How to Remove Water Marks From Unfinished Wood

Written by mary ylisela Google
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How to Remove Water Marks From Unfinished Wood
Protect your unfinished wood surfaces from water marks. (Chris Cole/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Water marks on your unfinished wood surface most commonly appear as white rings or spots. These white marks are caused by moisture and heat being transferred into the wood by glasses or dishes sitting on your unfinished wood surface. Though water marks appear to be permanent because they are ingrained into the wood, you an extract water marks with a few simple supplies from home.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bowl
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Spoon
  • Clean cloths
  • Clothing iron
  • Wood cleaner and moisturiser

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  1. 1

    Mix 1 tsp of table salt with three drops of water in a bowl. Stir the two ingredients together to create a stain-removing paste.

    How to Remove Water Marks From Unfinished Wood
    Table salt wicks moisture from unfinished wood. (Salt Shaker on Table- Portrait image by kellykramer from
  2. 2

    Wet a clean cloth and squeeze out the water. Dip your cloth into the salt paste and rub the paste into the water marks on your unfinished wood. Continue to rub the salt paste into the water stain until you've removed as much of the stain as possible.

  3. 3

    Wipe the salt paste from the unfinished wood surface with a clean cloth. Follow by drying the wood surface.

  4. 4

    Place a clean dry cloth on the unfinished wood surface, over any remaining water mark stains. Heat your clothing iron to "Low." Set the iron on top of the cloth. Allow the iron to sit on the cloth for several seconds so the heat can draw the water mark-causing moisture out of the wood.

    How to Remove Water Marks From Unfinished Wood
    The heat from your iron draws water stains out of the wood. (iron image by Robert Grzywaczewski from
  5. 5

    Clean and moisturise your unfinished wood surface with a combination cleaner and moisturiser. This removes any cleaning remaining salt substance and adds moisture and shine to your wood.

Tips and warnings

  • Set glasses or dishes on trivets, coasters or place mats to protect your unfinished wood surface.
  • Wipe up wet spills on unfinished wood as soon as possible so they don't have time to soak into the wood.
  • Dry wood tends to absorb liquid stains more due to the lack of moisture. Keep your wood moist with an appropriate wood oil to maintain the wood's natural moisture level.

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