Ever wonder how to remove heat stains from wood furniture? While they may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, white heat stain on wood are easy to remove if you know what you’re doing.

I recently tried to remove a heat stain from my wood table, and it didn’t go quite as planned. In fact, it was such a disaster that I thought I would share the steps with you in case you ever need to remove heat marks from wooden tables.

Hopefully, you will have better luck than I did!

What Are Heat Stains? 

As the name suggests, heat stains or heat marks are light discolorations that can appear on your wood furniture as a result of hot items sitting on the surface for extended periods. And by hot substances, we mean everything from hot dishes to hot coffee and even a hot pizza box.

While tables are usually durable and sturdy, they don’t react well to heat. Therefore, after placing a hot substance on the table, there’s the possibility of a cloudy, white stain appearing after. These stains affect the table’s aesthetics and may persist for years if you don’t remove them.

If you’re in a hurry, grab your toothpaste and follow these steps;

How to Remove Heat Stains from Wood

  • Clean the wood with a damp or dry cloth.
  • Add one tablespoon of toothpaste to two tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl to create a paste. 
  • Rub the mixture onto the heat stains and wait for about ten minutes.
  • Wipe off the paste with a cloth without pressing too hard on the wood.

What Causes White Heat Marks on Wood?

One clear point is – heat stains are caused by heat. However, heat isn’t the only culprit. Moisture is another factor that may contribute to the presence of heat stains. But, again, moisture is responsible for the change in appearance.

When you place a hot item on the table surface, the wood pores open.

Water then seeps into these pores, and when the temperature drops and the wood cools off, these pores close, trapping water in them. The moisture changes the appearance of the table, leaving behind a white stain. 

You may have also noticed black stain on wood. That’s something else.

Unlike white heat stains, black stains are a result of charring without involving moisture. The type of stain dictates the technique of removal. 

How to Get White Heat Marks off Wood Table

There’re several ways to remove heat rings from wood. That’s good news, considering how unappealing these stains are.

Below are eight of the best ways to remove heat stains from your wood furniture. 

Method 1: How to Remove White Heat Stains on Wood Table with Toothpaste

Toothpaste and baking soda combination is an excellent way to remove heat stains from wood furniture. This is because its alkaline nature makes it react with the stains, removing them.

You can’t use any toothpaste, though. What you need is the regular toothpaste – the white non-gel type. Gel toothpaste usually contains different ingredients that won’t work for heat stain. 

Mix the toothpaste and baking soda for the best results. Toothpaste usually contains baking soda but in minute amounts.  

Materials Needed 

  • Toothpaste 
  • Baking soda 
  • Clean cloth 

How to remove heat stains from wood table – Step by Step

  • Clean the table with a cloth, either damp or dry. 
  • Add one tablespoon of toothpaste to two tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl to create a paste. If you are struggling to get a paste, add a few drops of water. It is best to create your paste without water, though. 
  • Rub the mixture onto the white mark on the table and wait for about ten minutes to let the mixture work. 
  • Wipe off the paste with a cloth without pressing too hard on the table. 

Read Also: How to remove urine stains from hardwood floor

Method 2: How to Get Heat Stains out of Wood Using Hairdryers

Heat got the stains there in the first place, and heat can also get them out. It might not make much sense to apply even more heat when heat is the reason you have the problem in the first place.

But if done correctly, you can remove the stains without using any chemicals or the like. The purpose of adding heat is to reopen the table’s pores and drive the trapped moisture out.  

Materials Needed 

  • Hairdryer 
  • Cloth 

Steps to remove heat mark on wood table

  • Clean the surface of the table with a cloth and let it dry completely. 
  • Set the hair dryer to the lowest heat setting. 
  • Gently move the hairdryer over the heat mark until it disappears. 

