Wooden furniture sure looks elegant and lavish but is plagued by the issue of watermarks. Watermarks are formed whenever a glass of water or liquid is kept on a piece of wooden furniture and it ends up leaving a circular mark of its base. These annoying marks, however, can be done away with.

  1. Use Warm Water

A simple yet effective solution to getting rid of watermarks from wood is to use some warm water to try and run them off.

  • Dip a cloth into some warm water and then squeeze the cloth to get rid of excess water.
  • Gently run the cloth over the watermark on the wood surface.
  • You may have to apply pressure if the marks are persistent.
  • This method can be used in tandem with other methods for enhanced stain removing the effect.
  1. Use a Mild Soap

Soap is known to be corrosive to wood hence it is advisable that if you wish to opt for using soap that you use a mild one.

  • Mild soap will form micelles around the particles that form the watermark.
  • These micelles can then be removed by washing away with water.
  • Mild soap will not damage the furniture so it’s a good method to remove watermarks.
  • It’s easy to use and an economical method to remove watermarks.
  1. Use Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly is an effective lubricant that has many applications. Watermarks are formed due to residues left by the water which evaporates. Petroleum jelly can be used to lubricate these particles and subsequently remove them.

  • Apply a little amount of petroleum jelly over the watermark.
  • Use a cloth to rub the petroleum jelly over the watermark.
  • Subsequently, use a dry cloth to wipe off the petroleum jelly after the watermark has been removed.
  • You may have to perform multiple cycles of this process.
  • In case the stain still persists, you may want to leave the watermark covered with petroleum jelly overnight.
  1. Use Vinegar

Vinegar is a mild acetic acid that is used frequently in foods. Its cleaning abilities can be used to remove watermarks.

  • Use a mild form of vinegar to avoid corrosion.
  • Use the vinegar sparingly.
  • Don’t rub the vinegar aggressively over the wood or it might damage the surface.
  • Vinegar can be mixed with olive oil to yield a stronger stain removing the effect.
  • Mild soap along with a toothbrush or steel wool can be used for persistent stains.
  1. Use Alcohol

Ethyl alcohol is a good cleaning agent due to its volatile nature and has seldom been used to clean watermarks from wood.

  • Its volatile nature makes it dept at removing watermarks from wood.
  • Rub a sufficient quantity of alcohol on the affected area using some cotton.
  • Wait for some of it to evaporate.
  • Then rub off the remaining alcohol quickly and while applying pressure.
  1. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda and water mixture can be used to effectively and economically remove watermarks from wooden furniture.

  • Sprinkle baking powder over the watermark.
  • Then, pour a few millimeters of water over it and them both by rubbing them over the watermark.
  • Wait for the bubbling or effervescence to subside.
  • Then, remove the mixture of baking powder and water using a damp cloth.
  1. Use Toothpaste

Toothpaste is an effective cleaner of watermarks from wood and can be found easily in the house.

  • The basic nature of toothpaste makes it useful for cleaning.
  • Apply a small amount of toothpaste over the watermark.
  • Scrub the toothpaste over the watermark using a brush and then rinse with water once the mark is off.
  • Gel-based toothpaste cannot be used for this purpose.
  • You can combine toothpaste with lemon juice or baking soda for a stronger stain removing the effect.
  1. Use Salt

Salt is a common household product that can be used to clean watermarks from wooden furniture.

  • Rub the watermark with salt and a tiny bit of water.
  • Make sure that the salt and water form a paste before you apply it to the watermark.
  • Keep rubbing till the watermark disappears.
  • Wash off all the salt with water in the end.
  • Subsequently, pat dry and apply some furniture polish to regain the original look.
  1. Use Car Wax

Car wax can be seen as a somewhat uncanny solution to the problem of removing watermarks from wooden furniture.

  • Car wax relies on somewhat the same principle as petroleum jelly
  • The product will also leave your furniture looking newer.
  • Rub some car wax over the affected area and let it dry off.
  • Don’t use excessive quantities of car wax over the watermark.
  1. Use Furniture Polish

Furniture polish is designed to make furniture look shiny and appealing. Apart from giving off a shine, furniture polishes also have cleaning properties.

  • Use some furniture polish to get rid of the annoying watermarks.
  • Rub some polish over the watermark until it vanishes and then wipes the surface with a dry cloth.
  • Keep rubbing until the polish seeps into the wood and is no longer visible on the surface.
  • It will make your furniture clean and shiny.
  1. Use Acetone

Acetone is a useful cleaning compound that can be found easily in products like nail polish removers.

  • Rub the affected area with acetone until the watermark becomes flaky and starts coming off.
  • Once the watermark forms flakes, add more acetone to wash the flakes off.
  • In the end, wash off the flakes and acetone with water.
  • In case the stain doesn’t come off immediately, you can let it soak in acetone for a few minutes.
  • If you are using the soaking method, make sure that the watermark doesn’t become dry by pouring more acetone every now and then.
  1. Apply Heat

Applying heat is another simple yet effective way to get rid of watermarks. An iron or a hairdryer can be used to apply heat.

  • Cover the watermark with a piece of cloth.
  • Apply heat using a hairdryer or an iron for 20-30 seconds and then try to rub off the strain with the cloth that was covering it.
  • Keep following the above procedure until the watermark disappears.
  • Use a damp cloth if stains are persistent.
  1. Use Steel Wool

This is an aggressive method and should be used only if all else fails. The reason for this is that even though it will remove the watermark, it has a high chance of damaging your furniture if it is not done properly.

  • Pour some soapy water over the watermark and let it rest for a few seconds.
  • Then scrub the stained area with a steel wool scrubber until the stain comes off.
  • Rains with copious amounts of water after scrubbing.
  • Apply varnish or polish to regain the lost luster.
  1. Use a Professional Stain Remover

In case all the methods listed above fail, you can opt for using a professional stain remover available in the market.

  • Make sure you pick the right one based on the type of furniture.
  • Read the components of the stain remover from the back of the label.
  • Make sure you don’t opt for a corrosive stain remover.
  1. Use a Toothbrush

If it is a light stain that hasn’t dried over a few days, you can opt for using a plain toothbrush with soft bristles to clean the stain.

  • Pour some warm water or soapy liquid over the stained area and scrub with a toothbrush.
  • Scrub the affected area thoroughly till the stain disappears.


  • Don’t try to forcefully scrub off the watermark as it may damage the furniture.
  • Don’t try to rub off the watermark too aggressively as this will damage the upper surface of the furniture permanently.
  • And don’t use corrosive substances over the surface of the wooden furniture.
  • You can try to use coasters to subsequently avoid getting more watermarks over your wooden furniture.

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