Unless we have a large group over for dinner, my family doesn't use paper plates too often because, well... they just frustrate the mess out of me! If you buy a package of paper plates that advertises 500 what they usually don't tell you is that you are really only going to get about 200 plates because they have compressed them together so well. You could separate them, but by the time you pull apart the three that are stuck together, the plate is so thin it can't even hold even a piece of bread without folding in half (much less hold an entire meal). Some argue that styrofoam plates are more sturdy. True, but then you have the eco-friendly debates from your either anti-styrofoam or anti-dishwasher friends who both present such convening arguments you actually consider eating out of your hand for the rest of your life.
Finally, and the real reason for this post, I HATE what hot paper plates do to your wood furniture. Here is a picture of my kitchen table after a recent dinner we had with our small group. Yes, we do have a set of 12 wicker paper plate holders, but on the night in question we had a few more than 12 people eating with us and one paper plate (to my horror) was placed on the table. Can you even believe it? Who would do such a thing? Try an eat dinner by placing their plate ON the table! What nerve! (I'm completely kidding. And by the way, that person was actually ME.)
Well friends, just so you don't ever let a paper plate stain be the source of bitterness in your heart, I want to share with you a trick I learned a few years ago (right after we bought a brand new, solid wood, dining room table). Mayonnaise. Yep, you heard me right, mayonnaise. Just grab a spoon, plop a blob on the stain, and let it sit over night. With a little bit of time, the oil in the mayo rejuvenates the wood!
The next morning, take a dry rag, wipe off the mayonnaise, and voila`! Good as new! Hope it works for you if you ever have to deal with those pesky paper plates. ;)
By the way, just incase you're a skeptic and are looking at these pictures thinking, "That's not even the same table, much less the same spot on the table." I took these pictures at different times of the day. The first picture is from when I noticed the stain in the afternoon. The second is from when I placed the mayo on the table that evening (after my kids were in bed so they wouldn't be tempted to play in it). And the last picture was taken the following morning after cleaning up the mess.