Nail Polish Remover on Table


I spilled some nail polish remover on my kitchen table and it turned white and my table is a dark dark brown. Is there anything I can do to restore it without stripping the stain?


By Jojo from Bouctouche, NB


Using a Clothes Iron

I just figure out the easiest most affective way to do it (and believe me, I tried it all).

  1. Warm up your iron on max (no steam just the dry iron).
  2. Put a clean, white wash cloth on top of the stain.
  3. After the iron is hot, work circular motion moves with the iron on top of the stain for about 1 min.
  4. Remove the wash cloth to check your progress.
  5. Keep doing that over and over until the stain is gone.

Here is an explanation of why it works: the heat of the iron dilates the wood grain, and also evaporates the nail polish which is very volatile. Don't let the iron sit on top of the wood for too long, it will damage the wood grain and burn your table.

I hope it works on tables with different finishings. I know it worked on mine. Hope that helps lots of people staining my table with wood polish was so frustrating!


By Fernanda

Hot Iron Worked

Using the suggestion with the dry iron worked great for me. I spilled some candle wax on a laminated chocolate brown table and tried some nail polish remover to get ride of it. What a mistake! The stain was still there plus, now, a god awful white stain.

Following the above suggestion, I used a dry iron over a clean cloth and and the white stain (and the wax!) disappeared.

Note: I first used a facecloth with a line-texture in it and it imprinted the texture on my table. I then switched to a clean plain tea towel and everything was fine!

By xtineh

Touch Ups

You have stripped the stain with the nail polish remover. Look for products in the paint store for spot touch ups. They may have something that will fix the spot. Sadly, I think you are going to have to refinish the whole table top. to get a good match.

By Louise B.

Mayonnaise With Ashes

To whoever suggested mayonnaise with ashes, thank you! I just created an account to post my testimonial. I spilled nail polish remover on my deceased father's desk four years ago and have always just put a cloth over the surface. I finally found this tip and it drastically reduced the cloudy white stain. I smeared mayo over the surface, sprinkled ashes from the fireplace over the top, and then buffed until it was dry. Thank you so much!


By Diana

About The Author: This is article is an archive of a question and feedback from 2010.

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August 27, 20170 found this helpful

i did the mayonaise and ashes. Strange combo but it worked!
I left it on for about half an hour and did it two more times and it was amazing and looks great.
I tried the ironing solution first and that did not work.

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December 14, 20170 found this helpful

It didn't work for me at first either, I stopped moving the iron so much & just not too long & then started moving the iron to keep from scorching it. From an angle that place is flat, dull, going to try the Mayo ash thing & see if I have to feather in a light layer of polyurethane or if it matches. Thanks for saving my table 

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March 11, 20180 found this helpful

It really does work! Someone did their nails on the wooden arm of my chair and it left white marks.


I tried the iron and white wash cloth and the marks disappeared! Thanks!!

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April 3, 20180 found this helpful

You are a life saver!!! I tried and it worked!!!
I thought my mom would kill me if she found out. Thank you!

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August 30, 20170 found this helpful

I tried this as I spilled nail polish remover on the hardwood floor at my moms house by accident and it went white and Im talking cream or milk white. I wasn't sure hoe to get it out and I felt so bad but i looked up how to remove it and found this method... all i can say is IT WORKED WONDERS!!! can't even see its even there! THANKYOU this post saved the floor!!!

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October 8, 20171 found this helpful

So I tried the iron and white washcloth process and it worked like a charm. The polyurethane on the hard wood is damaged from the acetone but this process removed the white chalky stain.

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October 14, 20170 found this helpful

After reading this I tried it.........instant result, fantastic advice thank you so much

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November 11, 20170 found this helpful

mt table appears to a laminate, nor reaky sure..Its really shiny and Cherry under neath. any suggestions

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November 14, 20170 found this helpful

Omg!!! The hot iron on a cut up clean white t-shirt actually worked. After daughter spilt whole bottle of nail polish remover on my 6000 hard wood pool table top cover.


Thanks to the smart move i read here

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December 17, 20170 found this helpful

I put the bottle remover on the table and not knowing it was wet, made a circle in pint. How to fix it?

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February 19, 20180 found this helpful

I spilled some nail polish remover on my dressing table can I fix it????

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April 16, 20180 found this helpful

Ive spilt a sml amount of nail varnish it soaked through table runner and left a pale mark not white on table its not a maghogny table its beech l think ....HELP

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May 15, 20180 found this helpful

May 2018 - Dropped a cotton ball with nail polish remover on black bamboo hardwood, YIKES. Thank you to who posed this, I just tried the hot iron with a dish towel method and worked beautifully!


I don't usually post comments, but this time I had to because how beautifully it worked. Took only a few minutes, with a HOT iron, and a bit of rubbing.

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September 26, 20180 found this helpful

literally the iron and washcloth s a v e d my l i f e. There's still a very very faint mark on the table, but other than that you can barely tell. My dad bought this big brand new dark brown table recently and he would have been so mad if he realized I was 1) Doing my nails on the new table, and 2) That I ruined the table with nail polish remover. I was super skeptical at first but it honestly blew me away because after 10-15 minutes of ironing, letting it cool, ironing, letting it cool, it almost totally disappeared. I don't have enough words of praise and I wish I took a before photo so I could show how well it worked.

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October 30, 20180 found this helpful

So my nail polish remover is on the front of a finished hardwood counter top in bath. Stains on front of 3 drawer fronts Not flat. Cant use iron. Any ideas?


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