Water damage dresser

My first instance of guest stupidity and discourtesy. I spoke to them on check out, they didn’t mention issue. I have new guests coming Thursday, no time to experiment with refinishing. They left as wet towel on dresser top, now it’s a huge white mess all over top and front of top drawer. Too bad I can’t post pic. I’m going to see if I can find dresser at thrift shop, then submit claim.

I feel your pain. We have a laundry hamper in the guest room, but almost every guest leaves their wet towels and washcloths draped over the wood chair and bookcase. I recommend that you replace the wood dresser with one that can withstand moisture.

We stayed in a place in Rome that had a free-standing towel rack in the bedroom. I thought that was a good idea as, yes, people leave wet towels everywhere. I hate it when they leave them on the beds! I have in my house rules to put all the used towels in the shower before they leave. That has mostly solved the towel problem at check-out but who knows what they do with the towels during their stay!

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I would add a freestanding towel rack to our bathroom if there was room, but alas there isn’t. I don’t know if it would solve the problem though. Guests like to wear their towels back and forth to the bathroom. Also, we have hooks in the bathroom and in the guest room closet which go unused. We just assume that wet towels will be placed wherever and purchase furniture accordingly.

The “white mess” sounds like a mega version of the white rings which water glasses can leave on furniture. You might try spraying it with an aerosol furniture cleaner like Pledge ™ and giving it a rub down with a rag. If that does remove the stain, you probably then should give the dresser a couple coats of polyurethane of similar varnish to protect it from moisture.

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If it can’t be salvaged, you could consider a tablecloth type cover on it.

Thoughts re review for this guest. The place was left clean, but the failure to disclose the damage makes me unhappy to give a thumbs up. I’m going to put a cloth on it for now, try to rescue finish when I have time. Couldn’t find a replacement today.

I have a drying rack and guests still use the wood furniture.

It is possible to eliminate the white water rings and water stains left by cups and towels, but it takes patience and time. It also may not work on every wood surface and it is possible to make it worse. This trick was explained to me by a well known woodworker and friend. I have done it several times over the years and it has worked great. Use a smooth dish towel, not too thick and not too thin - and definitely not a bath type towel (too lumpy bumpy for this process). Use a dry clothes iron. (I usually dump all the water out and make sure that it heats up for a little bit before I start, making sure that there is no water that might accidentally create steam) Set the iron to the very lowest setting and iron the water spot on the table surface through the dish towel. What you are doing is heating the moisture in the white stain, which has been forced into the wood, and drawing it out. Lighter stains will go away more quickly. I once had a stubborn one that was so deep, that I left the iron on over the stain and forgot about it! I came back hours later. Of course the table was really hot, but there wasn’t any damage to the cloth or the table and the stain was gone. I don’t recommend this method, but it does demonstrate that some stains take longer to eliminate than others.

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