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How to Remove Water Marks from a Wood Table

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Before and After

Water ring on table

Water ring on table

Water mark on table from hot piece of corn on the cobb! (far corner)

Water mark on table from hot piece of corn on the cobb! (far corner)

Another angle of corn water stain.  Had been on the table for 3 months

Another angle of corn water stain. Had been on the table for 3 months

Water ring, and another stain

Water ring, and another stain

Damp paper towel.  Iron on medium held on stain for a few seconds

Damp paper towel. Iron on medium held on stain for a few seconds

Table moments later- stain is gone!!

Table moments later- stain is gone!!

Corn stain is gone too!!

Corn stain is gone too!!

Have you ever removed the tablecloth after a festive meal, only to find a hot dish or coffee pot has caused a white water stain on your lovely wood table? Don't worry. Your table is not ruined! You don't have to call in the professionals (unless it is an expensive antique!). There are many solutions out there on the web. From using Mayonaise, to a hair dryer. The answer is easier than you think.

Items needed

1 regular clothes iron, set to medium heat

1 piece of paper towel, dampened

Method

First you need to heat up an iron to medium heat. My iron has settings from 1-7, and I set it to 3. Then you need a paper towel. Wet the paper towel, and wring it out so it is just damp. Make sure the paper towel is larger than the base of the iron. Lay the paper towel over the stain. Press the iron on to the paper towel for 5 seconds, and lift. Look at the stain. It should be removed. If there is still a little there, repeat for 3 seconds. You can see from my photos that the stains are all gone!! My table is a pine table. Some of the marks were there for months. Remember if it is a precious antique, you may want to call in a professional. Good luck!

Comments

Patty G on May 14, 2020:

I used a dry brown paper bag instead of the paper towel. With iron on medium low, this worked like magic!!! Thank you!!!

Nancy Taylor on February 21, 2020:

It did not work for me. My 3 in splotch is not the imprint of my iron.

Doc on October 07, 2019:

I tried the moist towel method and I ended up with a larger white spot. Later I saw where that does not work on all woods and to use a dry towel and set iron on low heat on it for about 10 minutes, checking it every few minutes. I didn’t figure it would work, especially since it has been there for about 5 years, It was in the middle of the table so I had put a table runner over it. To my amazement it worked and the white spot that was a large circle about 5” was gone.

Julie on August 30, 2019:

Thanks a lot for that !!! It's magical !

kitkat1141 (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 27, 2015:

Best of luck with your table DaphneDL.

Daphne D. Lewis from Saint Albans, West Virginia on January 27, 2015:

I'm definitely going to give this a try! I have a wooden coffee table that was ruined by someone who obviously didn't know what a coaster was. This will be the perfect project to see if I can restore this table without having to refinish it.

kitkat1141 (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 10, 2014:

I am sorry to hear the technique didn't work for you. Remember it is just 5 seconds on medium heat through paper towel. This should not cause an iron mark to be left. Always test in an inconspicuous place first. Always seek help from a professional for antiques.

Kim on September 18, 2014:

Word of caution, this does not work on ALL tables. I did it exactly as instructed on my beautiful wood end table and it is now ruined. The water ring is gone, but now I have an impression of the iron on my table :(

Erin on April 23, 2014:

OMG! that was fantastic! I've tried everything to get the stains off my table and your tip worked beautifully, thanks for sharing!

mecheshier on January 02, 2014:

What a fabulous article. And here thought I knew most everything. Thanks for the info. Voted up for VERY useful!

kitkat1141 (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 27, 2013:

Thanks for looking, Indian Chef. Hope the tip comes in handy some time!

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on May 27, 2013:

Very useful tips Kitkat.. I didn't know it was so easy.

kitkat1141 (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 07, 2013:

I am not sure exactly how it works either, but it does! Thanks for looking.

Riviera Rose from South of France on March 07, 2013:

Amazing - no idea how that works but it's great to know!

kitkat1141 (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 08, 2012:

I dream of marble! Consider yourself lucky not to have to try this technique!

Audrey Baker from Arizona on December 07, 2012:

Is it weird that I wish I had a water mark on a wooden table so I can try this? My tabletop is marble, so maybe I will have go to my neighbors with my iron in search of a water mark. I know I've had some in the past; I wish I had known this then.

kitkat1141 (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 03, 2012:

Thanks for looking!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on December 03, 2012:

I was happy to see your hub and will be trying this soon. Thanks!

Jennifer Essary from Idaho on December 03, 2012:

I saw the title when I visited your profile and this is definitely a "must read". Thank you for sharing such great information and photographs : )

kitkat1141 (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 01, 2012:

Hope you have success with this method. It has worked well for me!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on December 01, 2012:

Wow, this is great! Super easy to do. I do have a couple of spots on my table that I have been covering with place mats. :) I am definitely going to give this a try! Thanks so much! Voted up and useful. :)

kitkat1141 (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 24, 2012:

Yes it should work on any finished wood surface I think. Thanks for looking.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on November 24, 2012:

This would obviously work on a wooden floor too. Great tip. Voting this Up and Useful.

kitkat1141 (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 05, 2012:

It just takes a few seconds to remove these stains. Thanks for looking!

Amy from Colorado on November 05, 2012:

Wow, I never even knew it was possible to remove these (much less this easy)! The pictures are a good guide.

kitkat1141 (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 03, 2012:

Thank you for the comment. I hope you can use the tip to make your wood furniture look its best!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 03, 2012:

kitkat, very useful tip. Thanks for sharing.

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