DIY – How To Remove White Heat Stains On Wood Table

We have an old wood table that has been used and abused for years. I brought it out over the holidays for card playing and commented how badly stained it was–while quickly covering with a cloth.

ExampleThese white cloudy marks are caused by placing hot dishes directly on the surface. It’s been damaged like this for several years.

A few are from chinese food takeout containers and another was caused by pizza boxes. It seems the heat from the containers scorches or somehow steams the finish.

There were also some watermark rings caused by setting cups and glasses directly on the surface. You name it–this table was covered in it. Like I said–it’s been abused!

The bottom right picture is a snap of the finished table, all the stains are gone. The spot at bottom center is just glare from the light. One of these days I’ll figure out the camera and take better pictures–the wood has a dark finish but you’d never know it from these pictures!

What did I do to fix the problem? While setting out the table, a relative gave me a tip: for the scorch marks, just take an iron and apply heat to the cloudy stains, they’ll disappear! If that’s too aggressive for you, no worries, I have some other ideas listed here as well.

First, here are the steps I took to remove them…

  • The first thing I did was wash the surface and dry it well.
  • I took a clean, white cotton towel that wasn’t too thick and placed it over the scorch marks.
  • Taking an old iron set to high dry heat, I placed it on top of the towel, directly over the stain. I let it sit for close to a minute, checked, and nothing happened. The damage was still there.
  • I kept reapplying the hot iron with no results, but once I turned the steam on–that’s when the magic happened. The marks literally disappeared. I couldn’t believe it and it defied logic to me–wouldn’t the steam cause more damage? All I know is that it worked. I was quick to wipe away any moisture and water on the surface after each treatment.
  • Added: A few of the comments below mentioned finishing things off by wiping in a bit of olive oil after successfully using this trick.

A few days later and the surface is still great. The cloudy discolorations haven’t returned. I keep running my hand across the top and I can’t feel any damage to the finish. I’m amazed at how easily this cleaned up–it’s a totally different piece of furniture now.

Caution: I have no idea if this damages the finish, I’m not an expert. It’s something I tried and worked very well in this case.

Added: Although many are finding this technique works on their furniture pieces, some are reporting that this makes the problem worse (see the comments below). The reason for the discrepancy could be what the type of finish is…varnish or shellac. I believe my table in this project is varnish, but I haven’t tested it to confirm.

Added: Glorious tips & suggestions have been contributed by many readers and those souls brave enough to test this…here’s the condensed version of the possible solutions if this technique fixes the original stain–but adds an outline of the iron:

  1. Try a lower temperature and move the iron slowly around the area instead of letting it sit (thanks Matthew!).
  2. Others report success with hot temp & no steam (thanks Flora Monroe!)
  3. and another suggestion to fix this with just a hot iron hovering over the spots (not laying one down on cloth–but hovering–thanks mark harris, Tom, myf, Roxanne, Diana and Melanie!)–I believe they all used steam for the hover technique.
  4. Also scroll down for Dan’s helpful tip using rubbing or polishing compound instead of the above technique if it’s too scary or aggressive for you.

Read the comments below for all the feedback I’ve received and how this has worked out for others. I’m thrilled this tip is working for so many–believe me, I know the state of panic you’re in! Also continuing to try finding a method that works for those that aren’t experiencing success yet, please drop a note if this worked (or didn’t work) for you :).

More Items & Techniques To try

*First published on a separate page and moved here for better organization

If the above steps above are a bit too aggressive for you, try one of the tips below…

  • Mix 50/50 toothpaste and baking soda, rub in. Do not use gel toothpaste for this.
  • Rub in a paste of salt and olive oil, allow to sit for up to an hour. Wipe off.
  • Rub in Miracle Whip (Mayonnaise) and wipe off after an hour.
  • Mix 50/50 vinegar and olive oil and rub into the watermark.
  • Try straight toothpaste (non-gel). Rub in with the grain then wipe off.
  • Make a paste with baking soda and a few drops of water. Rub in then wipe off. You can also try salt instead of baking soda.
  • Rub some Vaseline (or other petroleum jelly) into the watermark and leave overnight. Wipe off in the morning.

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What Readers Are Saying: 1,149 Comments
  1. Roxanne says:

    Thankyou very much for the tip on stain removal from wood table. My table was new and I didn’t know what to do. The iron worked like a charm. There is just a little mark left but I don’t want to push my luck. Thanks again.

    • Larry E says:

      Just like to also add that I got the white spots after ironing a shirt over a towel using steam to iron. So needless to say very skeptical about this approach. The steam iron took out the majority of the white spots, but left a light white tint still. Used the olive oil after and table looks 90% better. Thanks for all the comments on this!

      • Shirley Foreman says:

        Thank you for this article. My daughter placed pizza boxes on my beautiful oak table. I had a Christmas cloth on and when I removed it, I was just sick when I saw the huge white spots on my table. I tried the white towel with the steam iron and in just minutes the spots were gone. I then used lemon oil furniture polish and now my table looks just like new!!! THANK YOU!!!!

        • Camie says:

          No way! I can not beleive this works, but it does! I had a perfect iron mark on my new mahogany dining room table. I followed these instructions, ironing on high steam setting over a thin towel, and it vanished in less than 10 seconds! A beautiful thing ….

          • Michael says:

            Medium Iron. Thin Towel. Steam on. Stain gone in 15 seconds.

          • lorraine says:

            i thought my table was ruined by the hot food on paper plates which i stupidly put on my mahogany table .however thanks to your good advice of ironing on high steam setting over thin towel worked wonders then rubbed table top with olive oil its looking good now
            so many thanks!!!!!!

          • David says:

            Had a table less than 3 months and made a mark with a coffee plunger. Was feeling pretty depressed by the sight of the white ring. As everyone says a hot steam iron hovering above a tea towel worked wonders. 10 seconds and good as new! Thank you so much!!

        • Alisa says:

          This works so well! I couldn’t believe it when the pizza box left a huge white stain THROUGH my placemats! But, this worked wonders. Steam took less than a minute, but I noticed that the spot felt a little rough and looked dull so I used some olive oil and now it looks brand new! Thanks, guys πŸ™‚

          • jan says:

            Cant believe this has just worked on my pine coffee table,white mark left from a pizza box i am amazed thank you .

          • Linda says:

            was worried as I got the stain from ironing on the table on a heavy towel doubled up. I I took a chance and it worked. Dish cloth and steam iron and then buff. It took more than one try but I could see it disappearing. Finished by polishing with olive oil.
            Who would believe it.

          • Deb says:

            Mine happened from a pizza box too! I couldn’t believe it! Going to try this out tomorrow, but it sounds like everybody had great results πŸ˜‰
            And thanks for all the extra tips

        • Corinne says:

          We had the same thing happen to an antique mahogany hall stand…. i freaked out! The steam seemed to make it much worse but slowly moving warm iron over the marks without the steam on and over a towel seemed to get rid of the marks. We then used the polishing oil to reduce the dull appearance but it looks great now thankyou!

          • francesca says:

            Fantastic, a miracle before my very eyes! I had tried everything. Gone to the retailer only to be told I would have to live with it. Table looks bran new.

          • john says:

            you just saved me! I had less than 2 hours before mum and dad got back off holiday. tried the iron with steam on and a t-shirt first which made the stain ten times worse plus it added little white spots too. then tried the iron with steam off and a towel, after afew goes the stain began to disappear then eventually totally went!
            thank you thank you

        • Shan says:

          My daughter also placed pizza boxes on my beautiful Timber Table. I was beside myself when I seen 2 large white spots… I found this article and was a bit worried, but I decided it couldn’t be any worse then it already is. I was simply AMAZED! The spots disappeared within seconds! It was almost like a magic trick.

          After I done it, I wiped it over instantly with a dry cotton rag and then applied a little Olive Oil and rubbed it in well.

          My table is back to normal again…. (Thank goodness as it is only 1 month old!)

          Thank you for sharing this article. You saved me!!!

      • JOHN says:


      • Ann P says:

        Thought my son had ruined a favorite side table w/ hot food, but steam iron was the ticket! I put on high setting w/ steam and ironed over a few folded white paper towels. Followed up w/ olive oil and Pledge, and good as new!! Thanks so much.

        • Sandi says:

          Not sure when you posted your suggestion, but I followed your method on using steam, paper towels and olive oil.(I didn’t have any furniture polish) It worked like a charm. Table looks beautiful now. Thanks heaps!!! I will never iron on that table again.. ha ha.

        • Stacey says:

          My son did the same to my new dining room table (hot food on paper plates), I tried everything and this is the only thing that worked!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who posted this extremely helpful information!!!

        • Ludi says:

          Was afraid to use the hot iron method on beautiful dining table so, when my wife was away, tried on a stain on our coffee table first. Passing hot iron without steam above stain did nothing. Passed above with steam on – still nothing. Then I tried pillow case on table and steam on, and pressing on the cloth back and forth for a few seconds – stain greatly reduced. A second try for a few more seconds and the stain was gone! I wiped off the slight steam moisture after each ironing.
          With some trepidation still but also cautious confidence from my first success, I now went for the full Monty – the much larger heat stain on our dining table. Same pillow case, same iron on steam (cotton setting) and after three or four ironings, lifting cloth and checking each time in between (and wiping the little moisture), it worked again, like magic! A little olive oil wipe and the table was perfect.
          Thank you all for the advice that I just put into practice. Very appreciated.

      • Marilyn says:

        This has made my day – or YEAR!
        I had tolerated looking at a square mark on our mahogany dining table for two years (the result of my husband ignoring my plea to put something extra under a Lasagne dish straight from the oven).
        Then yesterday we served Sunday lunch on heated dinner plates but we had only set the table with fabric placements. The result was two almost circular white marks to match the square one!
        Needless to say I was mortified when I saw the state of the table and so I re-read the advice about using the steam iron and took a chance.
        The table now looks like new and the only thing I regret is that I didn’t do it two years ago and I would have saved the mournful thoughts I had every time I looked at the square mark!
        I simply laid a tea towel on the mark and hovered the iron about an inch from the surface for a few seconds (the coward in me didn’t want to risk longer. One mark took a another attempt which could have meant that I didn’t leave the steam for long enough. As soon as I wiped the area dry, the job was comlete!
        Thank you so much to the person who compiled this site and all thos who took time to give testimonies of such a positive nature.

      • Mark Thompson says:

        Β£600 coffee table…thought it was ruined forever after hot plate placed on top! Thin towel, medium heat and no steam fixed in 60 seconds. Can’t thank you enough…awesome!!

      • tenor says:

        DO NOT DO THIS!!!! It will make you white mark worse (larger and just as white) and may even make the finish take on the texture of the material. Polishing with olive oil and a soft cloth will make the stain less pronounced, but it will remain and resurface after a while… I just keep polishing with olive or mineral oil…

        • Erika says:

          The iron isn’t working for our table – the mark goes away initially but when the table cools the mark comes back – sometimes worse. Any suggestions? I’m going to try polishing it with the olive oil and see if that works. Tenor, have you had any luck completely removing yours?

        • Kelly says:

          Made my table worse! The initial stain lifted BUT it left a much larger stain all around the stain and it took on the texture of the towel. What A complete mess!

      • gaileileen says:

        I’m thrilled to say this actually worked!! I have pics to prove it!! I went slow cuz the iron thing scared me but after seeing starting to work…I went all in!! Thank u thank u thank u!

      • Mahesh says:

        It is amazing. My new table had a large round white area where I’d put a steamer with dumplings. I tried soda and toothpaste and it was still the same. 10 seconds, steam iron and towel did it. Now there’s no mark. Thanks a ton

    • Lisa says:

      Just tried this on 2 heat rings on our dining room table. Used steam at a medium heat setting and a white T-shirt. Both came out in less than a minute. Used a little furniture polish to bring back the gleam and table looks awesome! Previously tried mayonnaise with no success. Had resigned myself to the cost to re-finish. Thanks!

      • Omar says:

        I just tried this a few seconds ago and it worked in about a minute and a half to remove three rings from coffee I set down carelessly. Thanks for the tip!

