Remove a Heat Stain from a Wood Table

Heat Stain, Be Gone!

Both Hubby and I had a rough week and were in need of a win. We started cleaning the house on Sunday and were both pretty crabby—who wants to clean a house on a Sunday?—and I was feeling a little A.D.D. when I decided to stop vacuuming and attempt to fix the coffee table. This wonderful hand-crafted table of ours was in dire straights. A friend had set a very hot mug on it 4 years ago and it left a nasty white “heat” stain behind. It just kept going down hill from there. Pizza boxes, Chinese take-out and too many hot chocolates to count had all left their marks. Until Sunday!

Needing an excuse to stop vacuuming I picked up my iPod and Googled “how to get rid of heat stains on my table.” I tried the first method that came up and BOOM! Epic win!

So what’s the secret?

Your iron and a clean, light-weight, white cotton cloth.

  1. Place the cloth on the heat stain
  2. Rub the iron with the steam going on the cloth over the stain for about 15-20 seconds or less
  3. Take away the iron and rub the cloth vigorously over the stain. The cloth is going to be hot and may stick to the table at first.
  4. Repeat as necessary
  5. DO NOT yell at me if it doesn’t work for you. Test it out on an inconspicuous area first to make sure you’re not about to make it worse. There may be a difference in finishes and the way they respond to the steam and heat of the iron—I don’t know. Just don’t blame me if it goes wrong.

If you have a larger surface to take care of, like we did, you’ll need a few clean cloths as the first one(s) will start to get sticky with varnish and will leave behind some white particles.

What a sorry looking coffee table
What a sorry looking coffee table
What a beautiful looking coffee table!
What a beautiful looking coffee table! Well, the right half anyway. I wasn’t quite done at this point

Finish It Off

To really make the coffee table look good I rubbed a small amount of olive oil into the table with the same white cotton rag I used with the steam, then went back over it again with a clean, dry rag. The table isn’t greasy like I thought it would be, and it looks about a thousand times better than it did before. This was a much needed win for our house, small though it was.

Sad, sad coffee table
Sad, sad coffee table
Happy, happy coffee table!
Happy, happy coffee table!
Remove a Heat Stain from a Wood Table
Before and After


In case you’re wondering, here are the sources of inspiration I used:


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