Water Mark Damage

Water marks can occur very quickly and be a nuisance to remove. They can often ruin the appearance of fine furnishings and also be hazardous to health if it has occurred through flooding or leaking of a domestic appliance.

How To Remove Water Marks

The removal of water marks is highly dependent on the item that is damaged and the extent of the impairment. Many items of clothing may benefit from being professionally dry cleaned as some home cleaning techniques may damage fabrics irreparably. Always read the label before attempting to remove a stain.


Always wipe up the spillage immediately and allow the surface to dry. Do not rub the surface too hard with a cloth as this will encourage the fluid to be pressed further into the surface and in the wood grain.

Natural woods may eventually develop a dirty looking mark from the moisture. Often this will need sanding down and the surface re-treating with a polish. A highly varnished surface should not be left with too much damage if it has been cleaned up straight away.

Sometimes the use of a specially created formula may be required. These can be found in many hardware shops or from supermarkets and are usually oil-based or for more serious stains will contain a substance called oxalic acid.


Some fabrics such as silk can become damaged very easily, sometimes purely from the rain. These marks can be removed by steaming the fabric with very hot vapours such as from a boiling kettle. Hold the fabric carefully (without burning yourself) over the steam and allow the fabric to become damp.

Gently rub the affected area with a soft cloth, preferably clean white cotton or muslin and iron immediately, placing a clean cloth between the fabric and the iron. A clean tea towel or pillowcase (not heavily dyed though) will often be useful for this purpose.

There are many stain removal products available in supermarkets that claim to remove stains of any kind. If you are choosing one of these products, always test on an inconspicuous piece of the fabric first to ensure bleaching doesn’t occur.


Carpets can be cleaned using steam cleaners that are designed specifically for this use. Water damage to carpets will often need professional cleaning.

Preventing Water Mark Damage

In the event of an emergency, it is always advisable that the locations of the mains water controls are known. If at any time a radiator, boiler or other domestic appliance is leaking, turn off the water supply immediately.

Always ensure that household insurance covers damage caused by flooding or leakage. To prevent water mark damage around the home, the use of placemats and coaters is advisable; never be embarrassed to ask guests to use them, they will not want to damage your home either.

When fitting domestic appliances, tiles, floorings and items such as baths or sinks, ensure that good quality under-lays and sealants are applied and used correctly to prevent damage to walls and floors.

Water marks can cause unsightly damage to fabrics, surfaces, documents and soft furnishings. They can be removed using a variety of sources, but occasionally may be permanently damaged.

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