I never understood why my mom used to get so upset when my brother and I wouldn't use coasters. What's the big deal? Who cares if the table gets a little mark on it?
Then I moved into my own place, bought my own furniture, and had a friend come over and get a big, fat water ring on the table. I thought I was going to have a conniption. I didn't want to yell at my friend for not using a coaster -- she had asked and I said not to. But now I was left with a white ring on my wooden coffee table and I had no idea how to fix it. Buying a new table wasn't an option, and neither was calling my mom for fear of getting hit with a big, fat, "I TOLD YOU SO!"
So I had to figure out how to get this ring off my table, and I'm so glad I did. There are so many household items you can use to get rid of stubborn water rings, and they're all super easy to do!
1. Baking Soda
We've all got a box of baking soda lying around the house, but we rarely find ways to use it besides baking. Using 1 tablespoon of baking soda and approximately one teaspoon of water, you can create a paste to get rid of water rings! Use a soft cloth to gently rub the paste onto the table in a circular motion until the stain disappears. Make sure the paste isn't too runny!
My mom gifted me a bunch of supplies to get me started. One of those things was Vaseline and I never understood why...until those dang water rings appeared! Apply the Vaseline to the stain and let it sit overnight. In the morning you can wipe the jelly away and you'll have no more mark!
3. Steel Wool
This one you have to be a little cautious of. Sabrina Fierman, vice president of a luxury cleaning service, suggests going to a hardware store and asking for the finest steel wool they have. Using a little lemon oil, gently rub the steel wool on the stain.
"Tread carefully and do not go beyond the confines of the stain or you can further damage the finish," she says.
IMPORTANT: do NOT use whitening toothpaste. That should be self-explanatory. But a regular, non-gel toothpaste should do the trick! Apply the toothpaste to the stain in the same direction as the grain. Remove the paste, then use a wood polish to make the surface shine.
5. A Hair Dryer
It may seem strange to use heat to to remove a stain caused by heat, but Fierman explains the science.
"White rings on wood furniture reflect the moisture that has soaked into the top layers of the wood finish. Basically, it's moisture that gets into wax, which naturally clouds up," she explains.
Using a blow dryer on its lowest setting will help evaporate the water.
"Be sure to move the dryer around so there is no direct heat and the wood doesn't overheat," warns Fierman.
Salt can be used the same way as baking soda, just on a smaller scale. Use only one teaspoon of salt with a few drops of water to form a paste. Gently rub the salt paste onto the stain and continue to do so until the stain is gone. You can use a wood furniture polish to bring back the original shine.
7. Vinegar and Oil
I know it sounds like a salad dressing recipe, but water rings left by wet glasses can be fixed using equal parts vinegar and olive oil. Mix them together, then use a soft wash cloth to apply the mixture to the stain. Using a clean, soft cloth, shine the spot to buff out the stain!
We all have a jar of mayo lying around the house, and even if you don't, it's pretty easy and cheap to get your hands on one! It's good for more than just sandwiches, y'know. Spreading mayonnaise on a water ring and letting it sit for a couple of hours will help take the stain away! If you have pets or kids running around the house, you can cover the mayo spot with a bowl to make sure no hands (or paws) get into it. Wipe the mayo off with a cloth and voila! No more stain.
Water rings may be a pain in the butt when they happen, but there are ways to get rid of them without breaking the bank!