how to remove a water mark from wood.

When I set down my piping hot frozen dinner (Andrew was in the field- set your judgements aside!) onto my new-to-me cherry wood kitchen table, I didn’t think twice. When I picked it up and saw the horrible steam mark it had created, I wanted to vomit. I had wrecked one of the few nice pieces of furniture in the house. When Andrew returned home, I pretended it never happened and, for once, was grateful for his lack of perception.
how to remove a water ring from wood

I knew I needed to try to get the mark out myself. And I’d heard a few old wives tales about this very subject- something to the effect of rubbing the mark with olive oil, sprinkling it with baking soda and saying the alphabet backwards with my eyes closed? Complicated. I was looking for simple, and I found it.

In my experience, to remove water marks from wood, all you need to do is hold a hair dryer on top of the mark (super close to the wood without touching it) for 10-15 minutes. The wood gets super hot, the water that is trapped in the wood escapes and the mark magically disappears.
hairdryer to remove water rings from wood

This really works, folks! I did this on three other water marks on the table (NOT caused by my own carelessness), all with the same success!
how to remove water rings from wood

How’s that for a life hack!?

*Remember: When it comes to trying life hacks, it’s as my high school Latin teacher, Mr. Tierney, used to say, “Caveat Emptor! Let the buyer beware!” No? Well then, just caveat, I suppose.


  1. I accidentally spilled some nail polish remover (the extra strong kind) on our nice dresser. I panicked about it but Christopher kept saying “It fine! Just a memory from this house!” I don’t want that kind of memory! Isn’t Sesame enough of a memory? Anyway. And ideas how to remove it? It’s not sticky, just looks like the stain on the dresser got burnt off. Maybe I’ll try your hairdryer method.

    • allisonmwilhelm says

      Sarah- You should maybe do a little research before trying it. I read that alcohol spills on wood are different than water. They won’t necessarily evaporate I don’t think? But I’ll bet there’s a remedy out there and when you find it, make sure to tell us!


  1. […] wooden furniture by placing a wet drink or hot dish on it? Get the moisture out of the wood (thus removing the water mark) by heating it with your hair dryer for about 10-15 […]

  2. […] Remove water marks from wood furniture┬áby positioning the hair dryer over the mark and blowing for 10-15 minutes. […]

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