Whether it's from a pizza box, a coffee cup or some other hot item, heat stains on a wood table can be difficult to remove. This is a guide about removing heat stains from a wood table.
My husband and I just got this table and I was serving dinner and put a hot serving bowl on it, and now there is a white ring on it. I do now know what kind of wood it is, but it has a cherry finish, I think. Please help me find a solution to get the ring out, please.
By Jen from Schroeder, MN
December 2, 2013
Use a hair drier. Keep it moving and in a minute or 2, presto!
By khaps77 1
Using an iron with old shirt idea worked 100% for a bad one that I had. Thanks for the tip. The key is not to use too much heat as I tried that once before and made the problem worse. Be patient and then use olive oil after to condition the wood.
Great trick. I've done the mayo and ashes thing. Not even close to same results
How do I remove white marks from dark wood tables?
By Mr. M. Carr
November 10, 2011
I had/have this problem on light-colored wood. Some guests left their "sweating" drink glasses on the end table and terrible marks were left. I've tried every hint offered on ThriftyFun, but nothing has worked so far. I may just have to remove the finish from the entire table, sand it all, and then apply a new coat of stain. I was hoping to avoid this painstaking chore!
How do I get white rings marks, caused by heat, from my dining table?
By Lorraine from Edmonds, WA
April 2, 2011
A product I was recommended called Liberon worked wonders for me. Failed with the iron, just got another mark!
I've been using an iron to remove them like some people are suggesting. I was wowed by this solution. This solution works temporarily. The white stains keep coming back! I've used plastic plates and cups. All my plates are white, I was wondering if this is reason why?
January 1, 2015
I tried the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and I can't believe it really worked! The white stain is gone.
Can I remove white marks from waffle type plastic table cover that got imbedded in my dark pine table?
Joan from Rutherford, NJ
By guest (Guest Post) Flag
October 23, 2008
If you can put the table out in the sun, try rubbing it with a suitably colored furniture polish then setting it out in the sun for a while. I've gotten water marks out of maple chairs that way.
I doubled a blanket on my dining table, and was ironing a large table cloth on it. Now I have several iron marks all over my table. I don't think the iron will work, since this is how I put them on there. Any other suggestions?
By Cindy R. from Hattiesburg, MS
I have a white stain on my dresser. How do I get it out?
November 27, 2012
It would be useful to know what the stain is. Many white stains are caused by water or heat. These can be fixed, although I have not done so. Try googling removing water stains from cherry wood, and see if you get info. If the stain is something else (paint, for example), the method of removal will be different
I have just used a Magic Cloth to remove heat stains and it worked a treat. They are available at Lakeland in the UK and well worth the price.
I steam stained my polished wooden dining room table by ironing (steam iron) on it. How can I remove this stain?
By Reg N
Would a steam mop work?
|Does anyone know how to get white heat marks off a wood table? I've tried mayonnaise- let it sit and rubbed it in a bit. My Grandmother told me to try a product called liquid gold, but I can 't find it anywhere.|
|Liquid Gold smells wonderful and brings back memories of my house when I was young. My mom used it a lot. Luckily, I found it again. And of all places... in the Dollar General store. Try there. I have not seen it any where else. I hope it works on your table marks. Good Luck!|
|Try the Krazy Kloth sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond and Linens N Things. It is an oil-filled black cloth that lasts forever. You rub it on the white spot and miraculously it dissapears! It also has a jillion other uses, listed on the package. I swear by it.|
|By Mary (Guest Post)|
|Try tooth paste, it worked for me when my grandaughter who left a wet wash rag on my dresser.|
|Scott's Liquid Gold||03/14/2005|
|Our local Ace Hardware store carries Scott's Liquid Gold. This is a great product for wood furniture!|
|Mayo and Ashes||03/14/2005|
|You've got half of the answer! Rub a glob of mayonnaise on the heat mark, then sprinkle with ashes -- cigarette ashes, or wood ashes from a fireplace. The ashes and mayo should be like a gross, thick paste. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rub it into the wood really well with a soft cloth. You may have to apply more than once to completely eliminate the mark.|
I have no clue how or why this works, but I have used it in the past with great success!
