To remove water rings on furniture, hold the mayo |

Dear Mary: How can I get rid of white water rings on wooden tables? Many Thanks. – Amy

Dear Amy: There are homemade remedies out there, but I’ve seen marginal results using things like mayonnaise or other household products to remove the angry white spots you described.

I suggest that you save yourself a lot of time and frustration with a cloth treated with Homax White Ring Remover. It’s quite inexpensive, reusable, and works miraculously to remove heat and water stains from fine furniture without damaging the finish. With this cloth I was able to remove white rings – white, misty stains that were more than a decade old and had withstood every other conceivable treatment.

You can find this Homax product in stores like Ace Hardware, Walmart, and Amazon.

Dear Mary: I inherited some jewelry – diamonds and gold, probably not worth much. But I don’t carry any of it, and I might as well sell it and use it to pay off debt. Can you suggest a way to do this? – Sheri

Dear Sheri: I would call or visit a local independent jewelry store like the Johnson Jewelry Store, which operated for many years in Bellflower, California, or Wade’s Jewelry in Gibsonville, NC (both excellent examples of family run, highly respected businesses that I am part of) for a little show and tell. When they buy gold and gemstones, they’ll tell you on the spot what to pay based on the carat weight of the gold and the quality and authenticity of the gemstones. If they don’t buy at this point, they may have a recommendation on how best to liquidate those assets.

I would avoid big jewelry stores and ads that say, “We’re buying gold!” I would certainly not do this type of transaction online.

Dear Mary: I have a new carpet made from 100 percent New Zealand wool that has an unpleasant odor. How can I get rid of the odor? – Denise

Dear Denise: You’ll need to contact the manufacturer (you can find the name on a label and hopefully a phone number or website address). In the meantime, your carpet may go through a process called “degassing” as the chemicals used during the manufacturing process dissolve. If so, the odor will go away on its own within a few weeks. You can speed up this process by placing the rug in direct sun (I’d turn it right side down to prevent fading). Make sure it doesn’t get wet and bring it in when the sun goes down. I loved hearing from you and I wish you all the best with your beautiful new carpet.

Dear Mary: I love buying Jiffy’s small, packaged mixes because they are often so cheap. The problem is, I don’t always know what to do with them. Do you have any recipes that include these mixes? – Ruby

Dear Ruby: Oh, I love these mixes too. Have you seen the newest mix, the Honey Corn Muffin Mix? Yum! The staff at Chelsea Milling Co., maker of Jiffy Mixes, have you covered. They offer a wonderful free recipe book that has lots of new recipes as well as old favorites for all Jiffy mixes, including Jiffy Baking Mix and Jiffy Cornbread Mix. You can view the online version on the Jiffy Mix website or request a copy of the Jiffy Recipe Book by mail from Chelsea Milling Co., 201 W. North Street, PO Box 460, Chelsea, MI 48118-0460.

Mary invites you to go to, where this column of links and resources for all of our recommended products and services will be archived. Mary invites questions and comments at “Ask Mary”. Tips can be submitted at This column answers questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a thrifty blog, and author of the book, Debt-Proof Living.

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