How to remove water stains from wood

How to remove water stains from wood

How to remove water stains from wood is the question of the times. If you're lost for how to remove water rings or water marks from your wooden table, you're not alone. Knowing how to care for teak is a minefield, despite the fact that by virtue, its beauty lies in its "warts and all" feel, from its weathered (and often reclaimed) journey. It should be totally low maintenance, right? Well, yes, actually. Caring for teak is easier than you'd think, once you know how. RAFT Furniture is proud to be the world’s leading manufacturer and largest retailer of 100% recycled teak. Our love of teak is rooted in its story; so, we've developed a level of expertise regarding how to care for it, once it's in the home. 

Why does water stain wood?

Let's start with the basics, shall we? Understanding why water stains wood. The white ring marks you are seeing on your highly-polished wooden tables are actually the moisture from your drinking glasses and/or plates/bowls, trapped underneath the shellac. However, if you've got teak tables (those that we sell at RAFT, for example), the water mark is actually closer to the surface, as there is no layer of shellac applied. A white/light coloured stain indicates that the moisture hasn't actually permeated the deeper makeup of the wood, meaning it shouldn't be too difficult to erase. However, if the mark is darker it may take a little more work.

What to use to remove water stains from wood

Removing water stains from teak is as easy as can be. A regular kitchen scourer and a squeeze of light detergent will do the job. However, if you're dealing with a highly polished wooden table, you'll need a little more equipment. Historically, you would use cigar ash and olive oil and we like to stick to the old school method.

How to remove water stains from wood in 5 steps:

  1. Find a regular lint-free cloth
  2. Mix olive oil and the ash from a cigar together to make a poultice.
  3. Pick up poultice on the cloth
  4. Lightly rub the surface of the table, with the grain.
  5. This will be delicate enough to pull the moisture molecules without damaging the timber.

How to remove water stains from teak

  1. Find a regular scourer
  2. Add a light detergent (fairy liquid) to the abrasive side
  3. Rub the water stains to remove, with the grain

Top tips: Don't go against the grain. Clean as soon as the stain appears... or as soon as you notice it. The less time your water mark spends on your table, the better. how to remove water stains from teak

What if you can't get the mark off the table?

There are some marks that just won't seem to budge... like that olive oil stain that your kids didn't tell you about, until it'd been there for 6 weeks. However, there are some stains that simply don't do justice to your table by departing. As mentioned before, what we love so much about wood, reclaimed teak in particular, is the story behind it. We love the durability of teak and the way that its aesthetic is weathered by experience. In fact, an anecdote shared by Director, Mick Quinn showed that often there is true sentiment in the "warts and all" aspect of an imperfect wood. One day, a woman came into the shop and asked for a stain to be taken off her tabletop. However, she requested that it be done on site. When asked why, she revealed that there was one stain in particular she didn't want to be removed. This stain came from her late mother who used to smoke at the table and rest her cigarette bearing hand on the side, leaving a uniquely beautiful stain and a memory. The beauty is in the story.  

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