|By Becki in Indiana (Guest Post)|
|I bought my last bottle of Liquid Gold a couple of years ago, but just wanted you to know that I've been told by several that it is very toxic with no known antidote. Can't verify that, but post the warning just in case. I saw on the net that a thin paste of salad oil and salt, let sit for an hour or two and polish. I'm just going to try it now.|
|By Marilyn (Guest Post)|
|I tried the salad oil and salt to no avail, 'tho I didn't leave it to sit. Instead used toothpaste and a little camphorated chalk and it worked beautifully. I then put on a product called "Trade Secrets" which is an oil based "scratch cover" for light furniture . . . my table is Canadiana Pine. Looks like new now. You can buy it in Canada at any Home Hardware Store. P.S. Love your site!|
|By Marilyn (Guest Post)|
|Briwax and a Hair Dryer||02/27/2006|
|I tried heating a white heat mark on pine with hair dryer and rubbing in Briwax (furniture wax) at the same time. Worked perfectly - white heat mark completely disappeared.|
|By J Clunie (Guest Post)|
A hot dish was placed on wood table and left a white mark. I need to remove the mark without damaging finish, if possible. HELP!
Shaywood from Valrico, FL
I have the same problem and I think it's the furniture polish that turns white. I use Mr. Clean Antibacterial Multi-Surface cleaner on my table. It get's all the old polish off. Then I re-polish my table and it's like new again. Works every time. Good luck.
I agree with using mayo and ashes. I don't think cigarette ashes work as well. I had a stain on my curio cabinet and the mayo and ashes worked. Like it was said before you need to let it work for a couple of minutes or even over night. And you may need to do it more than once. (05/23/2006)
Well, I found the Liquid Gold - it did NOTHING! Will try the mayo and ashes next. Thanks for the suggestions. (05/24/2006)
By Sylvia Haywood
The only way to get rid of heat or water marks on wood (leaves cloudy white marks and rings) is to use heat and water again to take it out. Forget ashes and mayo. Just heat a steam iron to medium, place a plain tea towel (no print or waffle) over the stain and press for SECONDS. Push the steam button while you press. Wipe, and repeat until stain is gone then polish with teak oil, or olive oil. This WORKS. So does a hairdryer, but not as well and steam works better. (07/24/2006)
Thank you for the steam iron advice! I used a plain white t-shirt and it worked in seconds. I was amazed. I finally removed the tablecloth that has been hiding my table since last Thanksgiving. (09/07/2006)
By Wareham, MA
I have used a product called Liberon Ring Remover, it works! much better than lemon juice, ash, oils, mayo, hot irons and other silly old wise tales. Try it and see. (09/10/2006)
By Rob Waring
The steam iron works like a miracle. thank you so much. i can use my polished dining table at christmas. and i've also found that a dab of dark brown shoe polish mixed with a drop of furniture oil takes slight whiteish marks out of our dark wood coffee table. (12/03/2006)
Steam worked SO well! We placed a thin tea-towel on the effected area, set the iron to medium heat, n ironed the tea-towel for a couple of seconds! Worked a treat! Don't go out spending tons of money when the iron will sort it all! Thankyou for the Steam suggestion. 100% Correct! (12/24/2006)
My sister left a ten-inch diameter white heat mark on my polished table yesterday during our Christmas dinner (despite a superabundance of insulated mats). I have just tried the steam iron remedy, not really expecting it to work and fearing I was going to cause even more damage, but it really did do the trick. I was astonished - definitely not a silly old wives' tale. (12/26/2006)
My wife has given me grief over the white heat mark that appeared on our £4000 coffee table on christmas day, even though I put a tea towel and tray under the coffee pot it still caused this big white stain.after reading these articles on how to get rid of the stain, I have tried the iron and it worked in seconds, so now i'm in the good books again and the wife has a big grin now its gone THANKYOU FOR THE TIP phil (12/26/2006)
By phil cochrane
I just did the ashes mixed with a little lemon oil wood polish (since I didn't have mayo on hand). It worked perfectly. Thank you so very, very much! I love this site! (01/16/2007)
Because I read so many positive testimonials regarding the effectiveness of using the iron, I tried it and it really is amazing! Abracadabra - the white ring is gone in less than a minute! Thanks so much for this very helpful tip! (01/16/2007)
I just tried to get rid of the heat marks on my table with a steam iron and white tea cloth. Well, that worked ok, except now I have been left with a huge iron shaped water/steam mark. How on earth do I get rid of that? (01/30/2007)
How can you get white heat marks off a cherry wood table?
