White rings and marks on furniture are caused by water or water vapor coming into prolonged contact with the finish. Toothpaste is a gentle abrasive, and the paste, not gel, kind of toothpaste, buffed onto the stain with a dry cloth may just get rid of it. A paste made of baking soda and water works in a way similar to the toothpaste; just leave it on a little longer, about 30 minutes. In my next blog , with these caveats in mind, I offer up five different methods for getting the white out. If you live in an environment with high humidity, you should consider getting an air conditioner that has the capacity to minimize this effect. If that is impossible or doesn’t work, try a solution of mild detergent and water.
WATER AND OTHER SPILLS : Standing water can warp a poorly finished hardwood floor and can damage the finish. If you find that most home remedies don’t work, you should consider getting some professional help in solving the problem. Dip a soft cloth — an old T-shirt will do — into a mild solvent such as mineral spirits or paint thinner (odorless). We used the t-shirt and medium heat iron on our fresh water ring (left from a hot cup of tea). When dealing with water or oil stains on wood, we basically fix it by using the opposite stuff.
For more serious water stains, lightly sand with fine sandpaper, clean the spot with No. 1 or 00 steel wool and mineral spirits or floor cleaner then refinish and wax. Peter Triestman, the owner of Olek Lejbzon & Company, furniture restorers in Newark, recommended a similar fix — an automotive rubbing compound or even toothpaste, both rubbed gently with a rag. The water stains in this table have been there for at least 9 months so we thought it unlikely that there was any moisture to extract at all from from the table. I have a few white stains on the furniture and walls of my vein center I was wondering, if visiting my website you would guess the type of finish used.
This is very important because unlike water polish with oil polish I realized I need to get the table extremely hot and then it pushes” the water out of the table (yes you can see beads of it) and the towel should soak it up right away otherwise it goes back. Though a controversial treatment for surface finishes, floor polish or wax can give you a good-looking floor in a matter of minutes.
This will generally turn the dark spots to a off white color, which you will have to blend in with a light colored wood stain to match the color of your finished wood floor. Depending on how old and deep the depression is, it may be necessary to steam the area several times to remove it. I was able to remove the white stains by using ground pumice stone, same as you would to rub out a finish. Some people recommend letting it sit for awhile but because this works via abrasion and not water extraction we went to work on the stain after only a couple minutes. They can build up and create problems when it’s time to put a maintenance coat on the floor.
If it’s wet then you have to WAIT until it’s dry before you treat it. Then you can apply wood bleach etc. If methyl hydrate does little, wood bleach is available that can be used to lighten the entire area to allow for refinishing. Cover the water spot with a cloth towel and rub the iron over the towel for a few seconds. White rings are easier to handle, using simple household items not associated with home repair: mayonnaise or a hair dryer.
To apply, sprinkle a generous amount of the Barkeeper’s Friend cleanser into a glass or ceramic mixing bowl (the Oxalic Acid it contains can discolor metals) and make a fairly thick paste by adding water. If water is wiped from the surface, there will be no water stains and no dirt buildup. Experience with ground pumice stone helps, i use a small amount of distilled water as a lubricant.
It is caused by minerals naturally present in the water that are left on a surface and allowed to air dry. I just had another thought – I’ve restored some old military surplus rifles that come packed in cosmoline (a thick, greasy type of vasoline). One part dish soap or laundry soap to two parts water makes one of the best cleaners for removing grease.
Oxalic acid, a compound used in wood restoration, is often recommended because it typically does not change the color of the wood itself. I did a bit more research and it seems like this method really only will work on recent water stains or white/ light colored stains because the light color is a sign that the moisture hasnt reached the actual wood- it is just trapped in the finish.
I was very afraid to try the iron and cloth method on my dining room table but after trying everything else I decided to try it. After 5 minutes of moving the iron around the water mark was gone. Wipe the soapy water and the vinegar solution on a hidden area of the paneling before cleaning the water stains to make sure it does not discolor the wood. Now there are also a few products on the market that claim to get rid of white spots but I don’t have much experience with them. As the product loosens the uric crystals from the wood; the plastic will also help to draw the urine to the surface.
I ended up using a clothes iron (like CraigA above), set to medium heat (no steam), and a double thickness of terry cloth as a barrier. Unlike the spar varnish on a boat, furniture finishes are not impervious to water. Sean Ledoux is a designer/master fine craftsman working with wood and other found media to create unique furniture. Then wipe the wood clean with a soft cloth, apply two coats of hard furniture wax, and buff the surface to a shine.