I have a lot of wood furniture in my home. Unfortunately, they have watermarks (rings) on them from sweating cups/glasses. It is very unattractive to me and my guests.

Is there a way to remove it?

  • 2
    A quick google search found me this. I haven't done this personally, so I can't account for the veracity of any of the solutions. I don't want to post an Answer when I don't actually know if the solutions work. This is part of the reason I pick up a ton of coasters at bars and leave them in a basket in the living room :)
    – grfrazee
    Sep 13, 2015 at 14:57
  • Just tryed it and it actually worked! You should move your comment to an answer. Thanks for your time and effort in finding this. @grfrazee Sep 13, 2015 at 15:16
  • What worked exactly? There are a few different things in what I found.
    – grfrazee
    Sep 13, 2015 at 15:47
  • @grfrazer When i clicked on the link u provided, the first help that showed up before clicking on any additional links. (Vinegar & Olive Oil) Sep 13, 2015 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


The only entirely foolproof way I know to remove deep, long-set water marks is to sand to bare wood, restain (if your piece was stained) and refinish. However, fresh, less deep stains may be more easily remedied, as I've found with some quick internet research.

Doing a quick google search has found the following home remedies. I have not tested any of these, so take it as hearsay. What a lot of them have in common is oil and abrasion, or a combination thereof, so there may be something there.

  • Make a paste of 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon water. Gently rub the spot in a circular motion until it disappears. Remember not to use too much water. (Reader's Digest)
  • Apply petroleum jelly and let it sit overnight. In the morning, wipe the watermark away with the jelly. (Reader's Digest, Dummies.com)
  • Mix 1 teaspoon salt with a few drops of water to form a paste. Gently rub the paste onto the ring with a soft cloth or sponge and work it over the spot until it’s gone. Restore the luster of your wood with furniture polish. (Reader's Digest)
  • Gently rub some non-gel toothpaste on the wood with a soft cloth. Then wipe it off with a damp cloth and let it dry before applying furniture polish. For even stronger cleaning power, mix equal parts white toothpaste and baking soda. Rub the paste parallel to the wood grain, wipe it off, and then polish with lemon oil. (Reader's Digest, Dummies.com, Bob Vila, Charles & Hudson)
  • Mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil and apply it with a soft cloth while moving with the wood grain. Use another clean, soft cloth to shine it up. (The OP has indicated that this solution worked) (Reader's Digest)
  • Try using a dab of car wax. Trace the ring with your finger to apply the wax. Let it dry and buff with a soft cloth. (Reader's Digest)
  • Empty your clothes iron of all the water inside, then bring it into the room with the affected piece of furniture. Plug in the iron, then lay a cotton napkin, towel, or T-shirt over the stain. With the iron set on low, apply it briefly to the fabric before lifting the cloth to see if the ring has diminished. Repeat until (we hope) the white stain has disappeared. Alternatively, you can try using a hair dryer to achieve the same effect. Move the dryer back and forth over the area for about 10 minutes until the moisture evaporates. (Bob Vila)

Most sites I have read suggest applying a furniture polish or wax after the water stain is removed, which I think is a good idea.

This is why we keep a ton of coasters around our house, and also why I yell at people to use one when they have a drink :-)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.