August 21, 2017

Many homeowners have experienced the dreaded white water mark stains on wood cabinets left behind from steam in the everyday cooking process. Whether it’s the steaming mist from the coffee pot or the big pot of water boiling for that great past dinner, your cabinets can be left with unsightly water marks that detract from their beauty.

There are methods that you can use, some traditional and some that may seem unusual, but the type of cabinets you have and the finish on them will determine the effective method upon which you use to remove them.

In contrast to the ugly water marks left on cabinets, grease is equally damaging to the appearance of your cabinets, but both water marks and grease have solutions to remove them. With the right strategy, materials and application, these unsightly problems can be dealt with effectively.

Here are a collection of solutions that will make your cabinets look like new again:

Polish Water Stains Away

A quick and simple fix for many cabinets with water stains is an application of paste wax such as Brimax paste wax, a blend of beeswax, carnauba and petroleum, or Harrell’s Jecowax Beeswax Blend. Using a clean cloth, apply the paste wax as directed and then wipe the cabinet surface to clean and shine.

Homemade Water Stain Remover

To remove water marks from your cabinets with a homemade solution, mayonnaise with wood ash is a great combination. Just massage the mixture over the water mark, spreading the mixture to cover the water stains. Leave for one to two hours then wipe the area clean and polish. For stubborn water marks, massage the mixture on the surface while heating the area with a blow dryer.

Another great little trick is to use a non-gel toothpaste and toothbrush. Apply the toothpaste to the brush and gently rub the white area. The graininess in the toothpaste helps to loosen the trapped moisture that is causing the stain. After the stain is removed, wipe the surface and polish in the usual manner.

Stubborn Water Marks

If you have tried removing water stains from your kitchen cabinets only to find that the marks are faded but still visible, try a tactic that can be used on cabinets without a shellac finish. Using a 100 percent cotton cloth, wipe the stain quickly in a touch-and-go fashion with denatured alcohol.

This process must be done carefully and completed with a cloth that is damp but not saturated with the denatured alcohol. Pass the cloth quickly over the water stain several times directing your strokes against the wood grain in an effort to evaporate the moisture while leaving the cabinet finish intact. When the marks are gone, buff the area with a wax polish to return a glow to your kitchen cabinets.

Steps to Remove the Grease:

  • Add warm water to the bucket or bowl.
  • Mix in enough dish soap to create a light amount of suds. If you add too much, you’ll leave a sticky soap residue on the cabinets that will only serve to attract more grease and dirt in the future.
  • Add about one cup of white vinegar per gallon of water. Stir.
  • Soak the sponge in the mixture.
  • Wipe the cabinets down, rinsing the sponge frequently.
  • Once clean, dry the cabinets with a towel.

Final Note:

Removing water stains from your kitchen cabinets, or a wood surface for that matter, can be achieved with a few simple remedies and a bit of work. When you follow some of these tips, you’ll be amazed at how good your cabinets will look when finished. So get to it and make your cabinets look like new again!

If your cabinets are stained beyond repair, don’t plan on throwing out your cabinets just yet. Trends Wood Finishing in Oakville, Ontario offers Cabinet Refacing, where we can add a new cabinet door to your cupboard. We also offer Cabinet Refinishing, where we strip your existing Cabinet doors, and refinish them for an updated look.

Book Cabinet Refinishing Appointment


Email: | Head Office: 647.776.5514 | Cell: 416.844.0948 | Fax: 647.436.7628
Address: 2050 Speers Rd, Unit 1, Oakville, ON, L6L 2X8