Dawn from Truro, Nova Scotia
Our brand new satin finish walnut table has had a large white ring from a hot pot for months now while we tried every product imaginable. I was just about to go ahead with a $300 refinishing job when I came across this iron trick (see further down this page) and figuring that I couldn't make it much worse gave it a try. In less than a minute I've removed the mark and my table looks brand new (03/26/2007)
The steam iron and white towel worked a treat! It was brilliant. Dear Husband put a hot pizza box on a fabulous table, and I was sure it was ruined. I tried everything, but what worked was the steam iron and white towel. Thank you so much! (03/30/2007)
Just tried the steam iron trick using a white T-shirt, and it worked perfectly! I can't believe how easy this was. I have been living with that white mark for all of this time and it took 2 minutes to get rid of it! (04/07/2007)
I never thought this would work, and thought I would try it out to prove you wrong but in fact it did work and so perfectly! Now my Landlord won't be charging me for a new table! Basically as it says all you do is heat up a normal steam iron to medium heat, get a white table cloth, pillow case, etc. and put over the white mark, then for a few seconds, just as if you were ironing the cloth, press the steam button and work over the stain. You will be amazed like I am. I'm still trying to work out how THIS ACTUALLY WORKS! (04/11/2007)
When I saw that you could use a steam iron and a white cloth I was skeptical. But I got my iron and a white t-shirt out but was left with a big white iron mark. Then I thought I would try it again...
HERE IS THE TRICK...
Double the t-shirt or use a thicker cloth, then the second you place the iron on the shirt press the steam button and remove. I DO MEAN ONE SECOND! Then with the damp side of the shirt rub the stain. Keep doing this till the stain comes out. Once it the stain was out I then rubbed in some olive oil and now my table looks as good as new! (04/18/2007)
Mayo and some wood ashes rubbed with an old sock. It works just perfect! (04/26/2007)
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Please advise best method for removing white heat marks from antique (1890's) Blackwood and Pine French Polished timber table.
Michelle from Hunter Valley, Australia
I do furniture refinishing for a living. The best thing to do is to sand and refinish it using an oil base polyurethane. Put 3 light coats on it. Somebody has put heavy coats of urethane on it and it can possibly be water based and that is why it may be making heat spots. A glass may leave a ring on it as well. If it does, that is more than likely the problem. (01/11/2008)
I can't believe it worked! I had white marks all over my expensive dining room table, from using paper plates at Thankgiving. Everyone told me to basically get the table refinished. I thought I would look and see if there were any remedies on the internet. I tied everything, then saw the steam from the iron trick. It worked instantly... Thank you! You saved me hundreds of dollars. See the archived request below for the steam method.(01/13/2008)
I had two different marks... one from a pizza box that was done months ago and then recently from heat. I just tried the iron/steam trick. It worked like a charm. I am so amazed. Even the one that had been there for months. See the iron/steam trick further down this page.(01/17/2008)
The steam iron trick with doubled-up white T-shirt was totally amazing. I applied the iron only for a second, left the T-shirt on for another second or two, and the mark was gone. (01/18/2008)
By very happy reader
The steam iron trick is fantastic. Just did it, scared my wife witless and but then earned 100 Brownie points as our cherrywood coffee table came up as new. Thanks a lot.
