When you have kids (or husbands), it’s inevitable that your furniture is going to take a beating. Sweaty glasses left without coasters, hot pizza boxes, thin kid dinner plates placed directly on the table without a trivet and your beautiful wooden furniture is covered in burn marks and water stains. And it looks likes it’s headed for Goodwill in a few years. If you’re like me, you actually love your wood furniture and really don’t want to get rid of it, especially until the kids are a little older (no sense in ruining a brand new one in a few months!).
Before you start moping over your burned and water-stained furniture, check out some of these tried and tested tactics for restoring them! I do want to say that not every tactic will work on every piece of furniture, because your wood and finish are unique to your table. Luckily, these are mild enough that you should be able to try most of them without further damaging your furniture. Good luck!
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda has been my tried and true remover of white burn marks on my wooden table for years. Make a thick paste using a little bit of water and then buff into the white or cloudy marks. Do not make the paste too watery, or you will then end up with a water stain! The grittiness of the baking soda works to remove the stain, so you can check your progress as you work. Wash off and follow up with a furniture polish to restore shine.
Get over to eHow.com to get even more tips on restoring your wood furniture.
2. Iron & White Cloth
Ironically, sometimes reapplying heat to a spot caused by heat such as a hot plate or cup, can remove the damage. Set your iron to medium heat and place several thin layers of white cloth on top of the heat spot on your furniture. Move the iron over the cloth in 10-15 second intervals and check to see progress. It’s helpful to remove and wipe down any moisture in between applications! And be very careful not to use this method with furniture that has a shellac finish!
Check out the amazing results over at LittleGreenNotebook.com!
3. Blow Dryer
Just like the iron, a blow dryer can have similar effects for water rings and water stains. Hold the iron over the post, making small passes, and watch careful to see if the spot is removed. This may take upwards of 15-20 minutes depending on age and severity of the mark!
You won’t believe how great this worked!
Whip out your regular toothpaste (NOT gel!) and apply with gentle pressure over your water stains. Allow it to penetrate and then wipe off. This may take several applications.
Visit Hative.com for 19 more amazing cleaning hacks!
Don’t be afraid to tackle old water stains that may be years old. Slather on some garden variety Mayo from the fridge and allow to penetrate at least 30 minutes, but even up to overnight. Wipe off and polish and you will be amazed at how improved your furniture looks!
Sometimes-Homemade.com has this tip, along with the results and a baking soda paste version as well!
6. Salt & Olive Oil
In some cases, making a thick paste with salt and olive oil can help remove old water spots from your precious pieces. The salt works to try moisture out of the wood, while the olive oil evens out the appearance.
Check out more info on this method over at SweetParrishPlace.com, and other awesome finds and fixes for thrifted furniture!
7. Paste Wax & Steel Wool
I too was the victim of my own stupidity and laid a piece of warm (not HOT) bread on my kitchen table. The result was a disgusting dull spot that stood out on an otherwise shiny table. I tried most of the items on this list, but was having a hard time removing it because the spot wasn’t white or cloudy, and it wasn’t due to moisture.
I was THIS CLOSE to starting a savings account for refinishing my table when I asked a fellow woodworker friend (who does custom pieces so I highly recommend him!) if he had any suggestions. He brought up Paste Wax and my dilemma was solved. I tried just applying it with a rag, but the coat did not remove the damage underneath.
So I applied it with some 0000 Steel Wool (do NOT use any other grit or it will scratch up your table!), going with the grain and then buffed out. I did 2 applications to really get the spot out (which I think was actually just damage to the original wax in the first place) and it looks nearly perfect. That’s actually my table pictured above! It’s a good idea to wax your table 2x a year anyways to protect your finish, so invest in that $10 can of paste wax!
Which of these tips for removing water stains was your favorite? And do you have any other tricks? Let us know in the comments below!
Want more tips on removing difficult stains? Check out our article on removing 8 of the most difficult stains here.