Removing Heat and Water Marks from Wood Furniture

I am trying to get a heat stain off my pine table. As well as water marks? Any suggestions?

Tanya from Milton, ON



Removing Heat and Water Marks from Wood Furniture

For heat marks or water marks on wood furniture, mix some wood ashes with mayonnaise (really!) and rub the glop into the stain with a soft cloth. You may have to use more than one application, but there's a good chance the stain will become invisible. Once it has disappeared, polish with regular furniture polish. And next time, use a trivet or a coaster!

By Becki in Indiana

Ashes on Light Oak

This worked wonderfully-but now I have black from the ashes in the grain of the wood (light oak). Any ideas how to remove that?

By Kim

HairDryer to Remove Water Marks from Wood Furniture

Try a hairdryer, heat the watermarked spot, using a very soft cloth to rub hard. The sooner the better, but sometimes will work with old watermarks. Cloth must be absolutely soft -- no seams or anything that will scratch the finish. A diaper is best. Let sit and cool. Then apply your regular furniture polish. (05/11/2005)


By Robert

Thanks for the Tip

Thank-you so much! This worked on a white heat mark that had gone through from a hot teapot on a thick rush mat!! Also worked on 2 white heat marks that had happened last Christmas. I mean, these were not small marks! Thought my pine table was ruined but thanks to your tip it looks as good as it ever did! (09/27/2005)

By Cornish Queen

Mayo With Ash Worked, Mayo Alone Didn't

I had already tried Mayonnaise on a water stain and it didn't work. So I got some ashes out of the wood-stove, mixed the mayo again and this time it worked! Thank you so much! (10/12/2005)

By Sharon Forbes


I just couldn't believe this when I read it but having tried all else on a very large heat mark on a dark mahogany table (and yes I did have mats out) I thought I had nothing to lose. Miraculous- Thanks! (11/13/2005)


By Anne Davies

Hairdyer and a Diaper

Hairdryer and diaper worked great on a white watermark on antique sewing machine with original finish. First tried mayo only with little or no results Wiped up mayo and then heated stain with hair dryer while rubbing with diaper. Stain is completely gone.

Thank so much (12/12/2005)

By Rick

Mayonnaise and Ash

I had previously tried everything and this morning found your site and also the mayonnaise and ash trick I cannot believe how ridiculously easy it has been to remove a white heat mark on our large antique dining room table!
A big thank you!! (12/18/2005)

By Rod (UK)

Aloe and Baking Powder

i tried aloe vera oil and baking powder and it worked better than anything I'd seen in my life. (12/31/2005)

By pongo

Hair Dryer

Hairdryer worked great on a 3 day old watermark. Just hold it close to the wood and watch it disappear. AMAZING! (01/15/2006)

By William from GA

Burnt Some Paper and Twigs for Ash

Thank you! I didn't have any wood ashes, so I burnt some paper and twigs and got the ashes. It worked! my favorite dining table is saved! (01/18/2006)

By wendy


My Mother always used Mayonnaise to remove water stains from any of the wood furniture. Depending on how the water was on it you may need to leave the mayo on the surface for a long time. (01/26/2006)

By Jackie


Wow - really works - Felt a bit daft mixing the mayo but watched the mark disappear - thank you ! (03/09/2006)

By John in Grandborough UK

Mayo and Ash

How great it was to see that others "in-the-know" are able to pass on these old tricks of the trade. My grandfather who was one of the great Master Craftsman of Grand Rapids, Michigan Furniture making fame - used this same formula for working "magic" on many priceless pieces of furniture that passed through his hands. He never once had a complaint, and as many have already observed, it's such an "easy fix". Grandpa said it's because of the fats in the oil - and the wood still was porous and would drink in the oil once it was broken down with heat. I'd love to know how many gallons of mayo went onto the furniture he so lovingly cared for. He not only built priceless pieces, but, cared for old ones that were brought to him by folks to who sought out the very best hands to care for their furniture. Thanks for the opportunity to give him one more pat on the back, Bev in Grand Rapids (04/19/2006)

By Beverly K. Combs


WoW it really worked. Thanks for the help. (08/01/2006)

By Nick


Ok, we are house sitting for some neighbors while we are in between house. Being a guy, honestly, I had no idea a warm plate could leave a white heat mark on a table. So, heated up my plate, ate lunch and oops, a big white stain/mark on our friend's table. We initially thought of replacing the table or getting a furniture repair company in to fix it. Found this post. Got some ash, mayonnaise, mixed it up and rubbed it in with a soft rag. It didn't work as well until I took a hair dryer and heated the spot while rubbing vigorously. Amazing! Not even the smallest remnant. Thank you, Becki! (08/08/2006)

By Chris


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In This Article
Water Mark on Wood
Removing Water Marks from Wood Furniture
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August 23, 2006
Cup Stain on Wood
Removing Cup Rings from Wood Furniture
Hot coffee mug on wood table.
Removing Heat Marks from Furniture
Hands polishing a wood table
Cleaning Wood Furniture
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Preventing Stretch Marks
Halloween Ideas!
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