Remove Water Stain Marks with Ashes: How To Get White Rings Off A Wood Table
Products from my local hardware store that promise to remove water stains
When bad water marks happen to good wood furniture
We've all been there: We've left a drink on a wood table without a coaster, and by the time we realize the glass is sweating, it's too late. An unsightly white ring has formed on the table, and no matter how much we try to wash or polish it away, it stubbornly remains and we can't get the ring off.
Turns out all is not lost, and you can easily restore your table to pristine condition, either with do-it-yourself home remedies or else with inexpensive products you can buy at any hardware store.
These techniques for getting the white rings off a wood surface actually work!
Do-it-yourself home remedies to remove white rings
It turns out that you can MacGyver out a white ring from a wood table with ash and spit.
Just put some ashes in a bowl, and add saliva. Stir. Then apply the ashy paste to the water stains you want to remove from your furniture and gently rub with a cloth.
Any ash works here. You can use fireplace ashes, cigarette ashes, and it probably will even work if you burn a piece of paper and use the ashes from that.
Use a circular motion to rub in the ash. When you are done with the spot, and once it is dry, gently buff the area with a clean, dry, soft cloth.
Commercial solutions to your water stains problems
If you go to the wood care aisle of your hardware store, there among the varnishes and stains and wood fillers, you can find a bunch of products that say they remove those unsightly white rings and water marks from wood surfaces.
I know first hand that some of these stain removing cloths are life savers.
I "helped out" at a potluck dinner party by making a mac and cheese. I put the dish straight from the oven on a woven place mat on the highly polished, no doubt expensive, dining room table.
The mac & cheese was a hit, but when I helped clear the table, a white echo of the round, rattan place mat remained fixed to the table. I hadn't thought about how the heat and steam would have the same effect as an icy drink. The table was ruined.
Another guest had recently bought one of these white ring removing cloths from a TV infomercial.
Again, no joke. None of us had ever tried it, but I had nothing to lose if it didn't work. But if it did work, well, it saved me having to refinish these people's table. The next day we returned to our hosts' house, and we rubbed that place mat stain away. It took patience. The more we worked the spot, rubbing with the treated cloth, the fainter then white marks became until finally they were so faint as to be unnoticeable to anyone who wasn't looking for them.
The table was like new; the white rings were gone.
It was only after this experience that my mom told me the home remedy with ash. I have since used that approach, and it also works if you are pressed for time or money.