        • Joan says:

          Same as a lot of other comments .Hot chinese dishes and hot tea left directly on table caused a lot of white stains . Tried the hot iron as suggested with steam then rubbed baby oil on with some cotton wool the result was amazing .Sorry I didnt google it a year ago. Thanks

    • sean says:

      girlfriends moms coffee table saved in under 1 minute. thank you

    • TWFP says:

      There are all sorts of products to buy for removing ring marks and we find that none of them actually work. The only method we use is dangerous, extreme fun and we have only known it not work twice. But we take no responsibility if you get it wrong! You need methylated spirit, cotton wool and a cigarette lighter. Just dampen the cotton wool with the meths and hold only in your left hand. Hold the lighter in your right hand. Wipe over the ring mark with the cotton wool, make sure that your hand is well away and flick the lighter on at the edge of the mark. The meths will light and the mark will disappear. Do you want to know why? Well the white mark is caused by putting something hot and wet on the table, such as a dripping mug of tea. The heat opens up the pores of the timber which soak in the moisture. As the cup cools the moisture is trapped inside the wood. Meths burns at a very low temperature and does not burn for long. What happens is that the lit meths opens up the pores long enough for the moisture to escape before they close up again. This way you are not disguising the mark, you are removing it. But remember: Only use meths, make sure you use the smallest amount, if it burns for more than 3 second then just blow out the clear flame as you would blow out birthday candles and do not set fire to the cotton wool or your fingers. It will hurt! Also remember that heat resisting mats for your table are not a license to put 200 degree pans on. You will damage your table, the mats resist heat they don’t repel it!

      • Darla says:

        Yes, I have an antique table and this technique made the white stain disappear. I put a damp washcloth (steam on my iron no longer working) over the spot and gently moved the iron back and forth for 15 seconds. Voila, table top restored!

        • carol says:

          just tried white towel with steam iron on high setting on my wood kitchen table on 5 year old white marks left from a hot pizza box worked great still can’t believe it. table looks brand new. thank’s again. Carol

    • Barbara says:

      IT DID IT!!!I was a little afraid but could not have made it much worst and when I removed the cotton cloth I was amazed…Thanks so much

      • Allan says:

        This completely and utterly worked. Thank you so much for posting this.

      • Kate says:

        OMG! My mother in law’s MOTHERS table….did I mention it is on loan? Thank you thank you. I too was timid but it totally worked. Iron, steam, towel, hover. Thank you!

      • Shiralee says:

        Thank you – this was such a successful tip – absolutely amazing – I now have two brand new tables – worked like a charm. The olive oil was also an amazing tip – Many thanks.

    • Beth says:

      I took my steam iron to my oak pedistol table with multiple white marks…It took every stain out !!!!! Thanks for the tip.
      Very Grateful

      • Dennis Dudley says:

        We used the steam iron method on a cherry dining room table that had a white heat ring. First just hovering hot iron without success then pushed steam button wiped away excess water and after a few applications the ring was gone.. Great idea!

    • ana says:

      CAN NOT belive this worked…i was about to spend cash on a new coffee table!!! Thanks so much

    • Stacey says:

      Thank you for the helpful information on how to remove a white hot stain off a wood table-
      I set a cup of hot tea down and the bottom of the cup was wet, (I did not know this).
      I tried the white towel with using a hot iron, hovering it with no steam, tried the hot iron moving it across the stain and nothing was working- I then tried the steam technique and I am happy to say it worked. I hovered while pressing the steam button for about 15 seconds, then wiped the excess moisture away and the white stain is gone- yay!
      Thank you

    • Herb says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this! It worked out brilliantly and saved us a lot of worried πŸ™‚

      • Jeane says:

        I used the steam iron technique on my kitchen island and it worked! No more white ring from a hot plate! Thank you so much!

    • Elle says:

      Thank you so so much! I have just moved in to a brand new fully furnished apartment after setting a hot drink down on the bedside table, I noticed the same heat stains! I am now living in Taiwan and don’t speak the language so I was really worrying. My mother said there is some sort of product that you can buy that can remove these heat stains but I had no chance as everything is so different here. Then I came across this web site! It worked wonders! Literally only 2-3 seconds (as I was scared!) and the stain had gone! I used the towel and medium heat with steamer on! Thank you so much you’re a life saver! This will always stay in my good housekeeping memory! ^.^

    • Larry says:

      Absolutely amazing!! My daughter placed a paper plate with hot food on my new oak table. The white stains were awful. The iron on medium heat with steam with a wash cloth between the iron and table removed the white spots immediately. Thanks and my daughter is no longer grounded! πŸ™‚

    • John says:

      Roxanne, the trick is to make sure you keep moving the iron. It should be set at medium temperature with the steam on. I doubled up a dish drying towel to use on the surface of the wood.

    • Cynthia says:

      Well as everyone else I was terrified to try this. I ruined my Victorian dining table imported from Belgium.It’s part of a dining set worth over 20k. I placed a hot pot, on a trivet, on a place mat that wAs on a table cloth!!!! And it still marred the tabletop. Devastated I blamed everyone in the house for being careless. As I thought I had protected it sufficiently. Well I ended up doing it again and this time with all the protection it was even worse !!! I found this site and read for hours everyone’s experience. I figured since I was going to have it professionally redone what can I possibly do to make it worse?
      I went over the mark very closely and noticed it looked like wax had been disturbed. Since I didn’t have an iron available, I used a blow dryer, high heat and hovered closely to the spots. They disappeared and I scrubbed with the grain with a soft kitchen towel. I did this to ensure there weren’t any dull spots.
      5 min and my precious priceless table was 100%! I polished it right away. I looks fabulous and inwas so happy!!! Just thrilled! Thank you so much and I hope this help someone !!!

      • Diane says:

        I have a 3 inch by 6 inch spot like yours but my table has a shiny finish. It is a Skovby and Danish. I wonder if it will work.

      • Kimberly says:

        I tried the hair drier on high heat and it worked great! I rubbed a little olive oil on it after and it looks perfect! I am so happy I found this site!

      • Jean says:

        Thankyou thankyou thankyou … I have saved up for three years to get my self a new table, finally got it just before christmas. But after only a week we got a water mak on it… devastated was not the word… Absolutly over the moon .. thank you! I also used a hair dryer!

    • Jean D. says:

      I have never replied to something like this before but I am amazed! My Bermex table has had this problem since I bought it. Anything I put on it, even over a place mat or tablecloth leaves an unsightly whit spot. I have tried to deal with Bermex to no avail. I have had the top professionally repaired,only to have it happen again. This worked in a minute!!! I was just shopping for a new table and saw this website. Thank you! My table looks great.

    • cami says:

      I am so happy right now. I just gave the Iron w/ steam over a dish towel a try and it worked like a charm. My husband set something down on the table during one of the holidays and when he saw the white mark he felt so bad. I just kinda smiled (practicaly thru tears) and said don’t worry about we can get it fixed. I was just sick about it. I just kept a runner on the table to cover it up. Now you can’t tell anything ever happened. Thank you so much for the tip.

    • julie says:

      I read these posts and thought NO WAY will that work but I thought i have nothing to loose so i gave it a go and i was so shocked when it actually worked so don’t be afraid give it a try as it REALLY does work .. THANKS to the person that found this out as it has saved my unit from the tip ….

    • Monna says:

      Thanks so much for this Tip!
      I tried the towel over the spots and hovering the steam iron over them. I used a medium setting,because I was nervous. When I turned the settiing to high, it took less than 30 seconds to remove the stains! Amazing!
      I should also mention that I had tried a commercial product that laid claims to fixing this, but to no avail. At work there are anitbacterial hand cleaner stains on an antique dresser. I think I will try the mayonaise tomorrow…if it doesn’t work,I wonder if this would…

    • Marjorie says:

      I went online searching ‘how to remove white water marks from table’ . Found this website and after reading all the success stories, I immediately tried the cloth/steam method – PRONTO – marks are gone and so are the worries I have lived with for long time. THANKS

    • Gloria says:

      O.M.G…I’m so THANKFUL for the steam iron tip on white burns on wooden tables…I used a white tee-shirt on table with stean iron & it was gone in seconds…Praise GOD & whoever came up with this method because it wasn’t even my table…I was horrified to say the least & equally horrified to use an iron over the already burn mark…

    • Donna says:

      After years of unsightly white stains on my very expensive dining table, i read your review and decided to bite the bullet and try it. I could not believe my eyes. After hovering over the white cotton cloth with a steaming iron the white mark was completely gone and did not damage the beautiful finish! Thanks Roxanne

    • vanessa says:

      thank you love my table and with the white spots i didn’t know what i was going to but thr trick with iron and white cloth work great i’m once again proud of my table but i do have one question what do i do so it don’t happen again

    • christine says:

      Grain alcohol also works surprisingly well! I used Everclear!

    • pandora says:

      wow! who would thunk it! but i not owning a real iron used a curling iron without the shirt and just rub it with a damp cloth!

      • bbi says:

        Omg I never comment but this was a marriage saver. I placed hot hamburger on a napkin on our oak foot rest of bed and hubby didn’t eat right away. Left white curcle. I told him bout this site and he was not buying it…..steam worked n less than five seconds

    • Carrie says:

      I tried this on my kitchen table and it made it worse, I’m guessing that it depends on the type of wood. I was hoping that this would work but I guess I will keep trying other things.

      • Janine says:

        It made my table worse too… Now I’m trying to figure out how to explain to my husband that I thought steaming the table, when that’s what caused the problem in the first place, would fix it. “Oh, because I read it on the internet…”

    • Lene says:

      Thank you so much it worked like magic, I was very nervous to bring a hot steaming iron to my brand new $3200 table but I had nothing to lose and my table now looks amazing. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    • Michael says:

      Truly fantastic. I would like to know WHY it works. If placing a hot item on the table (oak in our case) creates the white discoloration, why does adding more heat take it away – instantaneously? Does anyone know the science behind this treatment?

      • Kimmi says:

        Fantastic indeed. Who would of known that the damage from using a steam iron on a table could be repaired by….doing it again! By golly it worked though. The damage was most likely due from longer heat exposure, although I was using a portable ironing board set on the table. 5 seconds of the same moist heat reversed the damage, but I’m betting I could re-damage it again if I did this for 5-10 minutes instead of seconds. BTW, there’s a post somewhere above that explains the science behind this, although he uses a different method, I’m sure it still applies to this method.

      • Science guy says:

        Condensation. The heat coming from a cup or item brings the moisture to condense at the top of the wood, but if you heat the wood itself, the moisture is drawn to disperse through that heated area. I’m sick so I can’t tell if that made sense. Think when you come out of the shower, you get steamed glass, because the shower was the heat producer. If you wait a second next time you shower, and you take the blow drier and blow dry the glass, the condensation will dissipate because you heat the glass.

    • JANE SCOTT says:

      great tip , i couldnt believe it made the heat mark go ,, thank you for the tip , jane

    • Jamie says:

      Don’t iron your table!!!!! It worked for the original spot but created a bigger spot witch was not removed but made even WORSE with more ironing. Rub toothpaste into the spot, rinse with wet towel, dry and repeat until gone. It will go away but you must repeat several times.

      Ironing is good for a table that you are not afraid of ruining. If you are the least bit afraid of making it worse use toothpaste.

      • Renee says:

        I used my tried-and-true method for repairing a deep dent in an oak hall mirror (hot water applied to spot for 10-20 minutes), but this time it left a white mark. The area was too small for an iron, so I rubbed a baking soda/water past onto the white mark, and it was gone in seconds.

        • Vicky says:

          I too tried the heat (hair dryer) method on my walnut table and it was only worse, but after reading Renee’s comment I tried baking soda/water paste and the white came right out. It also made the finish dull but I rubbed some olive oil in then wiped off with Endust and it looks nice now. THANK you.

    • willsr says:

      It worked like a charm!!! I added Murphy’s Oil Soap afterwards just to finish the job. It looks great.

    • Jill says:

      After reading all the oomments on how to remove the white spots on furniture, I went to Ace Hardware and found the perfect solution. They sell a cloth by a company called Homax, and it is specifically for removing water spots and heat spots. I used it on my 1940’s table, and almost all spots are completely gone. The one that does remain is very faint. You simply rub it on the table to remove the spot, and then polish with furniture polish. I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome!

    • Ginny says:

      It worked! Pizza on a paper plate with plate holder made a checkered white pattern on an old coffee table…….mayonnaise, soft sanding and old english polish did not work…..a hot iron over a cloth made the stain disappear in less than 30 seconds!! Thanks again for the tip.

