Picture this. Your guests have just left, you’re cleaning up and – the horror! – you discover a white ring on your beloved dining room table.
"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," explains Sabrina Fierman, vice president of luxury cleaning service New York's Little Eves.
The good news is you probably already have the solution to the water stain in your cupboard. Here are eight tried and true methods.
- Trace the ring on the furniture with a bit of car wax. Allow it to dry and then polish with a soft cloth.
- Grab your hair dryer and blast it on the lowest setting. "Be sure to move the dryer around so there is no direct heat and the wood doesn't overheat," explains Fierman.
- Mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil and apply it with a soft cloth in the direction of the wood grain. Then buff with a clean, soft cloth.
- Gently rub either mayonnaise or petroleum jelly in a circular motion on the mark with a soft cloth. "If the stain is not removed completely, apply more product and leave on for an hour or two and try again," says Fierman.
- Make a paste from one teaspoon salt and a few drops of water. Rub the mixture on to the stain with a soft cloth. Buff with furniture polish.
- Make a paste from one tablespoon of baking soda and on teaspoon water. Gently rub the mixture on to the stain. Be careful not to use too much water.
- Rub a non-gel and non-whitening toothpaste in to the wood in the same direction as the grain. Remove the paste and buff with wood polish.
- Gently rub the stain with fine grade steel wool in the direction as the grain. "Tread carefully and do not go beyond the confines of the stain or you can further damage the finish," says Fierman.
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.