We all have that special table in our homes. We can’t bear to part with it. It came from Great Grandma and it’s been through every house move we’ve made. It’s still got some life left in it, but it’s got rings! Water marks. Wine or coffee cup imprints. Stark white circles on beautifully old dark wood where the kids (or the adults!) left their glasses a little too long for the good of the wood, ignoring the coasters that were sitting in plain view. The table still serves its purpose. Alas, it just isn’t so pretty anymore. Here are our tips for banishing the ghostly rings.

If Not This, Then That! Follow this sequence of fixes:

#1 – Rub the area with oily furniture polish, mayonnaise or petroleum jelly. If the stain disappears, skip to #6. If not, move on to step 2.

#2 – Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste (white paste type, not gel) on a wet cloth and gently rub on the stain. If it disappears, skip to #6. If not, try step 3.

#3 – Mix equal parts baking soda & toothpaste together. Rub slightly stronger, yet still mild onto the mark. If that gets rid of it, skip to #6. If not, try step 4.

#4 – Clean the area with a damp cloth, then proceed to step 5.

#5 – Dip a soft cloth (like an old T-shirt) into mild solvent such as mineral spirits. Squeeze excess moisture & rub gently until the stain is gone. Try on an inconspicuous area first.

#6 – After the mark is gone, rub with paste wax to finish.

Your blow dryer isn’t just for your hair! Use it on medium heat and pass back and forth over the water marks,  2-3 inches above the mark. The heat will soften the finish and release the moisture.

Pass the salt! Mix 1 teaspoon salt with a few drops of water to form a paste. Gently rub the paste onto the ring with a soft cloth or sponge and work it over the spot until it’s gone. Restore the luster of your wood with furniture polish. At Buckets & Bows Maid Service, we love Premium Furniture Polish from Speed Cleaning.

Cigarettes can kill but their ashes take out water marks! Mix butter and cigar or cigarette ashes together to make a paste. Apply in a circular motion to the water marks with a soft cloth, and then wipe clean with the non-greasy part of the cloth.

Thanks to our sources for their tips to restore Grandma’s table.

How to Fix Everything for Dummies 

6 Tips to Try from Reader’s Digest 

Ask a Clean Person