How to Remove Water Stains from Wood with Mayonnaise

wood cabinet

Do you have water stains on your beautiful wooden furniture? These stains can be frustrating, and sometimes they seem impossible to remove. 

Luckily, there’s a simple solution that you might have in your kitchen already – mayonnaise! 

In this article, we’ll explore how to remove water stains from wood with mayonnaise.

Let’s begin.

Understanding Water Stains on Wood 

Before we jump into the solution, it’s important to understand what causes water stains on wood surfaces. Water stains can occur when moisture gets trapped in the finish or seeps into the wood itself. 

Depending on the type of wood, moisture can cause the wood to expand or contract, which can leave unsightly marks on the surface.

There are two main types of water stains: white stains and black stains. White stains are caused by moisture that has penetrated the finish but hasn’t reached the wood. These stains are usually easier to remove than black stains, which are caused by moisture that has seeped into the wood itself. Black stains are more challenging to remove and may require professional help.

How Mayonnaise Works to Remove Water Stains 

Mayonnaise is an effective solution for removing water stains on wood for several reasons. First, mayonnaise contains oils that can penetrate the wood and help to lift the stain out. 

Additionally, mayonnaise contains acids and proteins that can help to break down the stain and make it easier to remove.

Compared to other common household remedies, such as vinegar or baking soda, mayonnaise is less harsh on the wood surface and less likely to cause damage. It’s also easier to apply and less likely to leave a residue.

Steps to Remove Water Stains with Mayonnaise 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to remove water stains from wood with mayonnaise:

  1. Gather necessary materials: You’ll need a jar of mayonnaise, a clean cloth, and a bowl.
  2. Prepare the wood surface: Clean the surface thoroughly with a damp cloth and dry it off. You want to make sure the surface is clean and dry before applying the mayonnaise.
  3. Apply the mayonnaise: Scoop a generous amount of mayonnaise into the bowl. Dip the cloth into the mayonnaise and apply it to the stained area. Make sure the stain is completely covered with mayonnaise.
  4. Let it sit: Leave the mayonnaise on the stain for at least an hour, or overnight if the stain is particularly stubborn. The longer you leave it on, the more time it has to penetrate the stain.
  5. Remove the mayonnaise and wipe the surface clean: After the mayonnaise has had time to work its magic, use a clean cloth to wipe away the excess. The stain should be gone or significantly reduced.

Tips and Tricks for Best Results

  • For stubborn stains, you can try adding a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice to the mayonnaise before applying it.
  • Avoid using too much mayonnaise, as this can leave residue on the surface.
  • Prevent future water stains by using coasters and placing protective mats under plant pots and other items that might cause water damage.


Water stains on wood can be a nuisance, but they don’t have to be permanent. By using mayonnaise, you can easily remove these unsightly marks and restore your wooden furniture to its former glory. 

Remember to follow the steps carefully, and don’t hesitate to call in professional help if needed.

Do you have water stains on your wood paneling? Read How to Remove Water Stains from Wood Paneling Like a Pro.  

Thanks for reading.

-Baking Soda Guy

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