I used baking soda and water paste to remove water stains and it ruined my teak table. I did not do enough research.

Pics of the aftermath:

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The table is new and never treated with anything. It accumulated a lot of water stains in a few weeks. I found a few cleaning tips that referenced baking soda and used that method but it caused dark areas to form. It looks awful. Can it be saved? How?

  • 1
    Without knowing what you think it's supposed to look like, to me it's 'rustic'… fine as it is. I wouldn't have chosen it for myself, particularly, but if I walked in your house for the first time I wouldn't think "damn, you spoiled that" I'd think "interesting style." btw, I hate varnished wood. Totally ruins it [imo] - but if you have natural or waxed wood, don't put hot cups or red wine glasses on it. insist on coasters, always.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 7, 2023 at 16:25
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    You might get better answers in the woodworking stack; the folks there have more experience dealing with exotic woods like teak than the home-improvement crew.
    – keshlam
    Oct 7, 2023 at 17:56

2 Answers 2


It looks like the only course of action is sanding and restaining.

When the stain is dry treat the top with a waterproof sealer like polyurethane, varnish or shellac.


I'd be terrified of causing more damage, as I would prize a teak table like that. You should figure out what stain/seal/oil that you're going to use after "fixing" it and apply it now. Best case scenario? You like it and don't bother "fixing" it. With those rounded corners, uneven sanding will result in drifting of the edge lines--you would have to sand the rounded edge away completely to avoid this (or do a better job of sanding than I'm capable of).

I would apply Tung oil, myself. That is such a bummer, man.

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