how to remove heat stains from wood table

How to Remove Heat Stains From Wood Table

White stains from furniture can be experienced by even the most careful furniture owners, whether you were the one who caused the stain, or somebody else who was uncareful enough to cause the damage. Those white spots stand out against the brown grains of wood, hurting the overall beauty of your furniture. The good news is that you can either completely remove or at least reduce those white spots using items that can be found in your home, and prepare your furniture to look new again! In this tutorial, you will learn how to remove heat stains from a wood table.

What You Need

  • Iron
  • Cloths (for cleaning)
  • Towel
  • Finishing solution
  • Toothpaste
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon oil

Step-by-Step instructions

There are different methods on how to remove heat stains from wood tables. Let us consider each one.

The Iron Method

The iron method uses heat to open the pores of the wood grain, thus enabling moisture to surface. While this may appear like a counter intuition to utilize more heat to solve the problem caused by heat, but this process is actually effective in reversing the stain and removing the spot.

Step 1 – Clean the Surface

In order to prepare everything, make sure that the surface is clean, properly cleaned. You may want to use a damp or dry cloth in order to wipe the dirt and make sure that the wood surface is dry after.

Step 2 – Heat the Iron

Set the iron to dry, low heat, not using steam.

Step 3 – Apply Heat

For this step, you may want to use a towel in covering the heat stain, applying heat from the iron over it. It is recommended to move the iron constantly to make sure that the heat is not intense and concentrated. Some older furniture items may warp when applied heat for too long.

Step 4 – Apply Steam

If the stain is annoyingly tough, perhaps an old one, it may need steam. However, it is not recommended to try using steam until you are sure that the heat stain will not be removed without it. When applying steam, use a towel in order to protect the furniture from direct moisture and heat. Apply steam only in smaller amounts, and not for a longer period.

Step 5 – Check and Apply Finish

Check to see if the heat has been removed completely. Lift the towel and check the surface. After removing the stain, remove the heat. Apply finish to provide protection to the table against further damage. Next time, you may want to invest in coasters and heat mats.

Toothpaste Method

Toothpaste may also be used in lifting stains because it is alkaline, thus having the capacity to react and remove stains. While toothpaste alone is fine, mixing it with baking soda will give it more strength. Choose a non-gel or white toothpaste because using gel toothpaste may not work.

Step 1 -­ Clean the Surface

Use either a damp or dry cloth in cleaning the wood surface and make sure that it is completely dry before you continue.

Step 2 – Combine toothpaste and baking soda

Combine toothpaste and baking soda in a dish and form a paste. Water may be needed for this, though you may want to see if paste can be formed without adding water first.

Step 3 – Apply

Apply the paste to the stain. You may need a few minutes to allow the solution to react with the moisture found on wood.

Step 4 – Remove the Paste

Remove the paste gently using a clean cloth. Make sure that you do not put too much pressure.

Lemon Oil

Lemon oil can also be used in removing heat stains.

Step 1 – Use lemon oil and apply it on a clean cloth.

Step 2 – Use the cloth, rubbing it over the stain to remove it.

Restoring Wood

At times, stains caused by heat may be too old and deep to remove using the methods mentioned above. As this happens, your wood furniture can still be restored, though it may need more work.

Step 1 – Sand the surface for the wood furniture or table surface until the stain is completely removed.

Step 2 – It is very important that you restore the appearance of the table using lacquer or oil in order to protect it, finishing it after the stain is completely removed.


By learning how to remove heat stains from the wood table, you can remove those white marks. However, expect to show a little more patience and making sure that you use the right technique for the process. Note that older heat stains may require more work. It is recommended to test a solution first on a smaller patch of your wood table or other surface items before applying it to a bigger area. However, if you are not sure, you may want to consult an expert first. If you think that this tutorial is helpful to you, feel free to share it! Do not hesitate to leave your thoughts in the comments section below!