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How to Remove Water Marks from a Wood Table

Updated on October 3, 2012

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!

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    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      kitkat, very useful tip. Thanks for sharing.

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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

    • StandingJaguar profile image

      Amy 4 years ago from Colorado

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

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

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

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      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 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 4 years ago from Idaho

      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 : )

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for looking!

    • Audrey Baker profile image

      Audrey Baker 4 years ago from Arizona

      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 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 4 years ago from South of France

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

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 4 years ago from New Delhi India

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

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Erin 3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Kim 2 years ago

      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 :(

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      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.

    • DaphneDL profile image

      Daphne D. Lewis 2 years ago from Saint Albans, West Virginia

      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 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Best of luck with your table DaphneDL.

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