    • Betty Grossman says:

      I had ironed off a couple items on my table with a nice heave terry cloth towel under the items and I have done this time and time again but when I took the towel up, oops! there was the terrible white stains. I went and got furniture polish and scrubbed, no good,I then thought go on the webb and see if you can find any hints there, and found you. The steam iron worked great, I was a little leery to use that method but desided to go ahead, no mess, a little time but well worth it. Thank you so much

    • TEREZA says:

      I really want to say thanks for this great informations . I left a hot cup coffee this morning im my beautiful pre new handed paint table . I used my regular cleaners like 409, this time did not help at all.Than I was reading your sugestions and I use colgate regular toothpaste, instantlly the stain desapair.I am very happy and I say again thank you very much…

    • Violet says:

      I could not believe it but I used the iron and it worked great. Thanks for the tip.

    • kathy turnbull says:

      brilliant I have just tried this out on my pine table and I have used a white paper towel doubled, and hey presto it really DOES workI srpayed and “ironed” over as if ironinglightly and after four gentle irons the mark has gone..I may put a light spray of polish over it later to feed the wood,or leave it .I am just so pleased it has got rid of the white ring mark.

    • Tera says:

      Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!! I have a solid oak table and thought it was ruined. Spots are gone! Steam Iron for 10-15 seconds and olive oil! Love it! Can’t even tell the spots were ever there!!!

    • Lisa J says:

      Two years ago I put a perfectly, foggy, white iron print on my mahogany buffet table (trying to iron out the table runner). The warm iron (no steam) on a dark, soft towel worked in about 40 seconds. Bless you all. My husband will be so happy.

    • Greg says:

      Had just finished Thanksgiving lunch and and my wife was sadden by a square white stain on her dark cherry dinning room table. I searched the Internet and found this solution. It worked in about ten seconds and the entire stain was removed. Thanks. This saved the afternoon

    • audreaan says:

      Thank you I was scared tto try the iron because that’s what cause it. I did it and it worked. I then put orange glo on it and u can’t even tell. Nice fix

    • Angie says:

      Oh my gosh, it worked! When I first tried the iron, cloth and steam, it looked like I had made it much worse! I then rubbed some lemon oil on it, and VOILA…no more heat stain. Thanks so much for the tip!

    • Melainie says:

      Thank you the steam iron worked on my water mark. Had a damp mark left by a plant holder and used the iron on steam very hot over a thin piece of towelling. Kept the iron about an inch away from the towelling then kept rubbing with the towelling. Finally polished with beeswax polish and stain has gone.

    • Afton P. says:

      Shocked it worked!!!
      I was skeptical. I had tried two other methods. They didn’t work.(a special marker from home depot, and using a blow-dryer)
      It’s hard to believe… you can fix heat damage with heat! I am so happy! Thanks for making me like my table again!!

    • Josh says:

      Thank you so much!!!!! The steam iron on a tshirt filled by olive oil totally got the stain out! And my wife was so psyched that our table wasn’t ruined…..

    • PEGGY says:

      I used a thick white facecloth and hot dry iron. Unbelievable my oak cherrywood table looks brand new again. It was scary trying this but I figured what the heck the tables ruined anyway so it can’t get worse. I polished it up with a wood polish after and it’s beautiful!

    • Jessica says:

      It worked for me!!! Had white spots on black kitchen table after a Lowcountry Boil….and the iron trick worked!!!!

    • reid says:

      Thanks, This worked great. Had a light white stain after I did this but repeated the prosses and used old english scratch remover and wood conditioner and it looks great. A little rough to the touch but it will hold me over untill I refinish. Thanks again.

    • kim says:

      wow!!!!!!!! bottom line thankyou!!!!!!! it worked in seconds so grateful for people setting up these home remedy tips!!!!!!

    • Brandon N says:

      I put a pizza box on my mom’s expensive table and of course as soon as I get home to meet her she is standing over it and yelling. I told her to calm down and I’d fix it, first I did the diluted ammonia buffing trick mixed with the white toothpaste buff, it only got some of it out. Then I read this and I thought, ironing? ….. Heat gun. If any of you has a handy husband he’d surely have a heat gun laying around some where. Just a couple seconds with a heat gun and it will literally evaporate the stain without any worry since there will be no direct contact of an iron. Just make sure you don’t apply to much heat in one spot, wave it around.

    • AnnMarie says:

      Add me to the list of success stories. I inherited my grandparents’ antique cherry finish dining table about 25 years ago. Shortly afterwards, a friend put an ugly white mark on it, I wasn’t sure the source. At that time I tried all kinds of suggested remedies, including mayo and vegetable oil, to no avail, gave up, and have had to keep a table cloth on the beautiful table ever since. I happened to be changing table cloths today and thought to try the internet to look for solutions. I figured what could I lose, so I applied the steam iron and cloth. Like magic, the white mark disappeared in seconds. It did leave a darker mark, but it is much less noticeable, and indeed there are other such darker spots on the table that I had not spotted before. Maybe my grandparents used your remedy long ago.

    • cindy says:

      This worked GREAT, I used the iron directly on the table with steam, it really is magic. I have also put marks on the table from ironing and was skeptical as well but this worked awesome !! Thankyou so much for the idea.

    • Mary Haire says:

      Thanks for the great tip…it works !!!! The steam iron removed the white stain entirely…so happy with the result…

    • Lis says:

      I’ve just tried this with a coffee cup ring but instead of the iron I used a hair dryer…it was set on high heat and I held it about 10-15cm away whilst keeping it moving and…Amazing…the ring has gone!

    • Ian I says:

      Had this problem after inviting friends over for a take-away, I used the hover about an inch above the stain for about 15 secs and wiped the moisture away and immediately rubbed the area with VEGETABLE oil for about 30 sec and then wiped away the excess oil. Worked perfectly, thanks for the amazing tip.

    • Jenny says:

      Brilliant! Used the stem (hottest setting)and thin towel method very gingerly (a few seconds at a time) and watched the marks disappear as I reapplied. Thank you so much for your help:)

    • Mike S says:

      Hot iron on a dry cotton tea towel worked perfectly! Thank you. I pressed quite firm and kept it moving. Checked every 5 seconds or so. Wow! This was a new table and I thought it was wrecked for ever! Amazing.

    • Tammy says:

      Thank you for these tips they worked amazing. I used a travel iron with a towel on my veneer table. (don’t leave on but a 20 or 30 seconds and check) . Then apply the olive oil to bring back the shine. I was so depressed when I had the heat stain . I was selling the table and knew that I lost myself some money.
      You made my day!

    • Deanna S says:

      I just want to thank you, your trick worked and I not only fixed our new table that had gotten a mark, but also our older table that I would never have uncovered. Used a thinner towel, with steam and moved the iron around for about 20 seconds a piece on the marks. Gone, all the marks are gone.

    • Anne says:

      Scary to try but the ugly white marks all over my beautiful cherry wood table motivated me to try. WOW! I used my iron on a steam setting and kept th heat medium high. I used a cotton dish towel. Magic! I brought my 11 year old son up from his Nintendo game and he was amazed too. Thank you so much! What a huge relief, so much easier than many other options I was considering!

    • Lara says:

      Thank you so much for the advice. I am living in furnished rental condo and the first time I permitted my three year old to sit at the adult table, I placed warm chicken nuggets on a paper plate and placed it on the wooden dining room table. When I picked up the plate to clear the table I was horrified to see three white spots left in the plate’s wake. I saw this article and the different removal options and thought I had nothing to lose. I rubbed paste toothpaste onto the spots for a few minutes and then wiped the area clean. The spots are gone!!! I am now one step closer to getting my security deposit back. Thank you for the advice!

  2. sandy says:

    It is in fact amazing. I tried it on my table today and it worked. Thanks for sharing this tip with everyone!

    • Andrew Marlay says:

      It works! And, it works fast. I kept the setting on the iron as low as possible but still able to get steam. I folded the terrycloth towel in half, figuring I’d be a little safer with two thicknesses of towel.

      I also kept the iron moving slowly in a circular motion.

      I am really, really pleased with the results. The marks are completely gone.

      • Treasa says:

        The iron worked great… amazing… I thought I ruined my friends $2000 table with a bowl of hot soup…. I read this tip and was amazed that it worked… her table is like brand new…. Thank you!!!!

  3. Lynda says:

    Wow, we had company and used paper plates which left white spots on our beautiful table. Tried the iron and within seconds they are gone. Thank you.

    • Sarah says:

      Same thing happened to me, except the steam iron left a HUGE white spot on my table πŸ™ Now instead of a half-plate shaped mark, I have a circular iron mark! *Kills self*

      • jeannette says:

        My Aunt told me to blow a hair dryer on a white ring that was on my oak coffe table,and it worked.Like the guy above said water gets trapped in there and the heat I think drys it up.Worked great cause I was near tears.

      • daisy says:

        Same thing happened to me!! But I didn’t give up, I tried rubbing toothpaste with salt and used a soft bristle brush.. After about three tries it took the huge white steam stain I’d done with the iron out

  4. Jay says:

    Thank you!!! Without thinking, I decided to iron a shirt on a towel on a gorgeous round chest I received from my mother that I use as a coffee table in the living room, using plenty of steam. After ironing, I left the towel there for a while, and after I pulled it up, it was full of horrid white stains. I almost cried. I tried your tip and it worked perfectly. You don’t even need the towel, just hold the iron close to the stains and steam like hell. I tried this on some other heat stains on other wood items, and it worked great – except on an old desk that doesn’t have much varnish left on it – it actually made it worse…! Thank you, though – your tip saved the day for me!

    • Teri says:

      I put mayonnaise on a pop ring that was on an old dresser, left it on for 15 min…wiped it right off!!! So if you have older furniture try mayonnaise!!

  5. Mandaly says:

    Oh my goodness, thank you so much for the tip. My husband and I just bought a brand new very expensive cherry table and for thanksgiving this year I set a pan of something very hot on my new table (even though there were three layers of cloth below the pan) and got a huge white blotch on my table. I steamed it with the iron and It was gone in 2 minutes. Thanks again!!

  6. Cathy Dalton says:

    My fiancee’s black coffee table was he victim of a hot tea pot on multiple layers of towel…I tried the iron and steam and like the tipster said it worked like “magic”!


  7. TipNut says:

    I’m so glad this tip has saved a few precious tables (and prevented some heartache!). Thanks for letting me know this has helped you :).

    • Brenda says:

      I was in tears had hot paper plate sat on wood with pork chops. Cleaned table off and wood had a white circle on it. Went to internet and found this great tip with iron. IT WORKED. THANKS!!! Very hard to believe this would work. March 21, 2011

  8. Susan W. says:

    Thank you so much for that tip! My husband and I hosted a post-Christmas party last night and we found two white stains on our antique dining room table after the guests went home. At first I panicked but thanks to your tip, the stains are now gone! Thanks again!!!

  9. Jane Dane says:

    Help!!! I tried the tip for making white heat stains disappear from a wood table. It only made it worse. What am I doing wrong???? Please help. Jane

    • Courtney says:

      Jane, I had the same problem, so here’s what I did: I laid a clean white towel over the affected area, used a spray bottle with water instead of the steam function on my iron to moisten the towel, ironed the moistened towel with a high level of heat, lifted the towel, and then IMMEDIATELY rubbed vegetable oil over the area with a clean rag. If I didn’t rub in the oil within seconds after lifting the towel up, the spots would slowly reappear on the table. After using a combination of the steam iron and oil, my table looks great. This might have something to do with the specific finish on the wood (I’m hardly an expert!), but this tip might work for you and others who are having problems with the steam iron technique. Good luck!

      • Sam says:

        Thanks Courtney
        I used a wet towel and laid the iron on top for about 10 seconds. I lifted the towel and there was a slight white mark from the iron on the table (less opaque than the stains) I rubbed canola oil into the wood with the cloth and it seemed to disappear for the most part.

        • Cindy says:

          Amazing! the canola oil made the discoloration disappear completely. The wood now looks clean and conditioned. By the way… I did not apply steam, only the heat from the iron.
          Thanks to all for the good tip.

          • Bob says:

            I have a wood kitchen table with numerous heat rings. I first cleaned the table. I tried the steam on one ring and it made it worse. I used an iron without steam on an old linen sheet and it worked. Afterwards I applied English Leather to the entire table top and it looks great.

  10. Josie says:

    Oh my God, I can’t believe that the hot iron removed the white heat stains from my dinning room table. I thought that nothing would remove them. But, I tried it and it worked, it was amazing watching the stains disappear. I recommend this to anyone who is experiencing the same problem that I did. Good Luck!!

