Wood Water Stain Removal: A Mini Guide

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Not only is wood a super versatile and cost-effective material, but it is also on-trend and looks great when used for a variety of projects. Commonly used as an outdoor building material, wood is commonly found in outdoor wooden furniture, fences, decking, outbuildings and more. One of the biggest problems faced when the wood is used as an outdoor material is water stains. Read on to find out more about what water stains are and how to remove them.

What causes water stains?

Wood water stains are caused by water, from rain and bad weather, getting into the wood and resulting in an unsightly stain. Wood sealers can be used to reduce the chances of water staining; however, this regular upkeep and maintenance is easy to forget about. If you have water-stained wooden furniture and want to restore it to its former glory, then follow this mini-guide for everything you need to know about wood water stain removal.

Before You Begin Stain Removal On Wooden Furniture

There are a few things to consider before you get to work on removing water stains from wooden furniture or other wooden materials. Firstly, you should think carefully about the time of year you are planning on doing this job. Almost every water stain removal method requires some drying time, and bad weather could reverse your hard work. If you can’t keep your wooden items in a warm, dry area, then only begin this project during a dry part of the year.

You should also ensure your safety is at the forefront of your mind during wood water stain removal. Many wood preservatives, particularly older ones, are toxic and can be harmful to your health. Household bleach and oxalic acid are also commonly used for water stain removal and are caustic. Always wear safety protection, such as gloves, when working with these toxic materials. It is also recommended to try out your chosen method on a small area of wood before cleaning the whole thing.

What Do You Need For Wood Water Stain Removal?

Before getting started, make sure you have everything you need to remove stains from wooden furniture. Most of the materials and tools required are everyday household items and easy to get hold of. The equipment required will vary slightly depending on the method you choose. The key tools and materials include;

  • Iron
  • Cotton cloth
  • Hose
  • Pressure washer
  • Stiff bristle brush
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Bleach
  • Deck cleaning solution
  • Concentrated oxalic acid wood bleach

Removing Dark Water Stains

If you have dark water stains on your wooden furniture or fixtures, try out this bleaching method;

  1. Wear protective gloves and mix a 50/50 solution of bleach and cold water.
  2. Use a sponge to apply the solution lightly to the stained wood. Be careful not to drench the wood.
  3. Leave the wood to dry completely.
  4. Check the results when it is dried, and if stains remain, then try again with a stronger bleach solution.

Removing Stubborn Black Water Stains

Sometimes wood can end up with very dark and stubborn black water stains that require a powerful cleaning method;

  1. Wear protective gloves and eyewear.
  2. Mix oxalic acid with hot water until it dissolves, following manufacturer instructions.
  3. Used a stiff bristle brush to apply the solution to the wood stain.
  4. The solution will only work while hot, so keep applying until the wood has been bleached to the required level.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with water and leave to dry.

Removing White Water Stains

Wooden furniture often gets white, milky ring stains that are caused by wet glasses that damage the sealant. For these stains, try the following method;

  1. Use a household clothes iron and drain all the water.
  2. Switch the iron on to a dry setting with no steam and heat to the lowest level.
  3. Place a dry and clean white cotton cloth over the stain.
  4. Iron over the clothes a few times.
  5. Regularly check progress by lifting the cloth and continue until the stain is gone. Be sure to use a fresh bit of the cloth every time you put it back.

Removing Wood Stains From Decking

Wooden decking often suffers from dark stains that are caused by a dirty pool of water. This method can eliminate these unsightly stains;

  1. Use the pressure washer on a wide spray setting to lightly water down the wood.
  2. Apply a deck cleaning solution to the stained areas.
  3. Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the stains and the area around.

Use the pressure washer to rinse off the cleaning solution and excess dirt.