Does WD-40 Remove Water Stains On Wood?

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It’s hard to sneak around when doors squeak when opened or closed.  Sure, a little WD-40 can cure that, but parents would prefer that doors squeak so they can keep track of the time when kids get home on date nights.

Date nights?  Are there still date nights, or have they been replaced by something else?  I know I’m dating myself now that I write these words.

Key Points:

  • No, WD-40 will not remove water stains on wood.  But there are some common products you likely have around the house that will help with water stains on wood.
  • WD-40 can actually cause a stain on wood.  Again, though, there are some common products around the house that can help remove them or at least minimize them.
  • WD-40 isn’t a miracle product, but it does come in handy for hundreds of uses, some of which we describe below.

I’m of an age now, though, when I don’t want those squeaks, so a can of WD-40 is always on the shelf.  Sometimes it seems like a miracle worker, and often enough so that the first thought is to reach for the can.  There are a lot of things WD-40 is good for, so many uses.  

Today’s question asks if it can remove water stains on wood.  Does it have a place in the woodworking shop beyond keeping tools lubricated and rust-free?  Let’s see.

What Is WD-40?

WD-40 is a multi-purpose product that is used for a variety of tasks, including lubricating, cleaning, and protecting. It is a clear, colorless liquid that is made up of a blend of lubricants, solvents, and rust inhibitors.

The name WD-40 stands for “Water Displacement, 40th Formula.” It was originally developed in 1953 by the Rocket Chemical Company for use as a rust preventive in the aerospace industry. The product was first marketed to the public in 1961, and it quickly became a popular household item.

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WD-40 is a versatile product that can be used for a variety of tasks. It is a good lubricant for locks, hinges, and other moving parts. It can also be used to clean grease, dirt, and grime from a variety of surfaces. WD-40 can also be used to protect metal from rust and corrosion.

 What Can WD-40 Do?

WD-40 is a multi-purpose product that can be used for a variety of tasks, including:

  • Lubricating: WD-40 can be used to lubricate locks, hinges, chains, and other moving parts. It can also be used to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Cleaning: WD-40 can be used to clean grease, dirt, and grime from a variety of surfaces, including metal, plastic, and wood.
  • Removing: WD-40 can be used to remove stickers, labels, and other adhesives. It can also be used to remove ink stains from fabric.
  • Protecting: WD-40 can be used to protect metal from rust and corrosion. It can also be used to protect electrical connections from moisture.
  • Displacing: WD-40 can be used to displace moisture from electrical connections, locks, and other areas where moisture can cause problems.
  • Freezing: WD-40 can be used to prevent locks, hinges, and other moving parts from freezing in cold weather.

Here are some other unusual uses for WD-40:

  • Shining: WD-40 can be used to shine metal, plastic, and wood.
  • Breaking in: WD-40 can be used to break in new baseball gloves and other leather goods.
  • Keeping insects away: WD-40 can be used to keep insects away from windowsills and other areas where they might enter your home.

It’s important to note that WD-40 is not a miracle product. It won’t solve every problem, and it’s not always the best solution. However, it’s a versatile product that can be used for a variety of tasks, and it’s worth keeping a can on hand for those times when you need a little help.

Safety Precautions When Using WD-40

Be sure to read the label on the can of WD-40 for a list of precautions you should take when using it.  Take them to heart because the product can do some harm to both body and equipment.

  • Avoid contact with eyes and skin. If WD-40 gets in your eyes, flush them with water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention. If it gets on your skin, wash it with soap and water.
  • Do not use WD-40 on electrical equipment. WD-40 can conduct electricity, so it can be dangerous to use on electrical equipment.
  • Keep WD-40 out of reach of children and pets. WD-40 can be harmful if ingested.

How To Use WD-40

WD-40 is a multi-purpose product that can be used for a variety of tasks. Here are some general instructions on how to use WD-40:

  1. Shake the can well before using. This will help to mix the ingredients and ensure that the product is evenly distributed.
  2. Hold the can about 6 inches from the surface you are spraying. Do not spray too close, as this can cause the product to drip.
  3. Spray a thin, even coat of WD-40 onto the surface. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.
  4. Let the WD-40 sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a clean cloth.

