Removing Water Rings from Tables
We’ve covered some heavy-duty water damage topics here on our blog. However, what about the little things? Like water rings on tables, for instance? We’ve all had it happen... a guest doesn’t use a coaster, or your kids simply ignore them. Whatever the case may be, it’s still an unsightly problem. If it’s not too late in the game, however, it is possible to remove water stains from your furniture using a variety of tips and tricks found below.
First off, how do cups stain tables in the first place?
Basically, water rings are a mark left by glasses or other damp materials and the wood absorbs the moisture. Sometimes it’s a cloudiness or a white ring (or dark ring) that is caused by moisture that’s trapped in the finish – which is also the sign of a weak finish. In this case, the moisture hasn’t quite reached the wood yet and has just settled into a layer of finish. If you act quickly – there is hope!
The first thing you can try is hot air. Hot air is one of the best ways to treat water marks that have just recently occurred. You don’t need anything fancy either, a hair dryer will do just fine. Using its lowest – but still warm – setting, move the hair dryer back and forth directly over the mark. This should draw out the moisture in most cases, but just be cautious because it will also heat up the wax finish and melt it slightly. Buff out the area with a soft rag once the water mark has evaporated.
Second is toothpaste. Put a basic white toothpaste on a clean, dry rag and dab it directly onto the stain. This method works by using the abrasive qualities of the toothpaste and water extraction alone. Let the toothpaste sit for a few minutes and then gently rub it along the line of the stain. Be sure not to scrub too hard or go too far out of the stain, and don’t use a gel or a brand with bleaching agents. Both could potentially cause more damage.
The third method you can try is mayonnaise. I know, if you’re like me and you can’t stand the smell of mayo, then this may not be for you. Spread the mayo on the stain and leave it sitting for no shorter than three hours, overnight works best. After it has been left on for the desired amount of time, simply wipe it away.
If you’ve got a white ring that doesn’t respond to any of the above solutions, try using superfine 4/0 steel wool and a finishing product. First pour the finishing product on the stain and then use the steel wool to abrade the surface lightly in the direction of the grain (Be cautious and gentle! You don’t want to damage your table more). Use a towel to wipe away the excess finish. When you’re done with the steel wool, use the finishing product one more time to polish the entire surface of the table. Wipe away the oil and put a clear finish over the top.
If you’ve got dark rings, that means the water has already seeped through the finish and into the wood. Unfortunately, when this happens the above techniques won’t be effective. It may need to be refinished.
For your bigger water problems, call SERVPRO of Grapevine/Ne Tarrant County! We answer the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 817.595.2506