Your parents always nagged you about using coasters, which seemed unnecessarily fussy…until you noticed white rings popping up on your side tables. And dining room table. And, well, you get the idea. They’re annoying, but they don’t mean your counters are ruined.

If the wood rings are white or cloudy-colored, there’s an easy fix: Blast them with a hair dryer. Seriously. For well-set stains, the cleaning pros at Molly Maid say it can take up to 15 minutes to remove them. (And, once it’s mostly disappeared, they recommend conditioning the wood with olive oil, mineral oil or a little mayonnaise.) You’ll want to hold the dryer just an inch or two away from the ring, as shown in this video:

Sadly, this trick will not work on all wood stains. If the mark is black or dark in color, you’ll likely need to have your counter refinished. (The light color means the stain hasn’t reached the wood; it’s trapped under the finish, so the hot air removes the moisture, handyman Bob Vila explains.)

Suddenly, coasters don’t seem so fussy anymore.

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