How to remove water stains from window sills


Window sills are generally made out of wood which is susceptible to moisture if it is not properly sealed with a protective coating. In most cases, water stains are not only unsightly but can also allow the growth of mildew and mold that can permanently stain the wood and trigger health issues for your family. Luckily, water stains can be easily removed. Read further to learn ways on how to remove water stains from window sills.

Methods on how to remove water stains from window sills

Let us now take a look at the steps on how to remove water stains from window sills, particularly the light or darkened spots.

Light stains

  • Always wear rubber gloves first and follow the warning and safety precautions on the packaging. 
  • Prepare a solution by mixing 8-10 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate with a gallon of hot tap water. This can effectively clean mildew, mold, and grime from wooden window sills as well as deal with light water stains.
  • Utilize a soft-bristled brush to apply the solution.
  • Rinse the window sill thoroughly with clean water. 
  • In case the water stain lingers after it has dried, follow up with oxalic acid.

Dark or wide stains

When dealing with dark or wide water stains on wood, oxalic acid is the recommended option. You can find it at most hardware stores. It is used to bleach unfinished, water-stained wood. 

  • Wear gloves and goggles before handling oxalic acid. Carefully follow the safety and application instructions on the packaging.
  • Combine 2 tablespoons of oxalic acid with 8 ounces of hot water. 
  • Moisten a sponge with the solution and lightly rub across the water stains. 
  • Allow the wood to fully dry.
  • In case the water stain lingers, simply apply the solution again.

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What are the common causes of water stains on window sills?

Let us take a look at some of the usual causes of water stains on window sills.

  • Leaving the windows open. When windows are left open, water will flow in when it rains. This will leave behind uniform water staining throughout the window sill.
  • Condensation. When it comes to wooden windows, expect stains at the corner of the window sashes and window sills due to condensation. The worst stains are usually on windows that are most likely to be damp such as in bathrooms.
  • Leaking windows. When water is leaking into the house at the window opening or the siding, it will show up as a stain at the corners of the window sills. 

Can mayonnaise remove water rings?

When a glass or dish is placed on a wood table, condensation builds up to form unappealing water rings. These marks can be removed by using a common ingredient in your refrigerator – ordinary mayonnaise.

Once you discover water rings, carefully blot the surface dry. Apply a coating of mayonnaise. Leave it on overnight. Wipe and buff using a clean cloth. 

Remember that you must deal with the water rings immediately before the water soaks beneath the finish and stains the wood. Not only will the stain be effectively removed, but the furniture will have a great luster from the rich polish. 

The main ingredients in mayonnaise include eggs, vinegar, oil, and lemon juice. This combination makes it the ideal homemade furniture polish. The mild acid and fat in mayonnaise penetrate the upper layer of the finish to replace the water with nourishing oil. In most cases, this treatment option is convenient and will effectively deal with the water rings. 

Can you remove mold from window sills?

For most homeowners, they are aware that mold is starting to grow on their windows. Generally, mold starts to form at the base of the windows at the connection amidst the glass and window sash frame. In most cases, you can easily spot the mold but sometimes, it has the same color as the window frame. Discoloration on your windows can be unappealing. When large amounts of mold form, it can be a health threat and can even destroy the wooden window frames.

Let us take a look at the steps on how to remove mold from the window sills.

  • Wear goggles, mask, and gloves. 
  • Cover the floor beneath the window being cleaned to catch any mold. 
  • Make sure that the room is properly ventilated. Open a window or door so that mold spores can escape, instead of remaining within your house. 
  • Prepare a solution by mixing 1-part bleach to 3-parts warm water. Apply this solution on the areas with mold and scrub using a non-abrasive brush. Utilize a clean cloth to wipe away the loose mold. 
  • Allow the window sills to fully dry before closing the window. Wipe away any leftover residue. 

Does rubbing alcohol remove water stains on window sills?

When the windows are leaky, it will allow water to seep in and linger on the window sills, leaving behind water stains that can be hard to remove. Minerals from the water can deposit onto the window sill if the water is left too long, leaving hard water stains. 

When harsh chemicals are used, they can damage the wood. The best approach is using products that you can find in your house to clean up water stains on window sills safely.

  • Rinse the window sill with warm foamy water.
  • Wipe it dry using a clean, lint-free cloth.
  • Rinse the area with water and remove the soap.
  • Combine equal amounts of water and rubbing alcohol. 
  • Dab this solution to the water stains using a cotton swab. Brush until the hard water stains on the window sill vanish.

Final thoughts

When it comes to water stains on window sills, they can be unappealing to look at and affect the overall curbside appeal of your house. With the methods discussed on how to remove water stains from window sills, you can keep them clean and free from water stains.

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