How to Remove Water Stains From Your Table

Remember I mentioned we hosted The Big Guy's work party at home this year? Well, there was a little bit of damage I was sick about for weeks afterward.

Water from a chafing dish spilled onto the tablecloth and sat on the wood for the entire evening, causing these large white marks. The table had similar marks when we got it second-hand from a friend, but we couldn't remember what we did to remove them last time!

I hit the internet and tried a number of different tricks:

I rubbed toothpaste into the stain.
I used steel wool and lemon oil.
I used paint thinner.
I let mayonnaise sit on it over night.
I tried reasoning with it and explaining I didn't have the money to buy another table.

Nothing worked. I cried.

Then we suddenly remembered what had worked last time after I spotted Tidy Mom's blog! A hot iron!

We placed a thin towel (like those cotton IKEA ones that aren't terry cloth?) over the stain and set a hot iron on top and within 5 seconds the stains disappeared, like magic!

See, before:

And after!

**Update** I just saw part of a daytime show with Ty Pennington covering this very topic! He said that this method works with a table with a wax finish and the mayonnaise works on tables with a varnish finish. Good to know!


  1. I've used vegetable oil too & rubbed it into the mark. It also helps!

  2. My heart just lifted- LIFTED, I tell you! I'll report back with the results of my coffee table debacle.

  3. Lord...I just witnessed a miracle!!!!

    janet xox

  4. Good luck Kiki! I was distraught for days until I fixed it so I know what you are feeling!

  5. I wish I had known about this years ago.....

  6. You "tried reasoning with" the table.
    Love it!

    Thanks for the hot iron tip!

  7. oh my gosh! Fantastic. I hava a small place and used mayo but it only worked a little. so trying this. Thanks Jen!

  8. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work wonders on water stains! Just use a dry eraser and it comes right off with little effort.

  9. What a great tip! So glad that you discovered it and that your table looks new again.

  10. Oh, I've never heard of the iron trick before. I'm going to try that on my table that I've been meaning to refinish for over a year now.

  11. Jennifer, this is awesome! You've got such great stuff! Will you come link this up at my place Wednesday? I would love to feature this in a future post!
    PS Plus, you could win a $5 Starbucks card. :)
    PSS Love all the Tebow comments. Too funny. It's a shame that the media clobbered him for his faith. They'd probably be happy about it if it was lewd and sexual! Sad that Christians can't express their own version of praise, whatever that might be!

  12. I know isn't that trick great! I use it allll the time!

  13. I have tried everything (except this iron trick). Thank you so much for sharing!

  14. Thank you for nice information, I like your guide. keep up the good work continue.


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