I followed your instructions today 2-09-08- About 15 years after I got white heat marks on my cherry table. They all came off in seconds. I wish I could bottle this trick and sell it. I am incredulous. My wife witnessed this and was similarly floored. I tried it first on one of the extending inserts.
Thank you, a cynic turned believer. (02/09/2008)
By Barry S
I just did the iron & t-shirt method and I am truly amazed. Within a few minutes, the white ring was gone! The stain had been there for at least two months. Such a simple process. Wonderful! Thank you! (04/12/2008)
By Tracy K.
Steam iron with white t-shirt: AMAZING. My wife put huge heat marks on our 8 foot kitchen table. She was very upset. When she went out I tried to steam iron technique and it worked a treat.She is going to be so happy. You guys rock! (04/13/2008)
By Fabio G
WOW! as the unexperienced newlyweds we are, we seemingly ruined out brand new dining room table after about a week of use with a hot plate. I tried the hairdryer, no luck. Tried the iron and towel, WORKED LIKE A CHARM! Thank you so much! That is a tip I will use for many years to come :O) (07/14/2008)
I did the steam iron thing and it took the white marks away but raised the grain of the wood. My table was antique mahogheny - I would not recommend this method for antiques - I think the old laguer is more porous and allows too much of the steam through. Probably okay for newer pieces though. Does anyone know how to get rid of raised grain on wood other than refinishing?
I just left a heat stain on one of our oak end tables this morning. I've been looking through postings and (like many others) I was afraid to use the iron. I did however try Crest toothpaste (not the gel), rubbed it onto the mark & then wiped off. I then buffed it with some Pledge, and the mark is gone. This might not work for more severe/larger marks, but mine was a coffee cup & this worked great! (07/17/2008)
How do you remove white heat marks from a mahogany table?
Lynne from England
The best thing for this is the steam iron. All you have to do is hover it over the mark. It's magic. Then just wipe it over with wood polish. (08/05/2008)
I tried hovering my iron over my white marks and then pushing the steam button. It not only didn't work, but now I have a white mark on my wood that is the shape of the bottom of my steam iron! Perhaps I hovered the iron too close? I held the iron about 1/4-1/2 inch above the spot. If you try this, try holding the iron higher up!
(b)Editor's Note:(/b) I don't believe you use the iron with steam, the steam is usually what causes the white mark in the first place. Try using a hair dryer or a dry iron.
Last night my husband brought in corn on the cob from the grill and placed it on a paper bag on top our antique oak pub table. When we cleared the table, we noticed white marks in the shape of corn! My husband was beside himself with grief and felt horrible. I searched the internet this morning for a way to treat the stain and am so glad I found this post. This trick WORKS! I just ironed a plain white t-shirt over the stain (didn't even use the steam button) and after a few passes (didn't leave the iron in one spot for more than a few seconds), the stain is gone. I polished it with pledge and the table looks like it did before last night's dinner. Thank you! (08/12/2008)
By Kate in CT
Yahoo! The hot iron on a white tee really worked. Did not use steam though. Thanks for the tip. (08/14/2008)
I have a light colored wooden Ash dining table with white spots. I tried Mayo, cigarette ash, and a steam iron but nothing works. There is a finish on the table.
Joe from Boston, MA
Sand it back and refinish it (08/16/2008)
I came into this site and found the marvelous remedy for white marks on wood table tops using medium heat on your steam iron that is held over the spot on top of a white doubled T shirt. And presto, it worked better than after drying and polishing over the area. Thank you from Baraga, MI. Shirley (08/18/2008)
I used dry heat from my hairdryer on high setting, and the mark disappeared. (08/21/2008)
By Susan Robinson.
