Mayonnaise Is The Secret To Cleaning Water Rings Off Your Table

If you have a wooden coffee table, nightstand, or dining room table, you may wind up with light-colored stains on the surface caused by water damage. When wet glasses or dishes are placed on wood, the moisture or condensation can seep into the tabletop, leaving behind an unsightly white stain. Unlike other types of stains, merely scrubbing at these marks it will not remove them. This isn't to say that getting rid of them is hard — one handy ingredient that may be in your fridge already, mayonnaise, is a superhero stain remover that can restore your wood's fresh and pristine look.

The best part about using mayonnaise to remove the stain is that there's no need to put in any elbow grease. All you need to do is spread the mayo on the stain, top it off with a paper towel, and let the mayo work its magic. After a few hours, just wipe away the mayo and your wood should be refreshed back to its unblemished finish. If the stain happens to be a stubborn one, merely apply the mayo again and let it sit longer to get the job done.

How does mayo remove water stains?

Using an oily condiment to clean might seem counterintuitive, but the fat in mayonnaise is exactly what gives it the power to remove water stains. The fat that comes from the egg yolks and oil sinks into the stain and displaces the water that has soaked into the wood. So, for this trick to work best, be sure to use a traditional style of mayo instead of a lower-fat or vegan version.

The other mayo ingredient that helps with the removal of water rings is vinegar. Vinegar is already known for being an effective household cleaner. For this hack, it's particularly effective, because mayo is just acidic enough to help dissolve the stain without damaging the wood.

If you don't have a jar of mayonnaise on hand, you're not completely out of luck — you can easily make your own homemade mayonnaise. Or, you can combine oil and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio and see if that mixture lifts the stains off the wood. If you use the latter method, you will likely need to rub the stain away rather than just applying it and letting it work on its own, but it's definitely worth a shot.

Other household uses for mayonnaise

If you've only been using mayonnaise as a sandwich spread or a way to upgrade your scrambled eggs, you've been missing out on its ability to make household chores easier. Simple tasks like removing leftover adhesive from price tags or labels from jars, mugs, and other dishes are made easier with mayo. Just spread it over the area that's sticky and leave it to do its work of dissolving the glue. In less than half an hour, you should be able to easily remove the label and wipe away the stickiness.

If you have stainless steel appliances, you know how easily they might get marked with fingerprints, food stains, and other signs of use. To return a stovetop, oven handle, or refrigerator to its previous sparkling-clean appearance, place mayonnaise over the surface you want to clean, then simply wipe it away with a clean rag or paper towel. 

If your floors are showing signs of wear and tear, such as scratches and scuffs, mayo can fix that, too. Use the same strategy as you would for cleaning the water rings off of wood, allowing the condiment to sit overnight. In the morning, just use a damp sponge or towel to wipe it up and reveal your revitalized floor. Mayo can be so useful that even if you don't like eating it, it might be worth keeping in your fridge for when messes and stains strike.