Wood is the preferred material for indoor furniture and décor as it brings rusty and natural aesthetics, especially if you highlight its grain with polyurethane. Wood is susceptible to discoloration, termite damage, and water issues, and you can easily control these issues with proper paint coats.

Unfortunately, the wooden furniture is disposed to heat damage, leaving ugly marks on the furniture and tarnishing the décor.

Therefore, you should be careful with hot items, and it would be better to use a barrier that prevents heat from damaging wooden surfaces. Tag along to learn how to remove heat stains from wood when they happen.

What Causes White Heat Marks on Wood

The heat stains result from hot items sitting on a wooden surface for an extended time, and moisture presence combined with the heat causes the whitish stain. The heat expands the wood grains, letting air and moisture penetrate the grains; when the surface cools, the pores close, trapping the air and moisture.

Sometimes the white stain occurs not on the wooden furniture but the top coating. Most manufacturers preserve wooden furniture with polyurethane, a liquid plastic that keeps off moisture, dust, and air from the surface.

Unfortunately, heat damages plastic easily, damaging the furniture coating. The heat causes the rapid expansion to the top coating, opening cracks on the coating, which traps moisture leading to extensive damage over time.

Sometimes, you might notice a black stain on your furniture, which is attributed to extremely high heat that damages the wood grains. The black stain occurs due to charring which does not involve moisture. Thus the stain on the wooden surface will dictate the removal method.

How to Remove the White Marks on Furniture

Use Toothpaste

Toothpaste is alkaline and thus would react with stains, and you can combine it with baking soda to eradicate stains on a wooden surface. You will use regular toothpaste, the white toothpaste, which is not gel-like, is effective for stain removal.

Gel toothpaste has additional ingredients which might not remove the wood stains. Although toothpaste contains baking soda, they are in minute amounts, and you can increase the efficiency by mixing the toothpaste with baking soda.

You can start by cleaning the table with a cloth to ensure no debris that reacts with the toothpaste, reducing its efficiency. Then add one toothpaste and toothpaste in a 1:1 ratio in a bowl to create a paste.

The mixture might struggle to paste in large quantities, and thus, it would be better to add a few water drops; creating the paste without water is ideal.

Rub this paste on the white mark on the wooden surface and let it sit for ten minutes to increase efficiency. Finally, rub off the paste from the surface without pressuring too hard.

The paste will remove the stains effectively, and you can add more paste to deal with the stain effectively if the stain does not get off the wood the first time. Subsequent stain pasting might improve the outcome.

Use Hairdryer

Although the hair dryers produce heat, they can deal with the white stains on the wood. Since the heat was responsible for the stain in the first place, the heat would remove it effectively also.

However, removing heat stains with a hairdryer should be done carefully to reduce further damage. The hairdryer will reopen the pores and drive out the moisture and air particles trapped in the wooden surface.

Clean the wooden surface with a soft cloth and let it dry. If you proceed with dust particles on the table, the dust might lodge into the open pores. If the surface is still wet, it might become difficult to drive all the water clogged in the pores due to high humidity.

Set the hairdryer to the lowest as you don’t want to damage the wooden surface. Finally, move the hairdryer over the heat mark and blow hot hair until the mark disappears.

Use a Clothes Iron

A clothes iron works as a hairdryer, and the steam iron can deal with the stain effectively. But first, you should take precautions which prevent table burning. Moreover, if the furniture is made from old wood, it might warp under the steam iron heating.

The steam can remove tough stains, and you would need a protection towel between the iron and the wooden surface. You would not run the iron box directly on the wooden surface, and it might be better to check the stain to ensure the stain is removed to avoid creating more mess on the surface.

Start by cleaning the wooden surface with a damp cloth which removes all the particles, and let the surface dry. Then place the towel on the stain, set the iron on the lowest, and iron the towel.

If the wooden surface has tough stains, you can apply steam to open the pores and free the trapped air and moisture. The iron might open more pores, but it would remove the stain effectively; thus, when done, it might be better to apply wood finish to the surface.

Use Mayonnaise or Petroleum Jelly

Mayonnaise acts like petroleum jelly and can remove white stains on your furniture, and the jelly releases the moisture trapped in the pores; however, cleaning the mayo off might be challenging.

Clean the stained surface, let it dry, rub the mayonnaise on the stain, and let it sit there for two hours. Wipe any excess mayo with a dry cloth as you would not want to deal with so much mayo when cleaning it off.

Once the stain is off from the wooden surface, you can clean the mayo off, let the surface dry and apply a finish coat on the wooden surface.

Use Oil or Lemon With Salt

Mix the salt and olive oil to form a paste, clean the stained wood and apply the mixture. This mixture will work with the same principle as the mayonnaise.

