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How to Clean Water Stains from Hardwood Furniture

Posted on 12/01/2016

Easy Ways to Rescue Wood Furniture from Pesky Water Stains

wooden table

Don’t you just hate guests who ignore the coasters you give them? And there are many of those – it’s like nobody is aware of their existence or nobody actually knows what coasters are for. And the result of that ignorance are all the nasty water stains left after the wet or moist cup spends an afternoon on your favourite hardwood table. And after the guest leaves, you are left with the responsibility of dealing with the home cleaning and especially dealing with the annoying water stains left behind. But don’t worry; there are sure-fire ways of taking care of that type of stains. Get your deep sigh of agitation out of the way, and let’s start with learning one of those ways.

Quick Note: You can only clean white or light-coloured stains left by steam or liquid. If the stain is darker, that means that it has been neglected for too long and has sunk into the surface of the furniture piece. Cleaning is no longer an option, and you have to consider renovating it instead.

Step 1: The quick fix.
You can try a quick displacement with an oily furniture polish, or mayonnaise, if you prefer eco-friendly home-made solutions. Rub the substance into the stain and see if it has any effect. If not, read on. If it does, skip to Step 6.

polishing furniture

Step 2: The abrasive fix.
Another quick fix is the attempt to rub the stain off. Some toothpaste types contain a little abrasive agent, so you can try with that. Baking soda is also an option, but it can prove to be too abrasive and could ultimately leave scratch marks. So simply put some toothpaste on the mark, rub with a wet cloth and see if the stain disappears. If not, read on. If it does, skip to Step 6.

abrasive cleaning

Step 3: The mixed abrasive fix.
Then again, why not double the power of the toothpaste? Add baking soda to it, thus combining their cleaning power. As a paste, baking soda is less likely to hurt the surface, so rub on and see if that works. If not, then you have quite the aggressive stain.

furniture scrubbing

Step 4: Preparation.
Take an all-purpose cleaner and scrub the entire piece of furniture to thoroughly clean the area. If it’s part of a couch, you can even consider upholstery cleaning – two birds with one stone is never a bad idea.

prepare the area

Step 5: Hard cleaning.
Take a mild solvent, such as an odourless paint thinner. Dip a soft cloth into it, squeeze out all the excess solvent and scrub the surface of the furniture. This should work 100% of the time, but it is a last case scenario for any house cleaning as the solvent might hurt the surface. That is also why you should always try it out on a small part of the surface before applying over the water mark.

mild solvent

Step 6: Wax.
Take paste wax for wooden furniture and apply over the piece of furniture with a soft cloth. Yes, it does take more time to apply than other types of wax, but the end result will be more fulfilling.


Step 7: Embellish.
And after the wax is dry and the furniture looks brilliant just like before the anti-coaster party came, use a moist cloth to scrub over the surface and shine it up to have it look absolutely stunning.

clean furniture

And after this trial is over, you can continue your day without any worry about your hardwood furniture surfaces. Maybe next time you have company around you should consider adding covers to the hardwood so that you don’t have to endeavour on a home cleaning spree after every time a coaster is missed.

Richard Carey
Richard Carey

A fervent advocate for Eco-friendly cleaning, Richard is a seasoned cleaning expert with years of experience. He has been instrumental in assisting numerous homeowners and business owners in maintaining hygienic and fresh-smelling properties.