Here are some specific instructions for using WD-40 for different tasks:

  • Lubricating: To lubricate a lock, hinge, or other moving part, spray WD-40 onto the part and then work it back and forth to distribute the lubricant.
  • Cleaning: To clean grease, dirt, or grime from a surface, spray WD-40 onto the surface and then wipe it away with a clean soft cloth.
  • Removing: To remove stickers, labels, or other adhesives, spray WD-40 onto the adhesive and then rub it away with a cloth.
  • Protecting: To protect metal from rust and corrosion, spray WD-40 onto the metal and then wipe it away with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Displacing: To displace moisture from electrical connections, locks, or other areas where moisture can cause problems, spray WD-40 onto the area and then wipe it away with a clean soft cloth.
  • Freezing: To prevent locks, hinges, or other moving parts from freezing in cold weather, spray WD-40 onto the parts and then wipe them away with a clean cloth.

What Kind Of Stains On Wood Can WD-40 Remove?

WD-40 can remove surface stains on wood, such as:

  • Grease and dirt: WD-40’s oil-based formula can dissolve grease and dirt, making it a good cleaner for kitchen and bathroom wood furniture.
  • Ink: WD-40 can also remove ink stains from wood, but it’s important to act quickly. The longer the ink is on the wood, the more difficult it will be to remove.
  • Paint: WD-40 can remove wet paint from wood, but it’s not effective at removing dry paint.

WD-40 cannot remove water stains or water-based stains from wood. These stains are caused by water seeping into the wood and reacting with the natural oils in the wood. WD-40 is a petroleum-based product, and it will not dissolve water-based stains.

Water Stains From Wood – If Not WD-40, Then What?

If you have water stains on your wood, you will need to use a different method to remove them. Some common methods for removing water stains from wood include:

  • White Vinegar: Vinegar is a natural acid that can help to break down water stains. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and spray the solution onto the stained area. Let the solution sit for 30 minutes, then wipe it away with a clean cloth.  Use white vinegar rather than other types of vinegar because it is the least expensive kind.
  • Baking soda: Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help to lift water stains. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 cup of warm water until you have a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stained area, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, scrub the paste away with a damp sponge.
  • Oxalic acid: Oxalic acid is a stronger acid that can be used to remove stubborn water stains. However, it’s important to use oxalic acid with caution, as it can be harmful if it’s not handled properly. Follow the instructions on the oxalic acid product carefully.

No matter which method you choose, be sure to test the solution in an inconspicuous area of the wood first to make sure it doesn’t damage the finish.

Can WD-40 Cause A Stain On Wood?

Yes, WD-40 can cause a stain on wood. The oil-based formula in WD-40 can darken the wood surface, and it can also leave a residue that can be difficult to remove. If you use WD-40 on wood, be sure to wipe it away completely with a clean soft cloth.

Here are some tips for using WD-40 on wood without causing a stain:

  • Test the WD-40 in an inconspicuous area of the wood first. This will help you to see how the WD-40 will affect the color of the wood.
  • Apply the WD-40 sparingly. You don’t need to use a lot of WD-40 to clean or lubricate wood.
  • Wipe away the WD-40 immediately. Don’t let the WD-40 sit on the wood for too long.
  • Clean the wood with a mild soap and water solution after using WD-40. Wipe away with a clean cloth. This will help to remove any residue that may be left behind.

If you do accidentally stain your wood with WD-40, there are a few things you can do to try to remove the stain. You can try using a mild soap and water solution, or you can try using a commercial wood stain remover. If the stain is particularly stubborn, you may need to sand the wood and then refinish it.

It’s important to note that WD-40 is not a wood finish. It is a lubricant and a protectant, but it is not designed to be used as a wood finish. If you are looking for a wood finish, you should use a product that is specifically designed for that purpose.

Video Demo On Removing A Water Stain From Wood Furniture 

I’m a tea drinker, no coffee for me.

Sometimes there’s a spill, a drop or two on a table.  Tea is water, as you know, and water can make stains on wood furniture.  We know WD-40 won’t help remove water stains from wood, but we also don’t want to leave you without an answer.  This video, less than 2 minutes long, answers that question.

It’s a unique solution, but the science is sound.  The heat from the rice bag steams away the water that has seeped into the wood.  The rice acts as a further draw, if you will, and holds the heat.  We tried it, actually, and it works just as demo’d on the video.

WD-40 isn’t the solution to a water stain on wood, but now you know what is. And, you still want to keep a can of it around the house and around the shop for all of its other uses.

Last update on 2024-03-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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