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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Remove Water Stains from Wood

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle (302) 392-6000

Methods for Removing Water and Heat Stains from Your Wood

Stains and marks made by liquid or steam are usually white or light-colored.  This means that they have not penetrated much more deeply into the furniture piece than through the waxed or polished surface.  When the stain is dark, however, it indicates that the liquid has penetrated through the finish on the wood, and possibly through to the wood itself.  If the latter is the case, you have more of a tough fix on your hands.

Those white, cloudy rings on your wood furniture do not have to stay there forever.  As with most stains, it helps to act quickly.  Try one of these methods for removing, or at least minimizing, stains on your wood:

Mayo and Ash Method

What You Will Need:

  • Mayonnaise (Not Miracle Whip)
  • Ashes (If not available, baking soda will work.)
  • Hair Dryer
  • Soft Cloths

Steps to Remove Watermarks Using Mayo and Ashes:

  1. Put a small amount of mayonnaise and ashes onto the whitened area of the wood and rub using a soft cloth, following the grain of the wood.
  1. As you are rubbing the area, use a hairdryer to add heat.
  1. When the mark is removed, wipe away any remaining mayo and ashes with a clean cloth.

Wax Paper Method

What You Will Need:

  • Wax Paper
  • Iron
  • Soft Cloth or Towel

Steps to Remove Watermarks Using Wax Paper:

  1. Preheat the iron to a low heat/warming setting with NO
  1. Place wax paper over the area with the white mark.
  1. Cover the wax paper with a towel.
  2. Place the iron over the area for a few seconds a time. Keep the iron moving to avoid creating a new heat mark.
  3. Repeat with a fresh piece of waxed paper until the mark is removed.

Iron Method

What You Will Need:

  • Cotton Cloth (A white t-shirt works well.)
  • Iron

Steps to Remove Watermarks Using an Iron:

  1. Preheat the iron to a warm setting (start at a lower setting and work your way up, as starting with too much heat can lead to additional damage).
  1. Place the cotton cloth over the marked area.
  1. Move the iron over the cotton cloth with NO Keep the iron moving at all times to avoid applying too much heat in one spot.
  1. Repeat until the mark is removed.

Toothpaste Method

What You Will Need:

  • Toothpaste (White, non-gel)
  • Soft Cloth or Towel

Steps to Remove Watermarks Using an Iron:

  1. Apply toothpaste onto a rag.
  1. Rub the toothpaste onto the white area with a soft cloth.
  1. You shouldn’t need to scrub very hard, or for very long to see results. To avoid causing any further damage to the furniture, it is best to concentrate your efforts only on the affected portions, because the toothpaste can wear away the finish.

Commercial Removers

There are also commercial removers available to remove marks safely from most finishes.  These products can be found at hardware and home improvement stores.

If All Else Fails

After attempting any or all of these methods, if the water stain is not gone completely, then it may have at least lightened enough to be less noticeable.  If all else fails, you can always sand the furniture down to the bare wood and refinish it.  (If you’re dealing with a prized piece, you may want to consult a pro.)  To prevent similar damage in the future, heed your parents’ advice – use a coaster!

Your Belongings and Water Damage

Water damage affects not only the structure of your house, but also your belongings.  SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle, DE understands that your home is more than a structure.  Your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings help transform a house into a home.

If You Have Questions or Need Help, Call Us Today – (302) 392-6000

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle, DE specializes in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money, while preserving precious keepsakes that cannot be replaced.  We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water damage.

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