  11. emma the magician says:

    me and my cousin decided to cook xmas dinner as all the family was on holiday over xmas. we decided to put the foil tray with gravy in the middle of the table on top of a table cloth and a tea towel.After waking up to a complete bomb shell of a mess the next morning, I lifted the tea towel to be horrified my a big white stain mark in my mums expensive table.”oh my god what the hell are we going to do”? thats it all chip in for a french polisher between all the will only be a few quid each. “ouch” oh no (Β£450 quid). sod that we all said. looked on the internet and guess what “bobs your uncle Fannys your aunt” this tip worked wonders.Thanx

  12. lesley says:


    I put a glass candle on a slate coaster on my teak table and it left nasty white mark.

    I have just used a white towel and the steam iron , i went over it gently 3 times and wipeing the miosture away and rubbed in little teak oil and the stain has completely gone.

    Thankyou so much for this tip.


  13. DL Scott says:

    I don’t think you need anymore affirmation but I can’t restrain myself. We had white stains from hot stuff on paper plates and my wife was sick about it. We cleaned up our prized cherry dining room table in ten minutes. This tip was a lifesaver.

  14. BR Papers says:

    My husband & I tried this on our coffee table that had a heat mark (from a crock bowl that was just removed from the microwave.)

    We wee amazed at how it worked! We then decided to give it a try on my dining room hutch. We have no idea what spilled on it to cause that white mark. But, like magic the white marks disappeared!

  15. nina says:

    I just tried this tip and it made the white mark worse than before.

    • Timmer says:

      Nina, I had the same results, so what I did was I took extra fine steel wool, and a product called “Guardsman Furniture Polish”. I sprayed the whole surface with the furniture polish then I worked it in with the steel wool, not rubbing too hard, otherwise you may take the existing finish right off. Once the polish dried, I buffed it in with a clean rag. This worked like a charm!

  16. Ole says:

    You guys need to make it clear what kind of surface you have on your tables. What works on varnish may not work on shellac.

    • Timmer says:

      I agree 100% with you Ole. You need to know what kind of surface finish is on the furniture. As you say what works on varnish my not work on shellac.

  17. TipNut says:

    Thanks for pointing that out Ole, I couldn’t pinpoint the problem some were having vs. the great success others were having. Your comment may just be the answer.

    I believe the table I worked on is varnish, but haven’t tested it. Sorry it’s not more specific.

    I updated the info in the post.

  18. eric says:

    incredible! worked for me like magic. thank you so much! i think my table is varnished but don’t know for sure…

  19. Justine says:

    wow! I can’t believe it worked! I was the victim of a hot tea pot on a white napkin, after I went to put the teapot away saw a huge white stain on my beautiful cherry table… husband was not a happy camper. I was terrified to try this seeing as this was how the stain came about in the first place. This morning I had mayonaise on it for a few hours after reading that on another website… help. I am so glad I found your tip and tried it! this worked like a charm, thank you very much!!!

  20. Relieved Jimmy says:

    We just bought a Bermex table with a birch top, arguably the nicest furniture we have in our home. Needless to say that I was horrified when a piece of microwaved pizza on a paper plate left a white scorch mark.
    I immediately went to the net and after some searching found your site.
    This is now the greatest site in the world…it totally worked. My wife was scared and so was I but not guts no glory. THANK YOU!!!

  21. JT (Jim's sun) says:

    Well, I thought it was a crazy idea to put a hot iron on the new table we just got, but it worked. The pizza stain was gone and Mom was jumping up and down. No, just kidding, she wasnt that exited. I’m just glad we dont have that stupid looking stain anymore.

  22. SunnyCal says:

    Can’t even begin to tell you how amazingly well it worked! Hot pizza boxes carelessly left on our cherry dining table created a huge 8-inch round white-mark. One application with high-temp and full steam, the stains were gone!!!!

    A huge thanks to you and your site! And special thanks to Google for helping me find your truly fabulous site!!!

  23. Lily says:

    Wow! It works! My husband wanted to get rid of our beautiful dinning table because of the white heat marks. I tried your trick and it worked. The table stays. Thank you so much!

  24. judy says:

    The heat spot was caused by my
    ironing with steam on a towel on
    the dining room table. I’m hesitatant to try the same to remove it!!! Does it REALLY work?

  25. TipNut says:

    Judy it really does work, but for some it didn’t. It may have something to do with the type of wood finish/varnish.

  26. Juli says:

    Be careful – I tried this tip and it did not work for me, only made the white stain worse. I’m thinking that my table that is almost 20 years old has sort of a shiny finish which may mean it’s shellac which may explain why it only made it worse. I guess it’s time for a new kitchen table.

    • Laura says:

      Same happened to us. The table is old, and the steam and heat made marks worse. The only way to make things better was to keep colder steam over the stain for a few seconds and then quickly rub it with a dry towel using pressure. Repeat as needed. Some of the lighter shade is still there, but it might be gone after rubbing in some oil.

      • Christy says:

        I had exactly the same problem. The steam iron made giant cloudy spots, but I turned the heat down and turned off the steam and went back over it with the dry iron and a dry towel and they went away. The table is good as new now. Try that.

  27. Catherine says:

    Well, feeling very nervous but desperate to get rid of the coffee cup rings, I tried the iron/heat method on a modern,oak dining room table. It really does work. Just waiting for the family to ask what magic I used on it!!!!

  28. chris says:

    Worked for me too! Thanks so much!

  29. Flora Monroe says:

    I had an ugly white water stain on my table, due to the fact that water was spilt,and no one knew! I tried the HOT iron, dry no steam method with a white Tee shirt under. WOW it worked!
    Our friends had given us this table.
    They had taken wonderful care of
    it for the last 20 years. Because of the water stain I made sure it was converd when they came over.
    Now I don’t have to hide it!!

    • Sheila Jimenez says:

      OmG! Thanks so much for this tip! saved my skin when I poured hot coffee on my brothers new dining table! Thank you so so so so so MUCH!xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox!

  30. Cassandra says:

    My father bought our dining room table as wedding present. I was cleaning the house b4 my mother-in-law was coming to stay & i made a BIG WHITE stain on the table, of course panick mode kick it, found your websit, try it, IT WORKS. now just waiting for her to arrive. THANKS so for save the day.

  31. Marion says:

    Add me to the list! Best tip ever!!

  32. Mark says:

    I left a wet cloth on a mahogany veneered table which caused a round white cloudy mark the size of a grapefruit. I tried mayonnaise and furniture polish but this did not do anything. I reluctantly tried the above using a hot iron on a cotton cloth and “hey presto” I watched the stain vanish like magic….how on earth does the stain lift from underneath the varnish without disturbing the lacquer ? I also removed a little mork that has been on the table for years !!! thanks a million

  33. miguel sanchez says:

    the iron trick works. but be warned, do NOT press the iron onto the cloth or else you will burn it! just release the steam onto the cloth and move around before lifting it off the stain.

  34. Barry says:

    I was sick to the back teeth of looking at the white stains on my coffee table, left by takeaway boxes. 30 seconds on google and a quick ironing session later and they’re all gone. Thank you for a great tip.

  35. Rosemary says:

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! The steam and the iron on the dish towel worked like magic. The white heat stain on my wood table disappeared before my eyes. It took about 4 minutes and there is no sign of the stain. My husband had checked with Home Depot yesterday and they told him we would have to strip the table and restain it. I wish I could hug you!

    • TES says:

      This worked beautifully. I was skeptical…and then amazed at the results of using the steam iron and a white table cloth.. Unbelievable! Thanks so much for sharing this amazing technique. Peace

  36. Danielle says:

    I am absolutely amazed. I have some fairly savvy friends who said that these “scorch” marks just can’t be removed without refinishing the table. So I figured if I was stuck with it, it couldn’t hurt to see what remedies were on the Internet. With my search terms, yours was the first one that popped up, and voila! I couldn’t believe that same thing that caused my scorch mark to begin with could remove it from my boyfriend’s table that was a gift from his mother, just days before her visit. You saved the day! Thanks so much.

  37. ron says:

    We have a solid oak table, 27 years old, after two or three large gatherings white spots appeared . Checked this website and just finished with steam iron and towel,voila! all white spots gone. Thanks so much for the tip.

  38. josh says:

    Didn’t work for me. It kinda got rid of the light white cloudy mark but left dark white marks from the edges of the iron.

  39. Dana says:

    Thanks for the great tip. My parents are on holiday and I’m house-sitting for them. I noticed this morning that there were watermarks from my glass drinks on my mums lovely wooden coffee table … oops I completely forgot to use the coasters which were only an arm length away. The coffee table is vanish and the steam iron option worked a treat. Awesome! Trust me I won’t be making that mistake again.

    • lynsey says:

      Oh my Dana, I left a pizza box on my mums coffee table last night and have the dreaded white mark!! I am curently researching how to remove it…im going to have to try tonight! Im not sure if its varnish or Shellac or even what wood type it is…i just know its relatively new! Im scared!!

      • lynsey says:

        IT WORKED!!!! I did it last night and it worked! Im so relieved!!! It took me a few goes but that was probably out of fear. I did as a few have done – tea towel over the spot (and covered rest of table just in case) then had it on silk setting but not enough steam so i turned it up and really got the steam going. Hovered and moved the iron in circular motions whilst blasting out the steam for about 15 seconds then grabbed a dry tea towel and really dried it off before repeating. AFter about 10 mins it went!!! I can house sit for the rest of the week smiling at the table that would have cost me my life! I did this on 14 June 2012. New table, not an old one so whether that is varnish or not i dont know but didnt ruin the finish or anything.

  40. RASHAD says:

    IT’s a miracle… thank you for the tip.. marks gone in seconds!!!

  41. EZ says:

    Had several white spots on my antique cherry dining room table. The steam method worked on some of the white spots but not others (didn’t do any harm either) so I don’t know if it’s the finish OR how deep the white stain goes.

  42. David says:

    Brilliant! We had friends over for dinner and didn’t notice that the pan we were using was off the hotpad. When we were cleaning up we noticed the stain. Yikes. Freaking out, I checked online and found this page. Hesitantly I tried it and wala, the stain was gone. Thank you so much for saving our table.

  43. mark harris says:

    maghany dining table, had party paper plate with hot food on them left white marks.french polisher want Β£100 to look at table never mind fixing it read your tip and tried with just the iron hovering over marks and within seconds they were gone. great result and wife is off my case many thanks life saver.

  44. Melanie says:

    I have a birch veneer ikea table with a white mark. Will this trick work with that type of veneer?

  45. csw says:

    Skeptical, but it worked like a charm. Thanks for putting this on the web.

  46. TipNut says:

    Melanie I haven’t tried it on veneer so I can’t say for sure, sorry.

  47. marilyn says:


  48. John and Gill says:

    FANTASTIC – great tip really impressed!

  49. Tom says:

    Thank you for your tip. We just bought a table made from 150 year old pine planks. Paper plate with hot food= cloudy white spots. Tried your tip. Worked great. Just held the steam iron 1/16″ above spots and wiped down with oil. Can’t believe it. I was absolutely scared to try it. Amazing. Thank you , thank you.

  50. Anjali says:

    Can’t believe it worked for the white stains on my dining table…hardly took 2-3 minutes…true…it works like magic!! wonder what could be the scientific reason behind it πŸ™‚
    Thanks so much for the beautiful tip!!

  51. Myf says:

    Thanks for your fabulous tip.We are house sitting for friends and a hot tea cup marked through a folded serviette onto their lovely timber table. Tried all the other tips eg. toothpaste and mayonnaise but nothing worked.Having read your tip, I just held the iron about 6cms above the mark and steamed and it was gone. Polished up with a soft cloth and furniture polish perfectly!!

  52. Amy says:

    I googled “hot stain wood table” this morning and found your tip. I few moments later, the white stain on my new teak dining table is gone! Thanks for taking the time to share your helpful advice!

  53. Dan says:

    I’ve removed similar small stains from fine furniture without refinishing. Use rubbing or polishing compound (it is polish with very, very fine abrasives) and rub rub rub. If you have a buffing machine, so much the better. It takes time and elbow grease, but they will come out and you won’t risk making the problem worse.

    After polishing out the stains, then apply a fresh coat of wax. By the way, my theory is that it is the old furniture wax that is discoloring, not the finish itself. The older and bigger the wax buildup, the bigger the problem.

    Rubbing/polishing compound is normally used to remove oxidation buildup from car paint before waxing. It is usually found in the store alongside car wax.

  54. TipNut says:

    Dan you’ve provided some good tips and info, thank you! Your theory of the wax discoloring rather than the finish could be right in some cases. The table I used for the project (above pictures) wasn’t waxed at all, as far as I know. At least for as long as I’ve had it (I think about 10 years or so?).

