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How to remove old water stains from wood

When water spills onto wood furniture, it can seep under the finish, causing a white or dark stain on the surface. Removing these marks is easy to do with a few basic materials you probably already have in your home. With a little patience, you can renew your water-stained furniture and make it beautiful again.

Mix equal amounts of toothpaste and baking soda. Use white toothpaste, not a gel. Rub the mixture into any white water mark, and let it sit until dry. Use a damp cloth to remove the paste, and dry the area immediately with another clean cloth. Repeat until there is no more stain.

Apply a small amount of bleach to any dark water marks. Dark water stains are often caused by mildew, which the bleach will kill. Let the bleach sit for 15 minutes, then wipe it away with a clean cloth. Repeat until there is no more stain.

Lay a clean, white cloth over any remaining stains. Press the cloth with a hot iron. Do not use steam, and constantly move the iron over the cloth to avoid scorching. Apply the iron for 10 seconds. Continue, ironing for 10 seconds or less at a time, until all water is absorbed by the cloth.

Things You'll Need

  • Toothpaste
  • Baking soda
  • Soft cloth
  • Bleach
  • Iron
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About the Author

Shaunta Alburger has been a professional writer for 15 years. She's worked on staff at both major Las Vegas newspapers, as well as a rural Nevada weekly. Her first novel was published in 2014.