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How to Remove Water Stains From Oak Tables

Updated February 21, 2017

Oak furniture can add beauty and livelihood to a home decor. Unless you are going to keep it covered up with tablecloths or place settings, however, oak tables can be stained easily. Water marks from glassware or serving ware can cause ugly stains on your normally beautiful oak tables. You can remove these marks with some in-home solutions that will restore your oak table to its original beauty.

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  1. Dry the area completely with a towel in case there is any remaining surface water on the oak table. Leave a paper towel on the stain for an hour to absorb any residual water.

  2. Cover the stain in 1 tbsp of mayonnaise. Use a paper towel to spread the mayo over the whole stain. Allow the mayonnaise to sit on the stain overnight. You can also add cigarette ashes for increased cleaning power.

  3. Wipe up the mayonnaise and the stain with clean paper towels.

  4. Cover the water mark with a piece of wax paper. Set a clothing iron on low heat and move in a circular motion over the stain. The stain will disappear with the application of heat.

  5. Apply wood polish to the table, as cleaning efforts will often dull the shine and finish of the wood. Rub into place with a soft cloth; allow it to dry completely before using the table again.

  6. Tip

    Clean up any spills or water stains as soon as possible to prevent the stain from setting into the grain of the wood. Use real mayonnaise when treating a water stain.

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Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Paper towels
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cigarette ashes
  • Wax paper
  • Clothing iron
  • Soft cloth
  • Wood polish

About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.

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