How to Get Rid of Water Rings on Wood

Water rings on wooden furniture such as table tops and armchairs often result when someone leaves a perspiring glass on the surface.
The water seeps into the wood and becomes trapped under the surface, eventually leaving a permanent stain mark if it's not taken care of. Whether the water ring is new or old, there are a number of household remedies you can put to use to renew the wood surface and get rid of water rings.

Step 1

Create an abrasive paste by mixing corn oil and salt or baking soda and water together. Dab the paste on the ring and rub it along the grain of the wood where the water ring stain is for about five minutes. This will help free the trapped water from under the surface.

Step 2

You can also rub non-gel toothpaste onto the water ring with your fingertip and allow it to break up the water ring. Wipe clean with a warm, damp cotton cloth.

Step 3

Another option is to mix equal parts white vinegar and olive oil then rub it over the water stain with a clean, cotton cloth. Use a second cloth to wipe up the excess and polish the remaining surface so the shine is even.

Step 4

Rubbing mayonnaise into the water ring will also get rid of the stain. Use a dry cloth and polish the surface until the water ring stain disappears. Wipe away any leftover mayonnaise with a second cloth.

Step 5

Break an un-shelled walnut into pieces and move the broken edge over the stain. The oil inside the walnut will help remove the stain.

Things You Will Need

  • White vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Toothpaste
  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Mayonnaise
  • Corn oil
  • Salt
  • Clean cotton cloth
  • Unshelled walnut


  • Some varnishes may be effected by oily or abrasive substances. Test an unseen portion of the table before cleaning to make sure no damage will occur when cleaning your water ring.

About the Author

Jennifer Hudock is an author, editor and freelancer from Pennsylvania. She has upcoming work appearing in two Library of the Living Dead Press anthologies and has been published in numerous print and online journals, including eMuse, Real TV Addict and Strange Horizons. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing from Bloomsburg University.