You will wipe off the oil and salt mixture from the stain and avoid pressing the wood so hard to avoid damaging the furniture. Finally, paint the surface with a finish coat to prevent future damages.

Use Vinegar and Olive Oil

Vinegar is an effective cleanser, but it can remove the stains effectively when mixed with olive oil. You can use either lemon or olive oil with vinegar to remove the wood stain effectively.

Start by cleaning the wooden surface, dry and mix the parts in a 1:1 ratio, and apply the mixture to the stain. You can leave it on the mark for an hour to improve stain removal. You can wipe off the excess with a cloth.

Remove the Marks With Steel Wool

Steel wool can remove white stains from wooden surfaces, but you should use the steel wool with the correct grit and size to avoid scratching the wooden surface.

The scratches might be worse than the stain. It is better to soak the steel wool in oil before scrubbing it on the wooden surface and gently rub it to avoid scratches.

Conduct Wood Restoration

If the white stains are on an extended wood surface, you can opt for wood restoration. You should only opt for restoration after trying all the options at your disposal or when the wood has tough stains. You will need sandpaper and wood finish to do the restoration by yourself.

You can start by sanding the stained surface using the correct sandpaper grit; sanding removes the stain from the wood. After removing the stain, you can apply a finish that highlights the wood grain or paints the surface.

Tips for Removing the Stains

Regardless of the stain removal you choose, you should consult an expert first, especially if you don’t know how the wood will react to the chemicals and scrubbers. An expert will recommend the method which works best for the wood species.

Some stain removal methods lead to wood warping, especially if the wood is old.

If one stain removal method does not work, you can opt for another one.

Check the wooden surface first before working on the stain. Then check the stain from time to time to remove the stain. Too much scratching on the wooden surface might cause scratches which would be bad for the table. You would not proceed with moderation despite your method for stain removal.

How to Prevent Heat Stains On the Table

You can prevent stains on the wooden tables by using coasters for hot cups and mats for large pizza boxes. The mats act like a buffer that prevents the heat from damaging the surface.

You can use trays when you don’t have the mats to insulate the tables. Moreover, wax and varnish will prevent the white stains from appearing.


Are Heat Stains on Wood Permanent?

Yes, the heat stains are permanent, but you can get rid of them with different stain removal methods. The heat expands the wood particles opening the pores, trapping the water and air when the wood grains contract.

You can get rid of the trapped moisture to reduce the heat stain appearance.

Can I Remove Heat Rings on the Wood Table Myself?

You can remove the heat stain by yourself using different home remedies. First, you can dry blowing hot air using a hairdryer. Moreover, you can use an iron box to heat the wood grains and release the moisture and air trapped in the wood.

You should be careful with these heat options as they might damage the wood further. You can use toothpaste, vinegar, and salt to reduce the heat stain appearance. Finally, you can conduct a DIY wood restoration and apply paint on the surface.

Does Heat Stain Resolve Naturally?

Although the heat stain might resolve naturally, it might not get away all the time. If the stain is superficial, it will get away with time, but it might not resolve by itself if it is deep into the wood. You would need different stain removal methods to deal with the wood stains.

How to Remove Heat Stain from Marble?

You can use vinegar and olive oil to remove stains from marble surfaces. The vinegar acts as a mild scrubber that can remove the stain. High vinegar concentrations can dissolve marble, thus it would be better to dissolve it in water.

How Do You Fix Steam Damage on Wood?

Steam can damage your wooden surfaces as they have a high temperature which can open the pores and let moisture sink into the wood grains. When the temperature drops, the pores close and tarp the moisture.

A hairdryer can remove the moisture trapped in the wood grains or an iron box to heat the wood and release the moisture and air.

How Do You Remove Water Stains from Wood Furniture?

Water gets into furniture when a hot item opens pores letting in moisture, and you can remove it with vinegar, oil, and salt. You can also use toothpaste and baking soda solution, attracting moisture from the wood grains.

How Do You Get Burn Marks Out of White Furniture?

Burn marks might be challenging to remove as they are deep into the wood grains. You can opt for wood restoration and apply to vanish and wood paint to give the wood a final appearance. However, wood restoration should be the final step towards restoring your furniture.

Why is My Stained Wood Turning White?

The stained wood would be turning white due to the moisture and air trapped in the wooden grains. Water and moisture enter the wooden grain when the pores expand from exposure to hot items and form a permanent stain.

The whitish stain is a permanent mark affecting the wood grains or the surface coating.


Putting a glass of hot tea or a hot pizza box on a wooden can stain white. The white stain occurs when the wood grains expand, opening the pores, the moisture and air get into these pores. When the wood grains contract, it closes the pores trapping moisture.

You can get rid of the stain using a hairdryer, iron box, and other home remedies. If the stain is tough, you can opt for wood restoration to remove the white marks.