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Posted on: Mar 24, 2016

Tips for Cleaning Wooden Furniture to Remove Cup Ring Marks

No matter how many coasters you place around the table, there’s always one person that ignores your rules and puts their drinking glass straight down onto the wooden surface! The result is an unsightly cup ring mark that can be difficult to remove. Not only are we faced with the challenge of removing the mark, but we also have to be incredibly careful as using the wrong cleaning tools or solutions may cause long lasting damage to the wooden surface.

If you're looking for easy ways to remove those unsightly cup ring marks from your wooden furniture, we have a few handy tips for cleaning wooden furniture for you to follow.

3 Tips for Cleaning Wooden Furniture to Remove Cup-Ring Marks:

Using Oils to Remove Cup-Ring Marks

Grease and oils are often a nightmare to deal with when cleaning, yet when it comes to removing cup ring marks, they actually provide a great cleaning aid! The fatty oils in things such as mayonnaise or olive oil helps to re-condition the wood, and when used as a cleaning solution, can leave your table stain-free and looking as good as new1.

Mayonnaise meth

You will need:

  • Full-fat mayonnaise
  • Paper towel
  • Soft cloth

Add a generous amount of full-fat mayonnaise to a paper towel, and then apply it to the stain until it is completely covered. Leave it to sit overnight so that the wood begins to absorb the stain, before rubbing it away with a soft clean cloth the next day. Repeat the process the following night, and you should find that the stain has completely vanished!

Olive oil method

You will need:

  • Olive oil
  • Soft Cloth

Apply olive oil generously to a soft, clean cloth and use it to gently rub the stain. Once the wood has thoroughly absorbed the oil, the stain should disappear.

Using Heat to Remove Cup-Ring Marks

Another tip for cleaning wooden furniture to remove cup-ring marks is to use heat. More often than not, cup ring marks are caused by hot steam or cool water droplets that become trapped between the outer varnish of your table and the wood1. In these cases, simply using heat from the likes of a hairdryer or an iron can eliminate those stubborn marks by drying them out.

Hairdryer method

You will need:

  • Hairdryer
  • Soft cloth
  • Olive Oil

This method is great for particularly tough ring mark stains, but does require a little patience. Put the hairdryer onto a medium heat setting and hold the nozzle 2-4 inches away from the mark, for 10 seconds at a time2. Repeat this process until the stain has disappeared. Then, simply use a little olive oil to polish the wood, and the unsightly cup ring mark will be history.

Iron method

You will need:

  • Iron
  • Old T-shirt

Set the temperature of your iron to a low or medium heat. Then, place an old t-shirt over the stain and gently press the iron down onto the shirt for a few seconds. Ensure that you only hold the iron down for a few seconds as leaving it pressed down for too long can cause damage to the wood. If the stain is still there once you've removed the towel, allow the area to cool before repeating the process, and keep repeating until the stain has completed disappeared.

More Abrasive Methods of Removing Cup-Ring Marks

If conditioning or drying the cup-ring stains don’t work, sometimes a slightly more abrasive method is needed. In this case, ingredients such as toothpaste, lemon, salt and vinegar will often do the trick.

Toothpaste method

You will need:

  • White non-gel toothpaste
  • Soft cloth

Place a blob of toothpaste onto a soft cloth, and start working it into the stained area until the wood begins to heat up3. Then, dampen the cloth and wipe the toothpaste away. If the stain still hasn’t moved, repeat the process until it has completely gone.

Lemon, Salt and Vinegar method

You will need:

  • Lemon juice
  • White vinegar
  • Table salt
  • Soft cloth

Mix together lemon juice, salt and vinegar to form a paste. Now use the paste to scrub the marked area in a circular motion until the stain has gone4. Finish off by wiping the area clean using a damp cloth, and polish with some olive oil to make your table really shine.

So the next time that you notice embarrassing stains on your wooden table, don’t panic! Just try one of these simple tips for cleaning wooden furniture to remove cup-ring marks , and your furniture will be back to normal in no time.


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