Wow! I had heat marks on my coffee table from placing a hot pizza box on it! Used an iron with the steam setting turned off at heat setting 1 (for wool etc) and a white t-shirt and the mark came out immediately and left no trace. Thanks. (08/23/2008)
No idea how the hairdryer trick works, but it just saved me a fortune in French polishing after hot tea got spilled on a highly polished table. Incredible! (08/25/2008)
Is there anyway to remove this white ring from my coffee table? I am pretty sure it was caused by my son setting something hot on it, like a bowl of soup. I tried to scrape my fingernail across it but it won't budge. Before I get desperate and rub it with a piece of steel wool, I would like everyone's input.
Susan from Millwood, GA
<img src="images/articles35/heat-ring-300x225.jpg" width="300" height="225" border="0" alt="White Heat Marks on Wood Table" hspace="5" vspace="5">
(submitted via email)
How long do you leave an iron on the spot for at med. heat? I don't seem to be having any luck.
Just used a hair dryer on a white mark left on mahogany table by a damp jar. It worked very well. I circled the hair dryer a few inches above the white ring while gently rubbing the area with soft cloth. It worked very fast. I did this very soon after the mark was made. Not sure how it would work on older marks. (09/14/2008)
By Sue in Brooklyn
Hubby and I unknowingly made white marks on our new coffee table last night with our dinner plates, while watching one of our favorite trivia shows. He was so upset when he picked up his plate, then I picked up mine and saw the same thing....we'd resigned ourselves to having to refinish it. He went to a meeting and I decided on a whim to see if there were any remedies on the net....the iron on a soft cloth thing worked great! A little Old English afterward and it looks like new. I can't wait til he gets home so I can show him, THANKS! (09/15/2008)
I would only assume that mark is from the moisture taken out of the wood. I would add some type of furniture oil to restore the moisture of the wood, it isn't a stain that can be lifted or scrubbed out. (09/16/2008)
Wow! The steam iron and a white T shirt really worked. Not using enough place mats under a plate straight from the oven left a white impression on our teak dining table, right in the middle! Someone at work suggested steel wool (she'd got to look that bit up), so meanwhile I found this site on the web, and presto the marks gone.
Just a couple of minutes gentle steam ironing, and lots of seeing what was happening and the table looks good again. Thanks to all the 'posts' for giving me the courage to try.(09/17/2008)
INCREDIBLE! Just found two white rings after chili at dinner. Thought we would have to refinish the table. I found this site first and the dryer worked perfectly! (09/20/2008)
The iron method WORKS! With a husband and 2 kids I had a lot of white marks on my kitchen table (which we have only had for 2 years). We were just about to buy a new table, so I figured I would try one more time and if I ruined the table it wouldn't matter. I tried the iron method and it worked great and saved me a lot of money.
I set my iron for the wool setting, placed a white pillow case down, went over the spots a couple times with my iron, wiped and now there isn't a single spot left on my table anymore! Both my husband and I were amazed that it was so easy and effective. I only wished I had known about it sooner. Thank you to whoever shared this method with the rest of the world! (09/28/2008)
I tried Mayo and it did nothing. I tried the blow dryer and it started to work a little bit, but then the dryer got too hot and shut off. The Iron worked the best. I put it on the wool setting and ran the hot iron over a white t-shirt in circles, and all the spots are gone. It worked like a charm, thanks! (10/16/2008)
We had a white heat mark on our dark wood mahogany table, it drove me mad every time I sat down. We decided to get rid of it so I tried the hot iron method over my old white tee shirt: mark gone, NO POLISHING NEEDED. It just went! (10/26/2008)
By gordon s.
I have just discovered white marks on the dining room table, probably been there a few weeks since the last time we changed the tablecloth. I used the iron on 'wool' setting over the white t-shirt, and it didn't seem to work until I gave it a small shot of steam, and bingo! It was magic. Thank you for the tip! (10/28/2008)
OMG, it's a miracle! Thanks so much for this helpful tip. Iron on wool setting w/no steam and a cotton t-shirt, and the white heat mark is GONE! :) (10/29/2008)
By LEE B
I tried on a mantel shelf that had a white stain from a candle holder. At wool setting with NO steam it didn't work, so I tried with some steam and it worked instantly. Wonderful tip! (11/02/2008)
By Harold L.
