It's always disheartening to have beautiful furniture blemished by unsightly water rings. The big problem is how to remove the rings without doing harm to the existing finish or without resorting to having the whole piece refinished. There are several effective and simple solutions to removing these water rings that require very little besides what you already have in the house.
White (non-gel) toothpaste is an excellent mild abrasive for removing water rings from the surface of your finished furniture. Simply squirt a small amount of toothpaste onto the water ring. With a clean cotton rag, wipe the toothpaste in circles over the water ring until it begins to disappear. Wipe up the excess toothpaste with another rag.
Mayonnaise contains a small amount of acid that helps counteract the moisture that's left in the water rings. Dab a bit of mayonnaise onto a clean cotton rag and begin rubbing it into the area with the water ring. Cover the area completely and let the mayonnaise sit from a few hours to overnight. Wipe off the mayonnaise with a clean cotton rag until the surface is clean. It's also a common practice to combine ash from a cigarette or pipe to the mayonnaise as a further means of absorbing the moisture from the water ring.
Baking Soda And Water
Mix a small amount of baking soda with filtered water into a paste-like consistency. Dip a clean cotton rag into this paste and rub it over the white ring. Rub back and forth in the direction of the wood grain. Repeat this process, dipping into more paste as needed, until the white ring has been removed.
Call the Pro
If none of the above methods work, the moisture that caused the white ring is well below the surface of the finish and onto the wood itself. In that case, you will have to strip and refinish the furniture or hire a professional refinishing and restoration service to do it for you.
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