How to Remove White Rings from Wooden Furniture

It happens. You leave a glass or a cup on your beautiful wooden table and forgot to lay a coaster first. Then you see an ugly white ring staining the original polished look of your furniture. Usually, heat and moisture are responsible for the white ring mark so using a method that combines both of those will also remove the stain.

cleaning lady in living room to remove stains on furnitureNo need to panic when coffee or wine spills over the edge of a cup or glass. Here are two methods. The first is a quick fix approach and the other a slightly more detailed fix. One of these methods will remove the white ring stains.

Method 1 A Quick Removal

This is really a quick application to a stain that has been created very recently. It may not work on stains left for many hours.

If the white rings are water stains, place a lint-free cloth over the stain. This should be a smooth piece of cloth for best results. You can also use cotton cloth or even a white t-shirt. Heat the iron to a warm setting but not too hot as this can possibly damage the wood. Ensure you use a steam iron for the process. Do not apply too much pressure on one spot as the heat should not overheat the wood surface.  Instead, move the iron repeatedly and glide over the cloth several times or until the stain has been removed.

This method can also be done with vegetable oil if the wood is oil based. Apply a small layer to a damp cloth and wipe over the stained area. This is because on oil finished table will only stain to the depth of the oil.

This will only work on wood and if after several attempts, the stain has not been removed, move on to Method 2.

Method 2 Free The Moisture

The iron method above should dry up the moisture and work. If not, some rubbing and buffing on the stained area can be enough to remove any stains. If your furniture bears a lacquer or an oil finish, a simple home remedy should remove the stain. Please bear in mind, this method will damage varnish or shellac surfaces, usually found on antique furniture. For antique furniture, speak to a specialist such as ourselves about stain removal.

Take a damp cloth and apply a non-soap ammonia solution or a mixture of baking soda and water. Next, rub carefully over the marked area and repeat in the wood grain direction for about 10 minutes. You should notice the rubbing breaks through to the stain depth. When this happens, the condensation will be removed. Once done, take a dry cloth and apply furniture wax to the treated area.

In future, keep the coasters handy, insist on guests using them and tackle white stains quickly. As a reminder, the stain only reaches the depth of the finish so a coating and buffing as per one of the above methods will clean the stain.