I put a saucepan lid on our wood table and it left a big white cloudy circle. It is a dark wood and it looks like the stain is in the finishing. I'm not sure whether it was from the heat, or the steam. Should I use an iron or a hairdryer? Won't that make it worse? (11/11/2008)
OMG that is amazing. An unknown person left a hot drink on my wooden dining table - after reading the feedback on this site I tried the iron on wool setting with a white cloth and presto the mark has completely disappeared. Amazing. (11/15/2008)
AMAZING! It really works. I have a dark wood table with white marks. I put a white shirt down on the table where the white marks were, turned the iron on the wool setting, ironed over it a couple times and peeled back the shirt, wiped it down. Repeated that a couple times and no more marks! Thank you people for this great trick. (11/16/2008)
The hot steam iron plus cloth method worked for me! Being alone in the house at supper time, I had taken my hot plate to eat in the living room in front of the TV. I used a newspaper section to protect the pine coffee table. Unfortunately, the paper had a damp spot on the bottom against the table, so the damp spot got steamed in by my hot plate. I googled "pine wood water mark" and found this page. I am very grateful! It took a few repetitions to get the mark completely off - wiping in between pressing - but overall less than 5 minutes. (11/17/2008)
By Hette H.
That is the greatest thing I've ever seen. I used the white t shirt and iron on wool setting, it took a couple tries on the worst mark but it worked. This site saved my bacon. My in laws just gave us this table and my wife is away. I sat down to eat at the table with a paper plate and hot food. I thought I was dead. But 5 minutes later, I'm safe. (11/19/2008)
Used the iron tee shirt trick and thought Paul Daniels had walked in the room. As the mark disappeared, just like magic. Thanks for the trick. (11/24/2008)
This article has many good tips on removing white rings and heat marks off your furniture:
WOW - just had a party last night - paper plate got left on buffet and left a big white mark, all day I kept thinking it would get better and it didn't. I Googled, then tried white t shirt and wool setting - GONE! (11/30/2008)
Truly amazing. I thought my cherry wood table was ruined. Just a few swipes with the iron on wool setting and a few swipes of the white t, and before I knew it the marks were gone. Thanks so much! (12/13/2008)
Oh my goodness. It worked like a charm! I was very skeptical but with a little steam it brought the finish back in minutes. Thanks for the great advice! (12/15/2008)
I am truly amazed at how well this worked. It removed the spot instantly, thank you! (12/16/2008)
It seems the worst thing to do. After all, it was heat that caused the mark in the first place. Believe me, this works! (12/17/2008)
No question, the iron/steam works. Even if you do not have a flat wooden surface (I had a beveled wooden item) it still came out of all of it - fantastic & thanks to one and all. (12/20/2008)
Yes, the iron/steam/white T shirt WORKS! We have a beautiful cherry wood table that had (stress the word HAD) a large white cloudy heat mark. We read all the feedback remarks and tried it, and the heat mark is gone. Truly AMAZING! We used a clean white T, placed it on the mark, set the steam iron on wood, rubbed/ironed the T in a circle motion, lifted the T, rubbed the table, repeat until gone. Don't over do it. Once you see the mark is gone, stop. Thank you to whoever recommend this treatment! (12/27/2008)
WOW! My husband just sat a hot dish from the oven on my oak table with just a towel under it. When we moved the towel, there were the dreaded white marks. I tried the white t-shirt and hot steam iron and magically it was gone, table saved. Thank you! (12/27/2008)
I had the same problem with white ring marks on our coffee table, and I used a Tobi steamer in the same manner that was described with an iron and like magic the spot was gone! (01/02/2009)
By Michael L.