  55. Johnny H says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderfull tip as it has just prevented a serious argument!!!! New Dining table with a abstract art feature of a plate mark was not what we wanted, after only a short while in the dining room. Thank you again for a wonderful tip. A very greatfull husband, thinking he was doing great job with organising the evenings dinner, until, as he now knows, NOT to put the extreamly hot plate of spuds in the middle of the table without having a plate mat underneeth!
    The BETTER HALF has just found out that I got the tip of the internet! She’s just happy the table is sorted. Who’s a lucky fellow! Could have been a very silent forthcoming few days ahead.

  56. Tom says:

    this is AMAZING!! i was at my girlfriends house eating hot chinese food and unknowingly burning their veneer oak table and only the enxt day did white marks appear and I was in the doghouse! In desperation I came across this website, put the iron on it and I got out of jail- you saved me haha!

  57. Dana says:

    AWESOME!!! Water mark on antique dining room table from plant. Used hot dry iron over white T-Shirt and it didn’t even take 30 seconds and the white water stain is gone! THANKS SO MUCH.

  58. Nancy says:

    After reading all the positive responses on this page, I could hardly wait to try it on my oak dining room table which had 4 large white spots due to hot items. I used a white pillowcase and within 1 min, the first spot “disappeared”. Five minutes later, my table looked like new!! Thank-you so much for the valuable tip!!

  59. m-kay says:


  60. Fred says:

    This worked unbelievably fast and easy. We thought we were going to have to give up, we had tried many other methods with no luck.
    We used our steamer instead of an iron. Worked great. Many thanks!

  61. colin wakefield says:

    tried it this morning the wife was nervous,worked straight away she was so pleased we went back to bed.!!! …. enough said.!thankyou

  62. Bryan Del Rizzo says:

    Wow.. I can’t believe this worked.

    But it did!

    I was dubious, but I’m going to tell all of my friends about this.

    Thanks a bunch! No need to buy a new table now!

  63. Cliff Gibson says:

    We had a coffee table and a dinner table with white stains from spilt champagne and water, left overnight. Both are mahogany, one recent and one 12 months ago. I did the simple web search and found you. Steamed it and jet of steamed also on spots. We have 100% results. We are wrapt, thank you from South Australia. Cliff

  64. Dolores S. says:

    I was absolutely sick about a big white mark on my beautiful pine dining room table. I tried the steam iron and it worked on the first try. I’m shocked and thrilled!

  65. Jacqui T says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this tip! I had a beautiful old welsh dresser given to me by a friend. He was going to burn it as it was marred by loads of white rings from putting coffee cups down on it over the years. I used a teatowl and my iron with loads of steam and they dissapeared in seconds! I have no idea how many years those rings were there but he told me it’s been a long time, so this works on very old stains aswell! Great tip, thanks so much! I now have a lovely stain free piece of furniture! If it helps others, I’m pretty sure it’s varnished but I’m not sure.

  66. Barbara says:

    I tried this on a cherry veneer dining room table and now have the mark of the iron showing. Do you have any idea what I can do to make this better?

    • Susanne says:

      Yes, that happened to me also. What did you do?

    • Carianne says:

      We ordered in pizza at work while the president was away and was horrified to find out that it had left white marks on our huge boardroom table. I quickly googled for a quick answer and found this site, I wanted to leave the iron as the last resort so i kept looking and found… MAKE A PASTE WITH SALT AND SALAD OIL! I rubbed it over the affected areas with my hands and then buffed it with a dry cloth. Not only were the marks gone, but my hands were soft too!

  67. Nikki says:

    I purchased an awesome pub table set second hand for Mothers Day. Keep in mind the reason I purchase my furniture used is because the miscreant grown children in my home DESTROY every piece I own and I figure… less investment nice stuff for a while. I was devastated when only 2 weeks later my son ironed his shirt on my table and left a white heat mark where he set down the iron. I googled and found this magical place and within minutes the stain was gone!! I too had a minor outline of the iron on the first spot, but rubbed it with the towel immediately after lifting it and voila! it vanished. Thanks so much for the great tip!!!!

  68. Judy says:

    And I thought my table was ruined! I can’t thank you enough. It didn’t even take twenty seconds for my white spots to vanish like magic! Judy

  69. Roxanne says:

    Thank you so much for your tip!!..My boyfriends mother had given my a beautiful coffee table set a few months ago..My roommate ordered pizza 3 nights ago and set the hot box on top of the coffee table…Nothing underneath it…In the morning we discovered a huge, cloudy white mark on top of it! as big as a medium pizza box! I was so pissed!!..I Googled “steam mark on table” and found this..Before I tried it, read every post on this wall and was a little reluctant on trying it myself..but figured, what the hell?…I got out my Iron and tipped the table up on its side…put the Iron on “Steam”, no towel under it. Held the Iron about half an inch away from the table and steamed the spot every 3 seconds or so for about 3 minutes…At first it didn’t seem as if it was working, but as I noticed the bottom corner disappearing, I kept on. Before I knew it the stain was diminishing before my eyes! Completely gone!!
    Thank you so much!!

  70. Matthew says:

    Just a comment on how some say this technique hasn’t worked for them – Having read many of the comments here, and having a white cup ring on my table, I used the iron technique. I was shocked to see the ring dissappear but a worse, larger white cloudy mark appear where the iron had been (in the outline of an iron no less). As you can imagine it was panic stations.

    HOWEVER, I used the iron again, and rather than leaving it in one place I moved it slowly round the area on a lower heat. That drew out all the stains and my table is good as new!

    So, I think some here may be having trouble, as I did, by using too much heat and not moving the iron enough – I don’t think it’s a varnish vs Shellec issue.

    Just a thought.

  71. Erica says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this tip. I screamed at my husband for putting something hot on our cherry table and leaving the white mark.
    Now I feel like a real jerk because it was so easy to remove.
    I had to steam a couple of times, but it all came out.
    I even got out an old white stain from last year! ! !
    Thanks again! ! ! !

  72. Sarah says:

    With much trepidation I tried this trick – I have a table we are selling as we have bought a replacement. I had three large ring stains again caused by hot items being put on the table. They have been there for a couple of years and were really unsightly – I CAN’T BELIEVE how simple this solution is. It worked immediately and now my table looks like new. It is the BEST thing I have seen – absolutely amazing just like magic. Thank you so much !!

  73. Kimberly says:

    OMG! With 3 ironing boards in the house, one would think I could use one. NOPE- I used our coffee table that was a gift from my husband. The steam from ironing left white marks that I could not remove. I tried mineral oil, and professional cleaners, ashes etc. Your tip saved my table! I cant wait to show my husband! I used a white t-shirt, no steam and held the iron on the table for approx 15 seconds making sure to wipe the moisture each time. I cant thank you enough!

  74. Toni says:

    Thank you so much. I gave $500.00 for this coffee table and it worked. My husband felt bad and I do not think he will set a hot plate on the coffee table again.

  75. Vern says:

    WOW!!!! I was so happy when your iron idea worked on my table! My Mother is going to be sick when she learns this. She spent good money on having her table redone because she could not get the white stain out from her table a few years back. Thanks Again!

  76. Clorinda says:

    OMG!!!! thankyou!thankyou!thankyou!the iron/cloth method worked instanlly…..on my woodtop bathroom vanity….someone had left the hair straightners on but we always have a towel to protect the wood…but this time it had left a big white stain on the dark mahogany wood…. “I FREAKED OUT!” when i saw it…and thought it was ruined forever…in my desperation I GOOGLED IT….and you came thankyou again…your a life saver….x

  77. PJ says:

    Holy Hanna! Unbelievable! Those white heat marks have been on my beautiful coffee table for 10 years, covered with a stupid doily type thing! It took less than 5 minutes for me to remove them with the steam from an iron! Unreal! Thank you so much! I’m stunned!!!

  78. Diana says:

    Wow, worked for me! I was sceptical that this would work and not make it worse, but all the marks are gone. We have a mahogany dinner table – I don’t know what the finish is but it’s probably varnish – very very smooth and the marks almost seemed to be underneath the finish. I put the iron on mid-high heat and held it with the steam on full about 1 inch above the table, over a dishtowel. The first mark came out in about 5 seconds – none of the marks took more than two, 5 second steams to remove. Brilliant tip, thanks.

  79. Anna says:

    I tried the steam iron with a towel trick and it made things 100 times worse than before I started. I resorted to using a scrourer pad and some olive oil and gently rubbing into the wood going with the grain and this has improved things dramatically. Might be time for me to just strip back the whole table and reseal it from scratch I think….

  80. Louis says:

    Worked like magic…I was quite discouraged with those withe stains on our beautiful dining table… thanks!

  81. NJ says:

    Thank you so much for posting this tip. It got rid of the stain that had been on my table for the last 8 years. I don’t know what prompted me to Google for a solution this morning but I’m glad I did.

  82. Fran says:

    This tip is amazing, thank you! I (pretty stupidly) left a mug of tea on our dining room table, creating a really obvious white ring, but a quick steam and wipe with a tea towel got rid of it completely! I’m incredibly happy.

  83. Jason says:

    A true skeptic here….but no more. Used the iron (with steam) and a white dish towel on a 20+ yr old table and the white stains disappeared after only a few seconds. I’m pretty sure the finish is varnish if that helps anyone out. Cheers – J

  84. David & Ros says:

    Today we decided to dust and polish our dining table and discovered a large white mark under a table runner. No idea from what or when; we assume it’s a heat mark. Tried briwax but little or no change. Arms aching, we dug out the home DIY books, called parents for advice etc – special removers, stripping varnish etc. Eek! Did an online search and found this page and frankly we didn’t believe it: feared it might even be a spoof, but found similar reports elsewhere ( and and even a youtube video demonstrating.

    So, with white towel and steam iron, rubbed the mark through the doubled towel for a few seconds so that the towel got damp and hot. Lifted the towel to check progress, ie it wasn’t getting any worse, and quickly flipped it over while it was still hot. After 3 flips the middle of the mark had obviously faded and after 3 more the mark had completely gone. Whole process took about 1 minute. Amazed.

  85. Leanne says:

    I have a new dining table made from Recycled timber and placed a cake from the oven on a cooling rack over a folded teatowel on the table. Once the cake was cooled I was horrified to find a white mark left where it had been. I have just followed your instructions and placed a white towel over the mark and put the steaming iron on it for just a few seconds and the mark is almost completely gone. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

  86. barbara jacques says:

    please let me know how to remove white heat spots off a oak wood table

    thank you,

  87. Melanie says:

    Wow! I just bought a second-hand coffee table made from NZ rimu timber off ebay which to my disappointment had several white marks which were not visible on the internet photos. At first I used a towel with the iron on steam and had some success, but it also created some white blotcy patches. I then used the “hover” technique and pressed the steam button a few times over the marks and it all disappeared! Thank you!

  88. Barbara E says:

    Holy Cow, does this work! I suggest reading MATTHEW’S comments above, as I had much the same issue. I could see the original “heat blush” gone but could see marks from the towel. Another suggestion would be to try a white pillowcase instead of a terrycloth towel. That seemed to work better for me!

  89. Lisa Woolridge says:

    It’s all been said before but absolutely incredible!! Thank you so much

  90. Laurie says:

    Thank you – I thought we had permanently ruined my grandmother’s dining room table. Now it looks just as good as it did when I was a little girl. I used the steam/hover technique.

    Many thanks!

  91. Carol Rutherford says:

    Thank you so much its worked!!!
    I have a wood veneer table, which had a burn stain from a hot plate, and I just used the iron with the steam, hovering over stain and it just vanished, so thank you so much

  92. Francisco says:

    ok… it just happened. I got alone in my place and left carelessly the pizza box too much time over the table while my ultraconservative parents that love old forniture left me were way.
    I started with water, then alcohol (gave some result) and then a spray that my mom uses to clean hovens and other kitchen machines from grease stains (little result). Until now, I never considered the cause for that would be heat but stain.
    Anyway, If the cause is heat howcome is a steam going to help? in fact, i never used one and that idea is making me afraid.

    This is a dead or alive situation. In few days there will be a tragedy If i can’t do nothing about it. . .


  93. Francisco says:

    ok… the despair got too high after failing with other liquids and combinations (I even tried salt, recommend in another forum) so I tried to manage the iron with no steam.
    At first, it was getting better. I think it spreads the stain more than removing it, but it’s actually acceptable.
    When i was about to give my work as finished I found it “not perfect” so I thought that using steam would make it the last step. It was a HUGE mistake. it got extremely bad. It provoked a stain with the shape of the iron in plain white color as this website background.

