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How to Remove Stains From Wood

This Foolproof Way to Remove Stains From Wood Is Unconventional, but Works Every Time

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One of the most frustrating things about owning wood furniture is trying to maintain that new look — but chips and stains are inevitable. As someone who likes to entertain and also has small children, I know.

My husband and I knew that keeping our wood coffee table looking fresh was going to be particularly challenging, so we researched ways to get the stains off, so we could easily tackle those cloudy ringed stains from a guest's drink or a baby's bottle as soon as possible. After some trial and error, we found a foolproof way to remove them. While some of the ingredients in this magic potion are a little weird, don't let that persuade you against trying it — it works every time!

  1. Grab about one tablespoon of an oil-based product, like butter, petroleum jelly, or my preferred choice, mayonnaise. The oils help break up the moisture within the wood.
  2. Gently rub the oil-based product into the wood.
  3. Leave it on the wood for a while — the longer, the better. I typically apply it in the evening and let it soak overnight.
  4. Next, find some cigarette or cigar ashes (about one teaspoon will do).
  5. Apply the ashes over the oil-based product and scrub the stain lightly.
  6. If the stain does not come out on the first shot, repeat the process a few more times. I promise it will eventually come out!
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