Awesome, thank you so much. You helped me save a very expensive table with the steam iron. It only took less than 2 seconds with the steam iron. My table looks beautiful now. (01/02/2009)
White towel, iron set to cotton with steam - took several passes, but it's gone! Keep the iron moving around so as not to over heat one area. Thanks! (01/03/2009)
Just took off my Christmas tablecloth and found a round white mark on the table. I used the suggestions of the T-shirt and steam iron set on cotton/wool and now the table looks like there was never a white spot. Thanks to all the posters. (01/04/2009)
Amazing! Just split nail varnish remover all over my mates coffee table, this took the massive white mark off in a breeze. Thank you so much! (01/06/2009)
I have just removed two large white bloom marks from my Edwardian highly polished solid oak dining table. I was really nervous and terrified that it was going to make things worse. All I can say is wow, it worked. A million thanks guys for the tip. (01/06/2009)
One more idea to try-
I had a casual soup supper at our house and allowed everyone to put their paper bowls directly onto my dining table- big mistake! I had a white, round steam mark at each place setting- we thought the table's finish was ruined. I read through all the online suggestions and the olive oil remedies made me remember a product my mother-in-law had given us.
It is called Kramer's Wood Food Oyl (yes, oyl). I pulled it out and rubbed some into the white areas- they vanished instantly! It was like magic. I had to follow up with some wax to restore the shine back to those areas, but you cannot see the original spots at all. I wish I had taken before & after pictures- you would never believe it.
They have another product on their website that is advertised to restore the finish to older pieces and it specifically mentions white steam/heat marks. Good luck to everyone! (01/06/2009)
By Courtney B
Well, that was nothing short of amazing. I've been looking at this glorious white heat stain on my table from a pizza delivery, innocently placed there and thinking that it was the most expensive pizza I will ever have. I decided to try the internet and this is the first remedy I looked at. The white t-shirt and iron method worked beautifully! Thank you, thank you and thank you again! (01/10/2009)
Didn't have a white t-shirt so I used a white tea towel and an iron instead. I didn't think it would work, but it did. Amazing! (01/11/2009)
Well, I tried the iron method after much anguish. And guess what? I now have a huge white mark from where I had the iron. I only did it for seconds. I was working on an antique, maybe they are more porous..? Go with your gut feeling. (01/12/2009)
This worked so well. Earlier in the day my brother had hot chocolate and it left a HUGE white ring. My mom was about to hyperventilate so we went to this website and saw the comments about the steam iron and the t-shirt. IT WORKED WITH IN 30 SECONDS! I could not believe my eyes when I saw the ring was gone. After that my brother stated, "See my hot chocolate magic!". (01/14/2009)
I just purchased a vacation home. I had hot soup on an antique tea cart (using as a table) and then there were the white rings. What's a girl to do? I don't have an iron here yet (next visit). Tried the blow dryer and nothing happened, tried baking soda, nothing, tried one of the Mr. Clean eraser sponges and tada, success! Those eraser sponges work wonders on scuff marks. Life is good! (01/18/2009)
There was no way I was going to iron my beautiful dining room table. However, after reading all of the successes, I decided to do it. I doubled the shirt and moved my steam iron around and IT WORKED. I had to do it multiple times but I think this is because I have a cheap iron that doesn't shoot out steam. Be sure to use a white t-shirt because if you use a white washcloth you will have to spend extra time removing the washcloth fiber prints from the table.
Several posts up, there is a demo on YouTube--I recommend watching that if, like me, you are too chicken to try this. (01/19/2009)
I had a HUGE white ring after making the mistake of placing a hot pie plate on a thin dish cloth on my dark wood dining table. I tried the Magic Eraser method because I was too freaked to try the iron. The eraser worked extremely well! I followed up with a thin coat of teak oil to even out the finish so the surface I buffed wouldn't show... it actually looks better than it did before! Funny how things work out. ;-) (01/19/2009)
By Idaho Mama
Son of a gun! After using my Cherry Wood Table as an ironing board, I left a horrible white cloud mark on the table. I was freaking out, I thought the table was ruined. I decided to try the White T and Steam Iron. Who would've known that the same thing that caused the problem, fixed it. Place the white T on table and pass steam iron over it, the white cloud disappeared! Make sure not to leave the iron sitting on one spot too long, you'll end up with a bigger white cloud. (01/20/2009)
By Joe, San Diego CA
I had a very light white water stain on my coffee table & tried the iron on the stain, to my horror it made the stain pure white, a lot bigger & 100 times worse! I searched online again and this is what I found that really works. Make up an even mixture (I used 1 teaspoonful) of white toothpaste (NOT THE GEL TYPE), baking soda, and mayonnaise, rub this into the grain of the wood firmly. All the staining has now vanished. (02/08/2009)
By Margaret O.
