Need a Coaster for That?

We have a ton of place mats, coasters and cork trivets to keep hot and cold things off of our wooden furniture.  Unfortunately, I used my place mats as backdrops for flowers and trivets as dust collectors this weekend and ended up with these “bruises” on our dining table.

Yikes!  Look at all of those white marks which were left behind by hot dishes.  I’ve tried getting these “water” stains out of wood before, but have had little success.  A few websites suggested leaving mayo or oil on the stain to draw the water out.  It only results in an annoyed husband who accidentally touches it.  I was hopeless when I saw these new stains, but looked online once again for a different solution.

Strange as it sounds, there are an overwhelming amount of people who have used steam to get the water stains out of finished wood tables.  The white marks are due to water that is trapped under the finish and the steam is supposed to draw out the water.  The trick is to iron on top of a cotton dish towel and then wipe away the steam that come up.  I decided to try it since it couldn’t get any worse, right?

Wrong.  I made an even bigger white mark on the table.  I had just started when C urgently called my name from the closet project so I stopped what I was doing to help him.  When I came back, the area where I had ironed had turned into an iron sized white stain.  I realized it was probably because I left the hot, wet towel on the table and decided to try again.  Once again, it couldn’t get any worse, right?

Right!  With the iron double wrapped in the dish towel and the steam on full blast, I ironed from side to side for 4 seconds.  With a different and dry towel, I quickly wiped any water that had accumulated.  It took several tries over the same area, but eventually I was able to get most of the water stains out.


It could use a few more passes with iron, but I got hungry and ate dinner.  With a place mat of course.

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One Response to Need a Coaster for That?

  1. Rob-Dawg says:

    Cool! I’m going to try this on our coffee table! We have the same type of stain from a cup of tea.

    @BL – Time to bust out the iron.

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