soft water. So keep an eye out for signs of hard water like coffee pots that don’t last long, water with a funny taste, and showers that leave a thin film on your skin.
These are just a few of the signs of hard water but you don’t need to have them in order to have your water tested. There are even over-the-counter kits you can get to test the water on your own without a professional.
Place Table Cloths
Table cloths are like coasters for people who refuse to use coasters. They go over the entire table and not only prevent water stains but also prevent scratches. If you have kids, a table cloth is a great idea.
If you only use a table cloth at mealtimes, then a rubber one will protect you better. This will feel similar to a shower curtain. But if you always use a table cloth, then a cloth one will look better in the long run.
Clean And Dry Daily
If you really want to put the work in to prevent water stains, then clean and dry your table daily. Make sure to use an appropriate wood cleaner for the furniture or floors and whenever you are done, dry them well.
This may be the best way to prevent stains. Also, wipe up any liquid that sits on the table immediately when you notice it. If during dinner, wipe the table immediately after if you fear being rude by interrupting it.
Can You Hire Someone To Remove Water Stains?
The short answer is yes, you can hire people to remove water stains from wood. This is because you can hire someone to do anything these days. But there aren’t necessarily special teams that do this.
So your best bet is to hire a furniture restoration company. They can take care of the water stains while also making your furniture look as good as new. They may even work on floors, so never be afraid to ask.
No matter your problem, there is always someone out there willing to help. So if you’ve done all you can do then don’t give up. Call someone and hire a professional to help you figure out the answer to your problem.