Oh my gosh, I can't believe how well this worked! White t-shirt and steam iron all the way. My husband and I just bought an extremely expensive dining room table, and today we pulled off the tablecloth to discover several large white clouds. I was so upset. After seeing the advice on this post, I placed a t-shirt over the mark, passed my iron over it a couple of times, and presto! Gone! Just like new. I'm so happy! (02/08/2009)
The steam iron trick is unbelievable! I inherited an original 50s dining table in dark varnished oak, unfortunately I also inherited a big white patch on it, it was in the middle so we always covered it up with a vase or something. I had some friends for dinner last week and put a dish full of hot potatoes straight onto the table, hey presto, great big ring about 10cm wide. No hiding that!
I was going to strip the varnish and redo it, but was having a Google and came across this method. It works straightaway and costs absolutely nothing - I can't recommend it enough. (02/14/2009)
I tried to remove water marks from a wood table and ended up with the white impression of the iron. What do you suggest?
Connie from Washington, DC
The white spots are from using a cheap Latex (water and oil) finish. The problem is going to re-occur until you sand it off and use a proper varnish. The best is still good old-fashioned Spar Varnish, the stuff sailors have mopped onto wooden decks and spars for hundreds of years. Make sure you get the old-fashioned linseed oil /turpentine type, not a newfangled Latex imitation. For best results, sand it perfectly smooth beforehand, put it on in 3 - 4 thin layers with no or minimal very light sanding in between, so as not to expose high grain.
Tables that I have finished with Spar varnish over 30 years ago are still fine and have never shown any white spots. Sure, old fashioned Spar varnish stinks while you put it on, and may be getting difficult to find, because Latex is more profitable and doesn't last, but it is well worth the effort to find real Spar varnish and use it. If you absolutely can't get any in your area, use a two component epoxy. Have fun!
Wow, can't believe what I've just seen. I used the iron and white t-shirt and the white patch just disappeared. Thanks everyone, been trying everything for weeks! (02/18/2009)
I have had the same problem. Solution: I put Peanut Butter on it, smeared it in and left it for about 20 minutes. Came back and wiped it off, and it removed the ring entirely. This hint came from my husband who refinishes furniture. (02/19/2009)
First of all there must be a definition because good furniture with a varnish finish should never be polished, but just cleaned with a damp cloth, and with older furniture many have used polishes which leaves a waxed surface; never use any polish on new furniture with a varnish finish.
I goofed with a water stain on a good table top which has never been polished, and have tried most suggestions without success except using an iron thus far. The reason is because most of these suggestions are predicated upon a polished surface and you are simply removing the whiteness protected by the polish.
Nevertheless, have found a mixture of cigarette ash mixed with lemon juice on a medical cotton pad rubbing gently has a removal effect, and am going to work on this some more; perhaps try wax paper on the whiteness, covered by a cotton tee shirt with an iron set on medium. (03/01/2009)
I've had this happen to good maple chairs. It's moisture trapped under the finish. Try setting the furniture out in the sun for a day or so (taking it back inside at night before the dew falls). The gentle sun heat will dissipate the moisture. (03/19/2009)
By Red Neck
What is the best way to remove white rings/marks from finished wood surfaces (other than ironing)? Thanks.
By Bprince from California
I ordered something called Zap Wood Restorer from an ad I saw on TV. This stuff works great! It not only removed all white rings, but made the whole table look like new. I have tried it on several wooden items and the results always surprise me. It supposedly isn't available in stores, but can be bought online. (04/06/2009)