How to Clean a Bad Water Stain on a Cedar Chest?

Answer:To clean a bad water stain on a cedar chest, you can follow these steps:

1. Remove any loose particles: Use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove any loose dirt or dust from the surface of the cedar chest.

2. Mix a cleaning solution: In a bowl, mix together equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Vinegar is a natural cleaner that can help remove stains and odors from wood.

3. Test the solution: Before applying the cleaning solution to the entire stain, test it on a small inconspicuous area of the cedar chest to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.

4. Apply the solution: Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution and gently dab it onto the water stain. Avoid scrubbing, as this can push the stain deeper into the wood.

5. Blot and dry: After applying the solution, use a dry cloth to blot the area and remove any excess moisture. Allow the cedar chest to air dry completely before using or storing any items in it.


1. Can I use bleach to remove the water stain from my cedar chest?
No, bleach is not recommended for cleaning wood surfaces as it can damage the finish and discolor the wood.

2. How often should I clean my cedar chest to prevent water stains?
It’s a good practice to regularly dust and wipe down your cedar chest with a clean, damp cloth to prevent any build-up of dirt or moisture that can lead to stains.

3. What if the water stain on my cedar chest is very old and stubborn?
For stubborn water stains, you can try using a wood cleaner specifically designed for removing stains. Follow the instructions on the cleaner and test it on a small area first.

4. How can I prevent water stains on my cedar chest in the future?
To prevent water stains, always use coasters or placemats when placing drinks or other liquids on your cedar chest. Wipe up any spills immediately and avoid placing wet or damp items directly on the surface.

5. Can I use lemon juice instead of vinegar to clean the water stain?
Yes, you can use lemon juice as an alternative to vinegar. Lemon juice also has natural cleaning properties and can help remove stains from wood.

6. Can I sand the water stain on my cedar chest?
Sanding should be a last resort as it can potentially damage the wood and remove the protective finish. It is best to try the cleaning methods mentioned above before considering sanding.

7. Should I apply any protective finish after cleaning the water stain?
If the water stain has affected the protective finish on your cedar chest, it’s recommended to apply a fresh coat of wax or a suitable wood polish to restore its shine and protect it from future stains.

Cleaning a water stain from a cedar chest can be done effectively using a homemade vinegar and water solution. Regular maintenance and preventive measures can help avoid water stains in the future.