Method 3: How to Remove Heat Stains from Wooden Table with Iron

This technique is related to the hairdryer method. The steam iron solution is another way of using heat to remove heat stains from wood furniture. You must ensure not to burn the table when using heat, though. Old wood furniture may also warp under heat.

Adding steam will help remove tough stains. Everything you do in this method has to be with the protection of a towel. Don’t run your iron directly over wood furniture. Also, check the wood surface to avoid applying heat after all the stains are off. 

Materials Needed 

  • Iron 
  • Steam 
  • Wood finish 
  • Cloth 

Steps to remove heat marks on wooden table

  • Clean the table with a damp cloth and let it dry. 
  • Place a towel over the heat stain. 
  • Set the iron to one of the lower heat settings and run it over the towel. Ensure the iron is moving over the towel, so the temperature doesn’t get too high. 
  • For tougher stains, apply steam when ironing. You can use a steam iron for this. An alternative is to sprinkle water on the towel and iron it till the water turns to steam.  
  • After the stain might have been removed, apply a wood finish. 

Method 4: Remove Heat stains from Wood with Mayonnaise 

Yes, you can use mayonnaise to remove heat stains on wood. Many oily substances like mayonnaise and petroleum jelly can help remove any white stains from wood furniture.

They do this by releasing the trapped moisture in the wood pores. However, don’t apply too much mayo to the wood furniture for easy cleaning. 

Materials Needed 

  • Mayonnaise 
  • Cloth 

How to remove heat stains from wood with mayonnaise

  • Clean the wood surface and let dry. 
  • Rub the mayonnaise over the heat mark and leave for two hours. 
  • Wipe off excesses with a dry cloth. 

Method 5: How to Get rid of Heat Marks on Wood Table with Oil and Salt 

This removal technique works with the same principle as mayonnaise. You can use lemon or olive oil.  

Materials Needed 

  • Olive oil 
  • Salt 
  • Cloth 

How to remove heat marks from wood veneer

  • Clean the surface of the wood veneer. 
  • Mix your oil product and salt in a bowl to form a paste. 
  • Apply the mixture to the heat mark and leave for an hour.  
  • Wipe off the mixture with a clean cloth without pressing too hard on the wood surface. 

Method 6: How to get Heat Marks out of Wood with Vinegar and Olive Oil 

Vinegar has a rich history of use as a cleansing agent for wood. When mixed with oil, you can get an effective stain removal mixture. You can use lemon or olive oil for this method. 

Materials Needed 

  • Vinegar 
  • Oil 
  • Cloth 

Steps to remove heat stain from wood table

  • Clean the surface of the table and let it dry completely. 
  • Mix equal parts of both constituents in a bowl. 
  • Apply the mixture over the white stains and leave it to act for an hour for the solution to act. 
  • Wipe off excesses with a dry cloth. 

Method 7: How to get Heat Marks off Wood with Steel Wool 

Super-fine steel wool may be an effective way of removing heat marks on wood furniture.

However, this approach is tricky as adding steel wool of the wrong grit or size may result in scratches on the wooden surface. And, let’s be honest with you, those will look worse than the stain. 

Materials Needed 

  • Fine grade Steel wool (#0000) 
  • Oil 
  • Clean cloth 

Steps to remove white stain on wood table

  • Clean the surface of the table and let it dry. 
  • Soak a ball of steel wool in oil. 
  • Gently rub the heat stain with the steel wool. Take care not to overdo it. 

Method 8: How to Remove White Heat Stains from Wood Table Through Wood Restoration 

This method is usually reserved for tough stains. We wouldn’t advise this approach until all others have been tried in vain.

Wood restoration is the go-to method if the white marks are embedded deep in the table. This DIY solution is also helpful for old furniture. 

Materials Needed 

  • Sandpaper 
  • Wood finish 

Steps to remove white marks on wood table

  • Sand the surface of the wood. With proper sanding, you will get to the stain after removing the layer of wood finish. 
  • After sanding, replace the wood finish or varnish. You may also repaint the wood if necessary. 
  • Alternatively, you can even use a black stain for wood if you want to transform the color into black without concealing the wood’s grain pattern.

