How to Remove a White Water Stain From an Oak Table

Oak wood has long been a popular choice for furniture, flooring and panelling. If cared for properly, oak tables can give you and your family a lifetime of use. Unfortunately, stains can ruin your oak table. Water stains present themselves as a white discolouration on your oak table. These stains can cause your oak table to look dingy and dirty. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods to remove white water stains and restore the look and finish of your oak table.

Preheat your iron for several minutes. Set the iron to a low or medium setting.

Lay a cotton towel on top of the white water stain.

Rub the iron over the towel and water stain for several passes.

Lift the towel to check the white water stain. If the stain presets, continue rubbing with the iron until the stain is no longer visible.

Combine equal parts non-gel toothpaste and baking soda to form a paste.

Spread the paste on the white water stain. Rub the stained area of the oak table in a circular motion with a soft, damp cloth.

Wipe the paste from the table with a damp cloth.

Reapply the paste and rub into the table until the stain is gone.

Dip a cloth into mayonnaise. Rub the water stain with the mayonnaise-covered cloth.

Allow the mayonnaise to sit on the stain for 12 hours.

Wipe the mayonnaise from the oak table with a damp cloth. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

Saturate a clean cloth in white spirit.

Rub the white water stain gently with the cloth. Rub in a circular motion.

Observe the stained area for several minutes. The white spirit will soften the wax coating of the oak table, releasing and drying the white water stain.

Rub butter directly on the water-stained oak table. Allow the butter to sit on the table overnight.

Wipe the butter off the oak table with a damp cloth.

Polish the wood as usual.

Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil into a small container. Add enough cigarette ash to the oil to form a paste.

Rub the paste on the white water stains with a soft cloth. Continue rubbing until the stain is no longer visible.

Wipe the paste off the table with a clean, damp cloth.

Polish the oak table as you normally would.


Test the stain removal method on an inconspicuous area of the oak table. If damage or discolouration occurs, discontinue use.

Things You'll Need

  • Iron
  • Towel
  • Non-gel toothpaste
  • Baking soda
  • Cloth
  • Mayonnaise
  • White spirit
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Small container
  • Cigarette ash
  • Wood polish
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About the Author

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.