    I was sweating…. so i changed the cotton towel (to make sure no humidity was left) and I tried with the first method (no steam). After battling a lot it got ok.

    It just lost some of the glossy effect it had on those areas.

    Thanks a lot. I will recommend this website a lot….

  94. Glenn says:

    Before learning of the iron technique, I tried rubbing the spot with a damp cloth. It reduced the size of the spot but left the rubbed area dull. I’m thinking I partly rubbed off the finish? Afterwards, I used the iron technique and it further reduced the spot but there is still discoloration deeper down? Also, residue has a yellowish hue. No idea what the original finish is but as it is an antique, I doubt its polyurethane. Is ability to rub off finish with damp cloth and the yellowish hue a clue as to the original finish?

  95. Lori says:

    Okay, I give up! Beautiful mahogany dining tabel(it does not appear to have any type of varnish or coating on it – just stained wood with maybe a waxed finish and not glossy at all) with six big rings from hot plates. I have tried the steam iron method (medium heat and hight heat – ironing directly on the towel with steam and hovering above with steam and now I have a large cloudy area in addition to the rings. I have tried it with no steam, on the towel, not on the towel, I have rubbed off any condensation from the steam, etc., etc. and I am having no luck! I have not tried any of the other options with baking soda, salt, etc., as these are my next to the last resort before I call the furniture refinisher. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  96. Jen says:

    BEWARE, PLEASE. I tried this on a very old antique table (family heirloom) that recently started showing these spots. I’ve tried a lot of other things, and the marks wouldn’t budge. This worked, but at a price. I now have a “halo” effect of white cloud marks around the perimeter of where I’ve used the iron (I used steam and a towel, and the hover method didn’t work for me). Also, and more distressing, is the heat seems to have stripped the shine off the finish. The area that’s been heated is now a dull island. I don’t know if the wood is unprotected, but I think I’ll be bringing it to a professional for restoration rather than trying to fix it on my own.

    • Sue says:

      Try to use a finish restorer after the iron to get the sheen back. A good one made by Howard is ‘Feed n Wax Wood Restorer’. That’s what I used and it’s perfect.

    • Kieran says:

      Ah, I did the exact same thing, but if you rub a bit of olive or vegitable oil into the wood, it helps reduce th cloud alot. Its still there, it just looks like the original stain, if not a little better

  97. Meg says:

    Seriously – this works!The table is the mango wood table from Crate and Barrel. Don’t know exact finish but I guess you could look it up. Comes with either chairs or picnic benches. Thank you so much for this AMAZING tip. I use a 100% cotton white undershirt and placed it over the stain. I “hovered” a very HOT iron on steam setting. I did this for a minute and then “peeked” to see any change. You could see the steam coming off the table – but you could also see the white heat stain leaving… I put the t shirt back and continued for 2 -3 more minutes trying to hover and not touch the table – but getting really close. It is GONE. The stain is GONE. I am so incredibly grateful.

  98. Ryan says:

    Thank you so much. Works like a charm.

  99. Ray Duffy says:

    Thank you for the tip on how to remove a heat stain from my expensive table ! It worked a treat. Fantastic – thank you again !!

  100. Peter Linsey says:

    Tried on Laura Ashley coffee table. Birch wood stained dark chestnut, lacquer finish. Had several large white “blush” patches and two ring marks from cups. I used a face flannel with Iron on hot. Warmed flannel in direct contact, then several burst of steam and then a few seconds of dry heat, removed flannel and wiped any moisture off with a soft cloth. WORKED PERFECTLY. Even the ring marks have gone. Didn’t get a dull finish. Perfect results, as good as new. Many Thanks.

  101. Angie says:

    Iam so glad I tried this stam iron methed.I was in tears this morning when I came down stairs and saw my oak table with 3 white spots.well there are no more tears and no moer spots.THANK YOU SO MUCH.

  102. Jim B. says:

    I used the steam iron to remove a white ring on my desk and it works! I applied the steam directly and then wiped the moisture off with a cotton towel. Thank you.

  103. Meredith says:

    Yay! Me too. I have lived with those stains for ages. It melts the varnish and mine streaked a bit when i wiped it but sprayed on some furniture polish and it is now perfect!

  104. Melissa says:

    I used the white cloth method with some steam and gently went across the spot. It came off!

  105. David R says:

    I can’t believe that worked!!

  106. Sharon says:

    IT WORKS!!! Thank you for sharing your experience which made me couragous enough to give it a go! I had a bowl-size heat mark on my varnish wooden table recently.
    I placed a not-to-thick white cotton towel over the stain, hovered my steam iron over it…sometimes applying a little pressure and it completely came off after 3 rounds!

    My flatmate is relieved and we’re all happy the table is restored back to original.

    Thank You All.

  107. Casey Alex Shannon and Kourtni says:

    So we tried it all and it didnt work and we were like reeallllyy? We tried lemon juice, olive oil with salt, the steam from the iron, peanut butter, pledge, pam, clorox, soy sauce, food coloring, mint extract, vinalla extract and the magic eraser. NOTHING WORKED. We are pretty much screwed. Caseys mom is going to kill us. Thanks. Kbye.

  108. Christine says:

    Thank You Sooooo Much!
    I was googling heat spots on wood tables this morning, and I was getting worried because everything I kept finding were long lengthy processes–including sanding and refinishing!
    Until I found this WONDERFUL page. I figured I’d give it a try, my table was damaged already if it didn’t work what harm would it be. Well it work like a miracle! It took about 2 minutes and my table is like new!
    Thanks again

  109. Tania Santos says:

    Well, I was hesitant to try anything on my dark stained table, but the white mark was driving me crazy! All of these great responses are what convinced me to take the chance. It worked! I followed the directions to a tee and in less than a minute the mark was gone and has not come back! I am a believer and hope it works for everyone else who tries it.

  110. mar4JC says:

    Another Labor Day weekend and another white spot on my dining room table. Last year, we were blessed with the first one…
    After trying the mayo solution last year, I pretty much accepted the stain since it was a small cup sized stain on the corner. But, alas, more hot food on a paper plate (with 12 relatives staying over for the weekend…) and a large 10″ diameter ring was near the center of the table…
    Gave the steam a whirl with my kitchen towel and it worked amazingly well. Last year’s stain is still there, but it is much less visible (barely there) and I didn’t want to make things worse after three sessions with the steam iron.
    I’ll try that one again tomorrrow, but now my table looks great!!!! I can’t even see the ring anymore! Thanks for such a wonderful tip! I can only guess that it works because the white stain is really is trapped water that the steam evaporates…. just my humble thoughts…
    Thanks again!

  111. lynn says:

    okay, i tried the universty of florida’s idea on how to deal with white stains on furniture, found at it is a PDF file. they said to use ammonia. please don’t, it removes the finish and the white stain was still there.

    so i went on line and found you. i also used the iron and the stain was gone in mins.!!!!! thank you thank you.

    i finished up with a DIY product for finish repair and the table looks really good.

    thanks again for your help.

  112. yash says:


    i had managed to put some disgusting white marks on my parent’s priceless mahogany pool-come-dining table (mainly because while i was playing pool i put the top surface leant against a radiator!) i wwas in such a stress! then i tried pretty much everything else, mayonaise, mustard, lemon juice (not ammonia thankfully!) but the white heat stain remained! then i fianlly plucked up the courage to use the steam irom, after reading the rest of these posts incredibly nervously. they gave me the courage to do the ironing thing! the stains were gone in a matter of seconds! whoever had the courage to try this process- i have not enough words to thank you!


  113. Catherine from Australia says:

    The first time we dined at our brand new Balinese mahoganny table , big nasty white marks appeared, despite using cork mats on which to place hot dishes. In desperation a google search came up with this web site – and today I have ironed the stains right out! It only took a couple of minutes. I placed a thin white towel over each stain, and didn’t directly place the iron on the table, but gently hovered the iron over each mark, with bursts of steam. Then wiped the area after each burst. The results were fantastic! Thank you for such a stunning tip – a real table -saver! I am going to let the Bali shop know this, in case others call in with complaints about similar stains. Just excellent!

  114. Mona says:

    I had several white stains on my oak table, I was getting ready to take it to the garage and sand it down. I just had to try googling how to remove white stains on oak table. Your site came up with the iron method. At first I used the hoovering method with steam, it was amazing, they were disappearing. And with my excitement I called my husband to look, he was amazed, and then they started to reapper. I waited for 30 minutes and tried wetting down a handtowel and wringing it out and directly putting that on the stain and the iron on top moving it all around the stain. It seemed to do alot better but it left a few white spots around the towel, I continued with all the spots. And then I used Johnson and Johnson Paste for wood. Rubbed that into the wood let it dry and rubbed very hard with a dry towel and my table looks pretty good, not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be sanded, I can live with it now, thanks for the tip.

  115. Marcus says:

    Fantastic! Like others, I had a white ring on a teak table caused by a hot coffee cup through a tablecloth. I heated an iron to the highest setting and used the steam setting, hovering about 1 inch above the white ring. Within a few seconds, the ring disappeared. I did it again a couple of times to make sure I got everything, and wiped off the steam moisture. After cooling, I used furniture oil to do the entire table top–and the table looks FANTASTIC. THANK YOU!

  116. bill says:

    Contemplated throwing away the black veneer coffee table that had a massive white mark from a champagne spill at Christmas, plus a few others that have added to its not so chic shabby! Have just finished with the iron and towel and some wax polish and the result is fantastic. Had tried all other methods but this was the one that worked! Many Thanks.

  117. Sheila says:

    Used the thin white towel with iron method. My only (travel) iron doesn’t “steam” so I just “sprayed” with spritzer thing that it does have, right on to the towel then rubbed the iron around on the towel (no hovering) lifting and wiping periodically and voila! White cloudy stain from pizza box vanished! Rubbed a little olive oil on for good measure (and shine) and it looks as good as new!

    Thanks for this great tip! – Sheila

  118. jenna says:

    oh my goddess!! last night i ate my bowl of soup on my mother’s $2000 wood coffee table and i woke up to a nasty note pointing out the white mark i left on it. after trying the toothpaste and hair dryer to no avail, i said a little prayer and very hesitantly brought the iron over. i set it on wool with steam, used a dish cloth, and ran the iron over the mark to the count of 10. presto!!! it was gone! thank you a million times over for now i won’t have to face the guilt of ruining mom’s table for the rest of my life!!! have faith all!

  119. Matthew says:

    It works so well – hover with iron and steam away and within a minute my horrible stain was gone! Yippee!

  120. Alis says:

    Wow! Hovering iron + Old English oil (dark color to cover scratches) worked pretty well on antique table where I’d used an electric hot plate over a cloth-backed vinyl protector pad. Afterward I had some dull places where I may have rubbed the still warm finish too hard with the oil.

    Another MIRACLE product came to the rescue: Minwax’s “Wood-Sheen” – which is rubbing oil, stain & finish all in one wipe-on gel. (Minwax makes many stain products, but only this one works so easily and beautifully; make sure it is their β€œWood-Sheen” product you buy with the 3 combined finish items!)

    I used a soft T-shirt to spread it over the whole table top, working in small panel areas at a time, letting each area sit for 5 – 10 min. (more time will allow more color to penetrate) and gently wiping it off with another clean T-shirt using strokes all in one direction. Not only did it put shine on the dull areas, it covered a multitude of tiny cat scratches, and dings accumulaed over the years – it looks like a brand new finish!! It had to air dry for several hours, but worth it. The product comes in several colors to work with most wood finishes dark to light. Looked so good I even decided to wipe the stuff on the table and chair legs too – fun to see such dramatic improvement with so little effort!

    This may be the trick for those of you who are not 100% recovered by using the steam method.

  121. William says:

    Thank you for the recommendation. It worked beautifully. When we first saw this, we thought “This is too good to be true.” Unfortunately we did not take before and after pictures. We had three rectangular white spots on our brand new dining room table and the steam removed them all – looks as good as new.

  122. Brad says:

    The steam on the table worked like a charm. After I placed a paperplat with hot hashbrowns on my wife’s new table, a large white mark was left behind…I found this tip on your site, and the stain was gone in less than 5 minuts. I used the white towel over the mark with the iron and that did not work at first, but then once I used the steam…the mark disapeared like magic! Thanks for the tip!

