How to Remove White Water Stains From my Oak Table

Updated February 21, 2017

Placing a glass or cup on a oak table may cause white stains due to condensation and drips and spills from the liquid in the glass. Even if a coaster or a tablecloth is used on top of the table, moisture can still build-up and soak through to the oak. Two types of white water stains may occur on your oak table, new stains and old stains. New stains can be wiped up using a dry paper towel or cloth. Old stains require more work and can be removed using a few household items.

Mix 1 tbsp of baking soda and 1 tbsp toothpaste together in a small bowl.

Dip a cloth into the mixture. Using a circular motion, apply the mixture to the white water stain on the oak. Softly buff the mixture into the stain. Wipe off any excess mixture from the table.

Apply a drop of mayonnaise to a damp, clean cloth.

Place the moistened cloth over the stain on the table. Leave the moistened paper towel on the wood for 15 to 20 minutes.

Check the stain after 15 minutes by looking under the paper towel. Add more mayonnaise and apply a moistened towel until the stain is completely removed.

Wipe the surface of the oak clean, using a cloth moistened with warm water.


If you still can’t remove the stain, try denatured alcohol. Any alcohol applied to wood should be used with caution because you could destroy the finish of the oak table. Use a very small amount of the alcohol and make sure it is water-based.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Mayonnaise
  • Spoon
  • Small bowl
  • Paper towel
  • Non-gel white toothpaste
  • Baking soda
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About the Author

Diana Braun began her writing career as a consultant and technical writer for a software company focusing on how-to, training, white paper, and internal process documentation. After two years, Braun left to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams. Since then, she has launched several startups including a t-shirt business, an online marketing and advertising t-shirt distribution business, and an entertainment site. She currently resides in South Florida.