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5 DIY Remedies for Furniture Water Rings

Remove the toughest water rings from your wood furniture using simple household ingredients and a little elbow grease.

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Wipe Out Water Rings

All it takes is one sweating glass or steamy plate and you’ll be forever reminded of it in the form of an ugly white water ring on your wood tabletop. You can often dry up a fresh ring using a hair dryer on a low setting. Most established rings, however, require some form of abrasion. Here are five time-tested methods.

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1. Salt and Corn Oil

Mix equal parts of corn oil and salt, rub it into the ring, and then polish it off with a clean cloth.

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2. Salt and Lemon Oil

Pour a little lemon oil onto a rag and dip it in ½ teaspoon of salt. Gently rub the rag over the spot. If the ring starts to lighten, repeat the process using vinegar instead of lemon oil. (Not recommended for shellac finishes.)

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3. Baking Soda and Toothpaste

Mix equal amounts of white toothpaste and baking soda and apply it to a rag. Rub in the paste moving parallel to the wood grain, wipe it off, and then polish with lemon oil.

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4. Lemon Oil and Steel Wool

Lightly rub the stain with extra-fine-grade steel wool dipped in lemon oil. Once the ring is gone, polish the table with lemon oil and buff with a clean cloth.

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5. Ashes and Mayonnaise

Mix the ash from one cigarette in a tablespoon of mayonnaise. Dip a rough cloth in the mixture and rub it vigorously into the ring. Polish when done.