  123. vaL. says:

    The key is to hover over it… we just did it like a minute ago… after endless attempts to remove it with stain thinner and stain brush, this was the most successful way. Oh, I’m talking about using the steamer over the towel. IT’S MAGIC! I LOVE IT and would highly recommend this to others out there who are having the same white stains issue on your finished furniture!

  124. tracey says:

    i felt terrible when i put hot chips in a wrapper on my mum and dads timber table
    several years ago
    and i frantically went looking on how
    to fix this ..

    thankyou so much i passed this on to my dad and he just emailed me saying it was like magic
    thanks so much

  125. Donna says:

    this worked like a charm. I used a hot iron and a dish cloth. thanks for the great tip!

  126. Claire says:


    I tried the ironing technique and it did diminish the actual ring from the teapot that I caused my damage with. However I did cause a whitish smudge mark. I can live with the smudge better than the ring, so it was a positive result. I think my finish may be shellac as the table comes from India. So the million dollar question is how do you resolve heat damage to shellac finishes?

  127. Kati says:

    WORKED GREAT. I put a hot pan on a cloth at lunch today. When I removed it I just knew my husband was going to kill me. He warns me about this all the time. The Large white mark came right off. I used a few damp papertowels and a iron just warming the paper towels up. I was very worried it was going to make it worse, so I was VERY cautious. Maybe 30 sec and it was gone. Left the finish a bit rough, but You can’t see it, only feel it. I am thinking a few coats of polish and that will be history too!

  128. Rey says:

    This really works! I just tried on my polished cherry table. I had put slices of pizza on paper towels on my table, and it left 2 lovely white triangles!
    I used a thin pillowcase. And I did not press the iron against the table, I only let the steam hit it as close as I could without it touching.
    I can’t believe the stains are gone!

  129. Gill says:

    Natters from Murcia Spain.
    Lovely Lovely Site – Thank you so much to Every One – Have a Lovely Healthy Day.
    My friend who is a Wood Turner told me about using an Iron and brown paper. But not having brown paper I used kitchen paper and on the marks and ironed as if ironing a shirt. I also showed the idea to the ladies who come to the coffee mornings we have and they were amazed as well. I knocked a flower vase over and the water splashed on the table and left the water mark. Vic did say dry iron. You would be putting more moisture back in when you use steam! It also worked on the sides of my mexican pine coffee table. Vic explained that the table had taken in the moisture and that ironing draws out the moisture. He had some old wood that was nearly crumbling with age but when he put it outside for some reason it attracted moisure and stopped being dryed out.

    • Lisa says:

      This comment alone saved us having to buy a brand new table. After trying the steam hover method multiple times- the white stain kept getting bigger and worse. It would go away for a few seconds after lifting up the t-shirt after steam but would quickly reappear. I thought our table was a goner. But then read about the paper bag and dry iron method..success and savior!! Thanks very much!

  130. tickles says:

    WOW. I tried all the other stuff, oil, mayonaise, toothpaste – only the steam ironing thing worked. Amazing!!!

  131. James says:

    I’m so happy this post hasn’t been archived. My wife and I had friends over and left pizza boxes on our gorgeous cherry dining table. At the end of the meal the boxes left a very large clouded ring. I was worried when I read the posts of the iron making it worse, but was able to remove the cloud with high heat and medium heat for only a few seconds. Then I immediately wiped the area clean to remove the water. The finish is a little bumpy now because I used a towel. I would recommend what someone said earlier and try using smooth cloth like a pillowcase. THANK YOU for the tip; my wife won’t kill me now.

  132. Marcy says:

    Absolutely Amazing. Had company over the weekend and we used paper plates for hot beans and burgers. Even with placemats the heat went right through and made six very distinct round circles on my oak table. Now I think the finish is some type of polyurethane so I wasn’t real confident this would work. But it took only a few seconds on each spot and they are all gone. I am so very grateful. Thanks so much for sharing this tip.

  133. Marci says:

    This worked on my table without any changes to the original directions. I used a white towel and put the iron on high (dry) heat. I didn’t leave the iron in place for more than 20 seconds at a time. After doing this about 8 times, the stain completely disappeared!

  134. Al says:

    Yes, it works!

    We had two milky white stains from paper plates being set directly on an espresso stained table. It was infuriating, because the plates did not seem that hot! We had a similar table from the same manufacturer for over 8 years and never had a problem.

    The manufacturer and the sales outlet were unhelpful, and recommended refinishing our 3 day old table! it took 3 months for our special order table to come from denmark to the usa, leading to infuriation!

    This tip was amazing!

    If anyone has tips on doing something to the table/finish (sealing?) to prevent this, I would be interested in investigating them.

    Thanks again!

  135. Andrew Riegel says:

    This tip has just changed my life. I will be forever in your debt.


  136. Julie says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. We bought a very expensive cherry table about five years ago. After having it less than two years, I placed a pizza box on it not even considering the damage it would have on the finish. I have looked at that cloudy spot for three years, making myself sick every time. Gave your trick a try. At first nothing happened when I hovered over the spot. I placed directly on the spot (white rag in between) and presto, the spots started disappearing. I tried all the other tricks previously. My husband who works with wood all the time sat back in amazement. Thank you!

  137. Amanda says:

    Ok. 100+yr old solid wood round dining table made from one big fat tree, no join, family heirloom.

    decided to study on it against mum’s wishes and put a great big dirty tea heat mark on it.

    the steam made it worse, leaving an iron shaped heat mark. awesome!

    spotless book: rub warmed beeswax into stain with lemon peel.

    seems to have worked although i think the whole table needs to be polished.

    for those who didnt have success with the iron, perhaps try the above?

  138. ray says:

    Thanks for your advice, marks went in seconds

  139. Julie says:

    GREAT ADVICE! Cloudy white stain on varnished coffee table…two short blast with a fairly hot steam iron (steam on) over a cotton handtowel and the stain disappeared!

  140. Bill says:

    We have table with a heat caused white mark, however I believe the table has an arborite
    (fake)wood top. Would the heated steam iron
    or oil and baking soda work on this type of table. Thank you.

  141. Bill says:

    I tried it anyway, and it worked fine.
    Thanks for the tip.


  142. Erin says:

    This worked. It was like an optical illusion before my eyes. I really didnt think heat would remove a heat spot, but it did! WOW!

  143. Paul says:

    It certainly worked for the white heat marks on our Halo dinning table. Thanks for sharing this excellent tip, I was worried we’d have to get the table re-polished.

  144. K.O. says:

    If you have a clotes steamer it works best. You can steam the table directly and watch the stain disappear!!!

  145. Jim B in Elburn Il says:

    OMG. I had a white cloud the size of my laptop on a $10,000 table. I was a little worried about using an iron on it but I figured that I needed to have it redone anyway so I ran the iron on dry over a white towel for a minute or so and then put on the steam. UNBELIEVABLE!!! the stain is gone. I can’t believe I didn’t do a before and after pic.

  146. Hope says:

    Wow I was affraid to use the iron so I used my Shark steam mop works great! Thank You for the tip

  147. Ben says:

    CAREFUL!! Great tip, it removed the white ring stain on the wood but it did roughen the wood underneath where I removed the stain. I was very quick over the white towel with the steam iron and the stain was removed (SO very happy) but if I run my hand over the area it is rough over where I applied the technique.

  148. Frances says:

    Have just tried this tip and it is amazing – we’ve had a pine coffee table that has looked very scruffy with loads of white stains which thanks to you, are now gone and the table restored back to its former glory.

    Thank you.


  149. Ethel says:

    I tried toothpaste, olive oil and salt, mayonnaise, you name it adn nothing worked. I finally tried the iron with steam and a cotten towel and in less than 5 minutes the huge white mark was gone. Seems odd that it works but glad I tried it!

  150. Christine Kistler says:

    I was extremely skeptical to try the iron method. I had purchased multiple waxes and cleaners recommended on other websites. I was in the process of trying to find a local wood refinisher on line when I found tip. I went from searching on line to having a beautiful table in literally less than 15 minutes. I found the best results by putting the iron on “steam” and hovering about an inch above the spot. You can acutally watch them disappear.

  151. Jen says:

    Awesome!!! Table that’s been in my family at least 40 years. It’s oak and was refinished a deep cherry woodstain about 15 years ago. I think it was varnished. Some friends used my kitchen for canning foods while I was on vacation. Hot pots on multiple kitchen towels left white patches. Worried they’d ruined the table,looked for fix ideas and found peppermint oil. The spent some time polishing the marks away it worked pretty well. I just made 4 ugly white squares on the table! Bread from the oven on cooling racks on a towel and it still marked up the table! I knew about the peppermint and wanted to know if I should dilute it and while reading up found this tip! I thought the ease and quickness to good to pass up! It worked for me! Used a kitchen towel folded over and hovered just barely over that with the steam! I’m going to polish a bit of peppermint oil on it tomorrow just to bring a fresh shine to the whole table! Thanks!

  152. Shelley says:

    My sister-in-law placed a hot ceramic pan of pasta on top of towels on our wooden kitchen table last night and it left a 13 x 9 inch rectangular white stain. We all kept our cool and crossed our fingers that there’d be a “cure” on the Internet — and there was thanks to you! The steam iron method worked!

    Not only did it remove the white stain, it also removed a blue marker stain that my kids left on the table years ago (they were preschoolers then and are in high school and college now)! I didn’t realize it would take the marker stain off, too, until I, much to my surprise, saw blue ink on my white cotton towel!

    Thanks so much!

  153. Louise says:

    Four months of worrying. Ten seconds of ironing. Thank you so much!

  154. Amanda says:

    I have an expensive mahogony table and got heat mark on it. I tried everything including mayonnaise, toothpaste, butter, baking soda and olive oil – no result – eventually braved iron on folded over t shirt and it took the heat stain totally away – would recommend iron technique as long as over strong piece of cotton cloth

  155. Theresa says:

    As I was a bit worried about trying it I tested this method (of ironing a thin white towel or pillow case on the mark) on a leg of the table so if it didn’t work at least I wouldn’t have a worse spot. Glad I did as our table has a lacquer finish and I ironed a nice pattern onto the leg. But then I attempted a second trial. I got out our clothes steamer (as our iron wasn’t steaming for some reason) and I hovered the steamer about 1” above the wood. Nothing happened to the β€œtest” area so I moved on to the top of the table. I held the steamer about 1” above the table, constantly moving it in the air in a circle pattern for about 1 minute (without the towel). And I watched the white heat mark disappear off of the table then wiped off the excess water vapors.
    SO glad this worked

  156. TERESA says:



  157. Justin says:

    Let me be one of the many who can verify this completely worked for me!!!! I have a big wood circle table that is finished (dark wood, and not sure what the finish is? But the table is an Ethan Allen and probably made in the late 80’s?).

    I’ve always carelessly sat pizza boxes or wings boxes on this table before (I’m from the States, btw) and many times small white stains would appear afterwards, BUT in the past I could always get rid of those small stains with some Pledge, no problem!!

    However, last night I sat a pizza and wings box on the table from a new place, and I should have known after discovering the wings were hot as Hades to the touch!! After eating I watched the Oklahoma-Missouri Big 12 title game and a few hours later I removed both boxes to find MANY white stains (as I mentioned, previously only like one small one would pop up), but this time multiple white stains (close to 10!) occurred and they were a lot bigger!! I tried some Pledge, which only helped a very little bit! πŸ™

    I went to bed pretty mad at myself, and this morning found this web page, and an hour later the stains are gone and I am the happiest I’ve been since the Colts won last week! (I’m from Indianapolis) However, at first, this method did NOT work, so let me describe what made it work for me!

    First off, I think when it comes to these white stains, the earlier you can treat them the more effectively you can get rid of the them as usually my previous pizza box stains get treated right after I’m finished eating!

    But anyway, for me using the iron with NO towel did NOT work!! In addition, my first attempt with my iron (a Shark, btw) with a towel also did not work. At first I was at a 1 steam setting (out of 4) with only 25% water in my iron. However, after filling the water reservoir to about 80% full and changing the steam setting to 4 it did start to work!!

    I used the corner of a white small towel that I accidentally brought home one day from Lifetime Fitness gym, so the towel used was thinner in nature as compared to my hand towels which are thicker. I used a corner because I treated each spot stain individually. As other have suggested I held the iron about 1/16th of an inch above the towel and pressed down the steam button about 6-7 times for each stain spot for a total of about 10-15 seconds for each stain. Then I rubbed the dampened towel over the spot, and presto the stain was gone!!

