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Removing White Heat Stains from a Wood Table

Category Furniture
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.
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By 2 found this helpful
October 3, 2013

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

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November 26, 20130 found this helpful
Top Comment

Worked great on a hot liquid stain. 3-5 seconds using a white pillow case and wiped immediately. Repeat if needed. Then light vegetable or furniture oil. We didn't have olive or furniture oil handy, so sprayed it lightly with Pam for temporary protection. Don't push the button on an auto steam iron. You want steam under the iron, not the jet.

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November 10, 20140 found this helpful

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?

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By Cindy R. from Hattiesburg, MS

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Anonymous
May 24, 20160 found this helpful
Top Comment

I used coconut oil and baking soda mix on a heat stain from a white paper plate and it worked really good.

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By 1 found this helpful
June 19, 2014

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.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 28, 20130 found this helpful

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?

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By wahwong62

Answers

January 1, 20153 found this helpful
Best Answer

I tried the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and I can't believe it really worked! The white stain is gone.

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Anonymous
November 2, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

Magic eraser worked for me.

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November 9, 20110 found this helpful

How do I remove white marks from dark wood tables?

By Mr. M. Carr

Answers

May 28, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would like to offer a correction to the answers here. The root cause of the "cloudy" white stain on wood tables caused by hot plates is the moisture that is trapped within the varnish on the table.

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This is specially for really hard old reclaimed wood tables (teak, casuani, etc). These tables are typically finished with "oil" varnish or polish and not water. Now I tried everything from hot iron to baking soda and everything else in between. The one thing that made is worse was using a steam iron. That's because with steam it caused the oil polish on the table trap more moisture and it made it worse (like others have also seen if you google). The trick is to get the moisture out. So with a water based finish using a simple iron on low heat works great. However after 4 hours I realized that for oil based polish you need a very hot iron and a kitchen towel. This is very important because unlike water polish with oil polish I realized I need to get the table extremely hot and then it "pushes" the water out of the table (yes you can see beads of it) and the towel should soak it up right away otherwise it goes back.
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So to summarize for oil based finishes you need a dry iron at max temp out on a kitchen towel on the table and left there for about 20-30 seconds on each spot and then wipe off the water beads right away. Repeat until no more water comes out. This is different from water based finish. Do NOT use a steam iron on a oil based finish. Hope this helps. Thanks.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 2, 2010

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.

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By Jen Erickson from Schroeder, MN

Answers

March 3, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try putting mayonnaise on the heat stain and let it sit overnight. This shouldn't hurt the finish. Then wipe it off.
If that doesn't work, use a tiny bit of denatured alcohol on a rag and wipe over the stain.

If that doesn't work, rub the stain with very fine steel wool. This will cut into the finish and will erase the stain if it's on the surface. The steel wool will change the sheen of the finish. You can steel wool the whole top to make all the sheen the same. Or you can use toothpaste or a rubbing compound to buff the area to a higher sheen to match the surrounding sheen.

If the stain goes all the way through the finish, you will have to sand down to bare wood which will open up a big can of worms.

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July 3, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

I just used a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and olive oil. Rubbed it it with paper towel, using a little pressure and then wiped it dry with more paper towel or a kitchen towel.
The white heat stain disappeared!
I will check it again later tonight to see if it returned at all... if it does, i will try the solution again to see if it will be a final step.
Hope it works for you as well!! Good luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
March 28, 2008

How do I remove heat rings from a wooden dining room table?

Judy from Austin, Texas

Answers

October 6, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I just tried the "Iron on wool setting" on two heat marks left from very hot serving bowls. These marks have been in the top of my cherry dining room table for about 3 years. I was just going to send it out to be refinished, when I thought I would check out this site. IT WORKS!

I used my steam iron on wool, a white tshirt doubled over and just ironed the shirt and looked under the shirt every 30 seconds or so. It took a couple of pressings, but IT WORKS!

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By 1 found this helpful
March 31, 2011

How do I get white rings marks, caused by heat, from my dining table?

By Lorraine Novack from Edmonds, WA

Answers

March 31, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try rubbing small amount of mayo into the ring and then buff it out with soft cloth or another way is to make a paste of coffee grounds and water, rub it in, leave for an hour and buff out! Super easy!

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April 1, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have used a hair dryer. I "dry" the stain for about 30 seconds using hot heat, then buff it with a soft cloth. May need some patience but it works every time!

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By 0 found this helpful
April 29, 2016

Someone left a burning candle on my veneer dining room table which left a bubble and a big white spot on it. I tried almost everything including mayo, olive oil, Liquid Gold, and vinegar, nothing has removed it. I put a tablecloth over it which is a pain have to take it off/on when it is in use, because it is cloth. Any suggestions?

Answers

Anonymous
May 28, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would like to offer a correction to the answers here. The root cause of the "cloudy" white stain on wood tables caused by hot plates is the moisture that is trapped within the varnish on the table.
This is specially for really hard old reclaimed wood tables (teak, casuani, etc). These tables are typically finished with "oil" varnish or polish and not water. Now I tried everything from hot iron to baking soda and everything else in between. The one thing that made is worse was using a steam iron. That's because with steam it caused the oil polish on the table trap more moisture and it made it worse (like others have also seen if you google). The trick is to get the moisture out. So with a water based finish using a simple iron on low heat works great. However after 4 hours I realized that for oil based polish you need a very hot iron and a kitchen towel. This is very important because unlike water polish with oil polish I realized I need to get the table extremely hot and then it "pushes" the water out of the table (yes you can see beads of it) and the towel should soak it up right away otherwise it goes back.
So to summarize for oil based finishes you need a dry iron at max temp out on a kitchen towel on the table and left there for about 20-30 seconds on each spot and then wipe off the water beads right away. Repeat until no more water comes out. This is different from water based finish. Do NOT use a steam iron on a oil based finish. Hope this helps. Thanks.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Answer this Question...

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February 17, 20090 found this helpful

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

Answers:

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

(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.

Sheila (09/10/2008)

By Jess (TF Editor)

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By R.N.

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Mary-Ann

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Janice

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Jennifer

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Shari

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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.

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Sonya

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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.

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Kate

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Alison

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By David

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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.

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By chad

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By kenny

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

This article has many good tips on removing white rings and heat marks off your furniture:

http://raidz.net/blog/how-remove-white-rings-and-water-spots-your-furniture (11/27/2008)

By Andew

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Vicky

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Kristi

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By J.B.

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

I am truly amazed at how well this worked. It removed the spot instantly, thank you! (12/16/2008)

By George

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Sean

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Lisa

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Happycouple

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Carol

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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.

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Carol

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Elizabeth

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Gayle

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Sarah

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Paulette

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Sandra

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Teresa

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Cheryl

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Sara

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Brenda

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Adele

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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.

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Dinah

White Heat Marks on Wood Table

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)

By Kristian

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Anonymous
November 25, 20170 found this helpful
Top Comment

I have a beautiful oak dining table which had a white heat ring on it from a hot dish being left on it. I was sceptical about the hot iron treatment but after trying various other methods was desperate for a solution. I tried the hot iron on wool setting over the white tee shirt and it worked, only took a few minutes with me checking every 30 seconds or so. THANK YOU. Margaret

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March 20, 20070 found this helpful

A hot dish was placed on wood table and left a white mark. I need to remove the mark without damaging finish, if possible.

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