How To Remove Water Stains From Oak Furniture

Water stains on wood furniture can cause severe or permanent damage, but that does not mean you should toss them away. There are several ways to remove water stains from oak furniture. Some of the methods even involve things you already have in the kitchen.

To remove water stains from oak furniture, use special products like the Mohawk No Blush or Howard Restor-A-Finish. For cheaper alternatives, you can use kitchen essentials like baking soda, vinegar, or olive oil. An iron and a fabric might even do the trick!

This article will discuss how to remove water stains from oak furniture. Depending on the furniture finishing, some of these methods may or may not work effectively. If you never try, you will never know, so try them to see which way will be the best for you.

Use Mohawk No Blush™ Plus Retarder

Did someone forget to use the coaster? If so, that explains water stains on the furniture. Anything wet and cold can react with an oak furniture’s oil finishes — the stains occur when moisture is trapped inside the finish.

Fortunately, you can use the Mohawk No Blush™ Plus Retarder to make the water stains disappear. What the Mohawk No Blush™ Plus Retarder does is it re-flows the furniture’s finish and releases the trapped moisture. You should check what finish your oak furniture uses to prevent irreparable damage.

Last update on 2023-06-16 at 00:19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Mohawk No Blush™ Plus Retarder will not work on polyurethane or conversion finish. You want to check with a professional before attempting this method. Otherwise, the product will work effectively. 

Follow these steps to apply the Mohawk No Blush™ Plus Retarder:

  1. Shake well for at least a minute.
  2. Wipe clean the surface of the oak furniture you want to fix.
  3. Hold the spray between 12 and 14 inches (30.5 and 35.6 cm) from the surface you want to coat.
  4. Apply thin coats on the furniture, just enough to make the surface wet.
  5. The water stains will begin to melt away. Once the white stains have gone away, use a brush to dry out the coating.
  6. Wait for a couple of minutes to see if the wood’s appearance has improved. You don’t want to use a rag to wipe dry the coating. Instead, let the Mohawk No Blush™ Plus Retarder evaporate with the brush and on its own.
  7. Repeat as needed.

Use Howard Restor-A-Finish

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Another great product you could use to remove water stains from oak furniture is the Howard Restor-A-Finish. It is available in 9 colors:

  • Neutral
  • Maple-pine
  • Cherry
  • Walnut
  • Golden Oak
  • Dark walnut
  • Dark oak
  • Ebony brown
  • Mahogany

To remove water stains from your oak furniture:

  1. Pour a bit of the Howard Restor-A-Finish liquid on a rag and rub it on the oak furniture.
  2. Keep wiping, and add more of the product liquid as needed.
  3. If the stain doesn’t effectively come off, mix the Howard Restor-A-Finish liquid with a small amount of lacquer thinner, and wipe until you achieve the result you want.

Try the Iron Method

If you have heat or water stains on your oak furniture, you can try using an iron and a fabric to remove those marks. You will need a cotton cloth for this method. If you have an old cotton shirt, cut it out and turn it into a rag.

Follow the steps below for the iron method:

  1. Place a dry cotton cloth on top of the water stain.
  2. Set your iron heat to medium. Do not use steam.
  3. Start ironing. Do not iron slowly. It is essential to move the iron on the cloth at all times; otherwise, the fabric will stick to the surface.
  4. Increase the heat if necessary, but do this with caution, as using higher heat can be risky.
  5. Check the stain from time to time.
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In many cases, the iron method works well and can effectively remove white stains caused by water. However, this method has some risks, like the cloth sticking to the wood. The fabric can stick to the surface if you iron the fabric slowly because you soften the finish when you iron slowly, thus ruining it.

Use Mayonnaise and Vinegar

Mayonnaise is one of the kitchen items that has helped people remove water stains from oak furniture. Using a kitchen towel, dab some mayonnaise on the stain and let it sit for several or overnight. Leave the kitchen towel on top of the mayonnaise spread.

How To Remove Water Stains From Oak Furniture

After several hours or the next day, wipe the mayo off with a clean cloth. You may notice that the stains are gone. Use vinegar to do the final polish.

Mix Olive Oil and Vinegar

Mix olive oil and vinegar in equal amounts in a small bowl. Then, use a small cloth to apply the mixture to the water stains and wipe them in the same direction as the wood grain. The stains should go off eventually.   

Once the stains have gone off, wipe them clean with a clean, dry cloth. In this method, the vinegar acts as a stain remover. On the other hand, olive oil acts as a furniture polish.

Use a Hair Dryer

You can also use a hairdryer to remove water stains from oak furniture. Set your hairdryer to the highest setting. Blow the stain with the hairdryer until it disappears.

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Once the stains have disappeared, use furniture oil to polish the table. Alternatively, you can use olive oil instead of special furniture oil. Note that this method will only work best with water stains that are still fresh.

Remove With Toothpaste

Toothpaste is also another household item that you can use to remove water stains from oak furniture. Apply a generous amount of toothpaste onto a clean cloth. Using the material, gently rub the toothpaste on the water stain until it is gone before wiping it clean with a damp kitchen towel.

How To Remove Water Stains From Oak Furniture

Let the wood fully dry first before polishing it with furniture polish. If the water stains do not come off quickly, you may want to make a mixture of toothpaste and baking soda instead. Repeat the above steps and polish with lemon oil after wiping the stains clean.

Mix Salt and Oil

Salt and oil can also make a good water stain remover for your oak furniture. Mix the two to make a paste. Rub it gently on the water stains using a cotton cloth and let the fabric sit for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove the cotton cloth. The water stains should disappear already. Polish the wood.

Try Baking Soda

You should never clean oak furniture with baking soda, but you can use it if you have to remove water stains. Make a paste using one tablespoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of water. Using a cotton cloth, gently rub the paste in a circular motion until the stain fades off. 

Apply Petroleum Jelly

If the water stains are still new, you should quickly fix the problem using petroleum jelly. Apply petroleum jelly on the water stains and let it sit overnight. The next day, wipe the jelly clean, and the watermark should disappear.

Final Thoughts

Before you toss out your oak furniture that no longer looks as pretty as when you first bought it, try some of the cleaning methods discussed in this article. You can use household items to remove the stains. However, you may have better luck getting the best results with specialized cleaning products like the Mohawk No Blush™ Plus Retarder. 

The iron trick is an effective method. However, it can be risky because if you iron slowly, the cloth can stick to the furniture and ruin your furniture finish. Be extra careful if you must use this method.


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