Related: How to Remove Burn Marks from Wood.

Tips for Removing Heat Stains from Wood Table

You should consider various tips before you even learn how to fix heat marks on wood. Some of them are: 

Consult an expert 

While these methods seem easy to do, using the wrong one may be problematic. This is why you need to consult experts before embarking on the removal process.

In addition, there’re different types of wood, and they may react differently to various methods. Finally, if you have old furniture, you should also be extra careful as they are liable to warping and burning under heat. 

Try different Solutions 

There’s a reason we have listed so many techniques. If one isn’t working for you, move to the other. You should know after a few hours if a method will work. It likely won’t work with subsequent tries if it doesn’t work the first time.

We don’t subscribe to the idea of trying the same technique several times. If there aren’t significant changes, try another one.

Always check the Surface

When applying any one of the removal processes, ensure you check your table from time to time. This is because some stains may leave after a few minutes, and you may keep trying for hours.

Aside from wasting your own time and energy, you may also damage the table surface. This advice is even more critical when using heat. 

Proceed with Moderation

Okay, this is the final tip and the most important we will give. Please don’t overdo it.

We get that you may be desperate and all, but overdoing any of these processes usually makes matters worse. What use is removing a heat mark when you end up destroying the whole table? 

How to Prevent Heat Marks on Wood Table

Sure, you now know how to get rid of white spots on wood table – but how about preventing them?

People say prevention is better than cure, and it couldn’t be more true for wood maintenance. To prevent the stains from appearing at all, ensure you use coasters for hot cups and dishes. 

For items like a pizza box, you can get table mats. They will prevent direct contact between the hot items and the wooden table surface. Another way of preventing them from appearing is wax and varnish.

A quick fix to avoid a heat-damaged wood table is using books and trays if you don’t have coasters or wood mats. Ensure hot items don’t directly come in contact with your wooden surface.  

How to Protect Wood Table from Heat Marks

Using coasters or heat mats is the best way to protect your wooden furniture from burns.

Keep hot items from directly interacting with other surfaces by placing something between them.

For instance, if you can get heat mats, a book might protect the surface so long as it doesn’t have any delicate pages that might be damaged easily due to their weight.

You can still learn how to get rid of black burn marks on wood if you fail to protect the surface initially.

Heat stain on wood FAQs 

Can I remove heat rings on wood table myself? 

Yes, you can remove white heat marks by yourself. However, you may need to consult a wood expert before choosing a method, even though they look like easy DIY solutions. It would be best if you procured the tools for the specific removal process you choose.

How long does it take to remove heat stain? 

This depends on the type of removal method you use. Some take as little as 10 minutes, and some may take hours. Anything more than a few hours tends towards excessive, though. 

Does heat stain resolve naturally? 

No, they usually don’t. Heat marks may even get more stubborn with time! So, you shouldn’t leave anything to chance, and ensure you remove heat rings as soon as you notice them. 

How can I remove white heat marks from a table? 

There’re many ways to remove heat spots from tables. Some involve heat, some require oily mixtures, and for others, you may need more thorough and violent means, like sanding. Choose the method you feel is best for your wood. 

How do you Remove Heat Stains from Wood Tables Summary

Our blog post has shown you how to get white heat marks off wood tables. These methods should be tried out before using any chemical products on your expensive and cherished furnishings!

Give these DIY solutions a try and let us know if they work for you. We’ve also put together some helpful tips on how to clean water marks on raw wood, so make sure to read those as well.

3 thoughts on “How to Remove Heat Stains From Wood Table”

  1. Just my own experience… tried mayonnaise first, no change in stain. Next I tried the hairdryer method with no change. Finally the toothpaste & baking soda- STAINS ARE GONE and I’m very thankful and relieved.


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