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Why you should NEVER use bicarbonate of soda to remove ring

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MUG rings are a pain for anyone with a wooden coffee table – and while most of us are keen coaster users, we all forget to pop one down sometimes. 

The only thing worse than a ring mark is the stain left behind when you’ve tried to clean it but it won’t budge. 

Not using a coaster can you ruin your wooden coffee table

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Not using a coaster can you ruin your wooden coffee tableCredit: Getty
But using bicarbonate of soda to remove it can make the mark even worse

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But using bicarbonate of soda to remove it can make the mark even worseCredit: Facebook

A holiday let owner has revealed her annoyance at her short-term tenants not using coasters under their glasses and mugs in her seaside home.  But that’s not the worst of it. 

Jenny Rusdell’s mum attempted to remove the ring mark with bicarbonate of soda, making the stain much darker and worse than it initially was.

She took to Facebook group Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips to share the dilemma and seek help for getting the dark stain out. 

“This was a ring mark from a mug in our holiday let where we scatter numerous coasters,” Jenny penned. 

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“My mum attempted to remove this with a bicarbonate of soda and water paste.

“Unfortunately, it made it much worse.”

The result was a large black mark on the solid oak table with a visible scrub trail. 

That’s because baking soda reacts with chemicals in wood to cause a dark stain that it’s near impossible to get out. 

The natural chemicals found in wood are tannins, an organic substance from the bark of trees to protect the tree from being infected by bacteria or fungi.

The pH of tannins varies from one type of wood to another, but it is likely any contact with baking soda will cause a darkening reaction. 

Jenny’s post attracted mass attention and the main suggestion for removing the dark stain was actually in the fridge. 

Most people urged her to use mayonnaise on the dreaded mark. 

“Mayo will sort that out,” one person said. 

”Mayonnaise,” another advised. “Cover it for 15 minutes then wipe with a kitchen towel and polish or repeat if required.”

Others recommended leaving the mayonnaise on for 30 minutes for maximum results.

Mayonnaise is said to remove stains from wood by displacing any moisture trapped inside it that’s causing the dark mark.

However, some cleaning fans were less optimistic about using mayonnaise, believing the paste residue will be impossible to remove without sanding down the wood.

“Nothing will fix this except sanding it down with a fine sandpaper and then varnish,” one woman suggested. 

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“A similar thing happened to me. Oak has a chemical reaction to everything, pretty much. 

“That’s why it’s gone dark grey.”



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