How to Remove Heat Stains from Wood

Wooden furniture and surfaces can add warmth and elegance to any space. However, one common issue that can mar the beauty of wood is heat stains. Whether it’s caused by a hot beverage, a hot pan, or a hot object left on the surface for too long, heat stains can be unsightly and frustrating to deal with. In this article, we will explore effective methods to remove heat stains from wood and restore its natural beauty.

How to Remove Heat Stains from Wood

Heat stains on wood can be a real eyesore, but before you decide to replace your furniture, try these simple yet effective methods to remove those pesky marks. These methods are easy to follow and utilize common household ingredients, making them accessible to everyone. Let’s dive in!

Toothpaste and Baking Soda

Toothpaste and baking soda are a powerful combination when it comes to removing heat stains from wood. Create a thick paste by mixing one part toothpaste with two parts baking soda. Apply the paste to the white heat mark on your wood table, ensuring to cover the entire stain. Allow it to sit for a minute or two before gently wiping it from the surface using a soft cloth. For more stubborn stains, you may need to repeat the process a few times until the stain is completely gone.

Olive Oil and Vinegar

Olive oil and vinegar, both commonly found in kitchens, can work wonders in removing heat stains from wood. Mix equal parts olive oil and vinegar in a container. Using a paintbrush or a clean rag, apply the mixture to the surface of the wood, focusing on the stained area. Be cautious not to use too much of the mixture, as excessive oil can leave an unwanted residue. Gently rub the mixture onto the stain, and with regular wiping motions, you’ll notice the stain fading away.

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly, often used as a moisturizer, can also come to the rescue when it comes to heat stain removal. Apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly to the heat stain, ensuring it covers the entire affected area. Leave it overnight, allowing the jelly to penetrate the wood. In the morning, wipe away the jelly using a clean cloth. The heat stain should be significantly diminished or completely gone.

Iron and Cloth

This method utilizes the power of heat to remove heat stains from wood. Place a cloth, preferably an old one, over the heat stain. Set your iron to a low heat setting without steam. Gently iron over the cloth, moving it in circular motions for about 10 to 15 seconds. The heat from the iron will cause the moisture trapped in the wood to evaporate, effectively removing the stain. Remember to check the progress after each round of ironing and repeat the process as needed.

Baking Soda and Water

A simple paste made of baking soda and water can be an effective solution for removing heat stains from wood. Mix equal parts baking soda and water to create a thick paste. Apply the paste directly to the heat stain, ensuring to cover the entire affected area. Let it sit for a few hours, allowing the mixture to penetrate the wood. Afterward, use a clean, damp cloth to gently wipe away the paste. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find the heat stain fading away.

Salt and Olive Oil

Combining salt and olive oil can create a powerful yet gentle abrasive paste that can help remove heat stains from wood. Mix equal parts salt and olive oil to form a paste. Apply the paste to the heat stain, ensuring it covers the entire area. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the mixture to work its magic. Using a clean cloth, gently wipe away the paste. The heat stain should be noticeably diminished or completely gone.

Steel Wool and Oil

For more stubborn heat stains, steel wool can be a useful tool to have on hand. Gently rub the heat stain using steel wool, applying light pressure. Be careful not to rub too vigorously, as it can cause scratches on the wood surface. Afterward, apply a small amount of oil to the area to restore the wood’s finish and protect it from further damage. This method can be particularly effective for older and deeper heat stains.


In extreme cases where the heat stain persists despite trying various methods, sanding the surface of the wood may be necessary. Before attempting this method, ensure you have the appropriate tools and materials. Use a fine-grit sandpaper and sand with the grain of the wood to avoid further damage. Begin with gentle strokes and gradually increase the pressure as needed until the heat stain is no longer visible. After sanding, consider refinishing the wood to restore its original appearance.

Prevention is Key

While knowing how to remove heat stains is valuable, preventing them in the first place is even better. By taking a few precautionary measures, you can keep your wood surfaces looking pristine. Always use coasters or trivets to protect your wood furniture from hot dishes and beverages. Encourage others to do the same, particularly if you have guests. By implementing this simple habit, you can avoid the hassle of dealing with heat stains altogether.


Heat stains on wood furniture can be frustrating, but with the right techniques, you can successfully remove them and restore your furniture’s natural beauty. From using simple ingredients like toothpaste and baking soda to employing the power of olive oil and vinegar, there are various methods to choose from depending on the severity of the heat stain. Remember to approach each method with care and evaluate the progress as you go along. Additionally, don’t forget the importance of prevention to maintain the longevity and aesthetics of your wood surfaces.


1. Can I use regular toothpaste for removing heat stains from wood?

Yes, regular toothpaste works well for removing heat stains from wood. Avoid using gel toothpaste and opt for a white, non-gel formula.

2. Are there any risks involved with sanding the wood?

Sanding should be done carefully to avoid damaging the wood surface. Start with a fine-grit sandpaper and sand with the grain of the wood. If you’re unsure, it’s advisable to seek professional help.

3. Can I use these methods on any type of wood?

Yes, these methods can be used on most types of wood. However, it’s always a good idea to test the method on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any adverse effects.

4. How often should I apply oil to the wood after using the steel wool method?

It’s recommended to apply oil to the wood periodically to maintain its finish and protect it from future damage. The frequency will depend on the specific type of wood and its condition.

5. What should I do if none of these methods work?

If you’ve tried various methods and the heat stain persists, it may be best to consult a professional woodworker or furniture restoration expert for further assistance.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.

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