    I should also mention at first I had the heat dial all the way turned up, but my first attempt with the towel actually did leave a slight steam mark outside of the towel, so I turned the heat down a smidge and was fine after that! Also, 2 or 3 stains where whiter than others and I had to treat those stains two times before it would fully go away. Finally, I should point out that the stains did not completely disappear 100%, BUT I’d say about 95% and if no one knew a stain was there they’d never know, but upon a very close examination you can tell the area is a little less-finished/dull as compared to other areas, but I’d challenge anyone to pick out where the stain spots were on this table…I could be a rich man!! Also, my girlfriend (who’s table this is!!) sat at the table this morning and did not notice anything!! (she didn’t know about the stains last night!)

    So hopefully everyone else will be successful, and thanks for reading my long post and thanks to this website for saving the day for me!! A legitimate life saver!

    Justin 12/7/08

  158. Big Bad Mumma says:

    You have just saved me!! We have a beautiful coffee that my parents gave us adn our babysitter put hot Chinese boxes on it. Despite having mats down it still left a huge white T shape.

    Disaster as my parents are coming for dinner on Wednesday so tomorrow was going to be “sanding and varnishing” the table day.

    Not any more. One minute with the iron and it was done.

    You are all geniuses.
    Thanks so much

  159. Jason says:

    Cheers for the tip folks.
    Time spent being angry about heat mark 3 weeks.
    Time spent contemplating trying tip 2 weeks.
    Time spent fixing heat mark 30 seconds.
    Quick polish and done,THANKS AGAIN

    JASON 9/12/08

  160. Mia says:

    I just bought a teak dining table (veneer) off of Craigslist for a steal. It was being sold because of many water marks from cups and pizza boxes.
    Well I just got it home, tried the iron tip and can’t believe it worked! I used a steam iron on medium heat over an old pillow case. I kept the iron moving, careful to wipe away the moisture right away. Some spots took 8-10 tries, but eventually they were all gone.
    I am so proud of myself for solving this for free and saving about $1000 over what a new teak table would cost!!

  161. TipNut says:

    Crikey Mia, you made out awesome! Congrats!

    Thanks for the feedback & tips everyone, glad this is working out for so many :).

  162. Milton says:

    I used the hot iron hovering over heat stains and it worked perfectly on a pine table, and alder table. I built both of them and the alder table was my pride & joy with many many hours into the construction. So THANKS! Still going to be careful from here forward

  163. Gary Chapman says:

    It worked perfectly for me on my heat stained 20 year old oak kitchen table. I don’t know what type of finish it has. Thanks for the help. I would never have thought it would work.

  164. Todd Garlick says:

    OMG this is amazing. My wife thought her antique side board was ruined. In 10 seconds it was fixed and she was happy. Never in a million years would I have thought of a fix like this.

  165. ccm says:

    worked like a charm!

  166. Gramma45 says:

    Saved my Christmas. Ironed the tablecloth thinking the padding would save my table. Heirloom from my step-Dad
    Put Vaseline on all night. worked a little.
    Toothpaste on today worked some more.
    Toothpaste and Baking Soda…..Woolaaah!!!!
    Beautifull table again.
    I have an old DuncanFyfe table given to me as it was used for ironing. I am going to try and ge tthe stains out of that.
    Wish me luck??

  167. John E Jones says:

    I have a dining table about 20 yrs old with many white stains which we kept covered with seasonal table clothes. In-laws are coming over next week with a glass table cover. I tried the steam iron trick and removed all the stains. I did notice if I sat too long on a spot I would get a new stain the shape of the iron. Just keep the iron moving in a circular patern on the towel an it comes up just fine. My table is ready for the glass. Also did my night stand and romoved hot coffee cup rings. Using a coaster from now on. Thanks for the help…☺

  168. Gary Phillips says:

    My girlfriend put a hot cafetier on our cherry coffee table causing a large white ring apparently below the surface of the veneer. I tried the steam iron technique with a tea towel and the white mark completely disappeared in 3 seconds! I’d suggest a very brief amount of steam initially and see what happens. Thanks for a fantastic tip. Gary

  169. Therese says:

    For those of you that tried this and had it got worse, READ ON!!!we had a few white heat stains(who knows how they got there) on a dark espresso stained table that was only a year old. We tried the hover method with high steam on high heat and no towel. It started to take the bright white circular stain away which was awesome but then it left a cloudy iron shaped stain. We were upset and scared to go any further. After reading more responses on this site about similar things happening, we decided to try again.
    So then I turned the heat to med. and used a thin dish towel, folded it in half, and used a med steam. I pressed the iron in a circular motion for about 10 full seconds and then rubbed the warm cloth fast and hard for a few seconds. I repeated this process two or three more times and the horrilbe “iron” stain and the original stain disappeared!!! we got all of the stains out except for the water ring which isn’t too bad.
    Awesome tip! Thanks!

    • Judy Smith says:

      Sorry. This did not work on my oak desk at all. I have only added an iron shaped white mark and raised the wood grain.

      • Judy Smith says:


        I added to the mix linseed oil, furniture wax and super fine steel wool. Lots of rubbing and scrubbing. It NOW it looks better. I did the iron too, but not sure what role that played–I think it helped the wax penetrate the wood. I can still barely see the rings, but I think most people won’t even notice them now.

  170. vin says:

    steam worked – but the spot where stain was has a sort-of roughened texture now – not as smooth as the rest of the table

  171. Dora says:

    DORA, I did exactly what you said about removing white water spots from
    my oak table, the results was awesome. Thank you so very much, my husband, is a very happy person,thanks to you. He thought are table was ruined.

  172. Stacey says:

    Left a hot cup of tea on my finished table, it left a white ring. Tried this out and it worked perfect! Thanks

  173. Danny says:

    I didn’t think this would actually work but i knew nothing else would work, so i decided to give it a try. the stain was gone in under a minute. thanks for the advice

  174. Lisa says:

    Tried the dry iron first – it didn’t work, so was skeptical of the whole idea, but the steam setting did the trick. It just took a few seconds for the small glass ring and a bit longer for the dish outline…but both are gone! thanks for posting.

  175. Mel says:

    I can’t believe this worked! I had a pizza party last night, sat the pizzas on the table, and totally thought we had ruined our wood table! THANK YOU!
    I used a thin towel and did not set the towel down, but hovered very close to the surface and moved it around for about 10 second increments. I moved around til gone, and it’s amazing!!!

  176. jean says:

    just used the iron and white t-shirt on my dark table magic the marks are gone

  177. Jamie says:

    I can’t believe how well this worked, especially considering my iron caused one of the white spots πŸ˜‰

  178. Richard says:

    Our lovely farmhouse table, had white marks all over it – as a result of a new years party, and a dinner party when a pan was accidently put directly onto the cloth rather than the mat… Thanks to this tip, all the white marks are now gone. The table is victorian, old varnish, and very thick – I used a steam iron with a white cotton cloth, then also tried holidng the iron above the table method – both worked – a touch of non silicon – bee’s wax polish – and it is looking wonderful – in fact better than it has done in ages… thanks for the tip and good luck…

  179. Carl & Fi says:

    Wow! We plucked up the courage and have just taken the iron to two pieces with the dreaded white ring of fire and like magic…gone! Thank you so much as we were about to get the polisher in and suspect he would have done exactly the same while we weren’t looking and polished us off with his bill….great tip!

  180. Katie says:

    This tip saved my marriage. I had a girl’s night at my house and we ate on paper plates and left white marks all over our brand new black table. It took 10 seconds of ironing over a white pillow case with steam and the marks were gone. How easy!!!

    • Caris says:

      Thank you so much for the iron tip. We too put paper plates on the table with hot food on and ended up with little white circles all over the centre of our oak table. For 3 months we have kept it covered with a lazy susan not knowing what to do. Then we saw your marvellous tip with the iron – it worked – it is now as good as new. My husband still can’t believe it. Thank you.

  181. Mary Rich says:

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. I sat a hot casserole dish on a dry folded dish towel this weekend and was sick when I removed the towel and saw the white stain on my taable. I just now found this tip about the iron on your website and tried it. There is no stain there now. I used the hottest setting with steam and a clean white hand towel. Thank you so much for this tip.

  182. Laura says:

    Thank you so much! We purchased a new dining room table last week and tonight my husband put hot dishes on it and turned the wood white in several places! I can’t believe how well this worked!!
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!

  183. Ronald, Sr says:

    A simple, yet effective method to remove the effects of moisture in varnish is to use a blow dryer (high heat and high air flow)on the spot. Be patient and you will see the cloudiness dissappear before your eyes.

  184. Ari Covair says:

    Unbelievable! I was skeptical, but didn’t have much to lose so tried it with my steamer, which I held very close to the table for about 15 seconds. I had one big heat stain and 2 small ones, and they’re almost gone now. I’d say it’s 90%.

    One warning, though: move the iron constantly while steaming the stain, or you’ll leave the impression of the iron on the furniture.

    Thanks very much for this great hint.

  185. Cindi says:

    Thank you sooooo much. I just bought a used table that is very high quality and in perfect condition and I laid a pizza box on it without thinking. When I removed it voila ! white spots, I was devestated. I used the iron with steam above a cotton cloth and has some success but had to put the iron on the cloth, moving it continuously for several seconds at a time and the spots went away. Table is now as perfect as when I bought it !
    Thanks for this great tip !

  186. Crystal says:

    I tried this without steam at first, but had no results. I then folded the white tee shirt in half and placed it over the stain. I set my iron to wool setting with steam. Within 5 minutes the stain disappeared right before my eyes Like magic. I just bought this table last week, and you have saved me so much time and stress. Thanks so much for this wonderful idea. I will share it with everyone I know that has problem with heat stains on their table! πŸ™‚

  187. S and J says:

    My Mom is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo so so so Pleased with the Terific results. Thank You Dearly. πŸ˜‰

  188. Barb says:

    After using this method a few times, I found that a single layer tea towel works the best as well as having your iron on steam vs no steam. I set the heat setting to silk. I had a few white spots – some old (years old) and some fairly recent. They are all gone. Now I just need some help as to what to do with the cat claw scratches on my diningroom table!!

  189. dee g. says:


  190. ken says:

    My wife felt sick about a large white steam stain on our walnut dining table, with what appears to be a laquered finish. She is out of town at the moment. I was laying here in bed…1 a.m. and for some reason googled ‘water stain wood table’ and clicked on this site first. Got out of bed and went downstairs to the dining room with the iron. Iron with steam in a circular motion with no towel worked like a charm. I really can’t believe it and my wife will be thrilled when she gets home. Thanks so much.

  191. Leith says:

    Thankyou so much, i’m house sitting for some friends [an extravagant couple from South Africa], they’re holidaying now. I had a few friends over for dinner [with the tenants permission of course] and the baking pan on the tea-towel left a huge white stain on their imported dinner table which they shippped in from S-A. I was really frantic about the whole thing, i even spent a good half hour talking to my chemistry tutor about it, he mentioned something about heat ‘caking’ the stain on, so steam-heat should rehydrate the stain and then take it off. I checked this site and thank God it worked. I can now breathe easy. Thanks from Sydney

  192. Retta says:

    OMG It works,I did the iron on the heat stain on my dinning room table and it’s gone,My husband will be so proud of me,
    Thank you very much for the wonderful and very helpful hint.

  193. Deanna says:

    Hot Iron, on top of a cotton towel, lifted the white stains right off. Thank you. Oil did minimal work. Hot water and just steam did nearly nothing.

  194. Patsy Gooden says:

    It works! My beautiful Heywood-Wakefield antique table which I use everyday had developed numerous spots! I used 2 tee shirts folded (to make 4 thickness), used no pressure, checked spot after 30 seconds and repeated process if necessar. Results a beautifully restored table. I’m so excited.
    I wish I could post the pictures before & after.

  195. Lauren N Hayley says:

    OMG this actually works!!!!! no joke!! thank you so much Tip Net!!

  196. Nepthys says:

    I have the white cloudy mark from an iron. My brother got up early this morning and ironed he shirt on the table with a thin towel below it. Of course he didn’t clean up after himself so when I picked up the towel I found a huge white cloudy mark. I have heard before to use vineger so that is what I am doing now. I hope it works. I am a little scared to try an iron since an iron is what caused it. This is our main family table and we paid a lot for it just two years ago.

  197. Cindy says:

    This is amazing. I was prepared to pay big bucks to have my table refinished. It completely too the white stains away. I justed the dry iron approach with a thin cloth under it. Thank you so much!!!

  198. Mary Opipari says:

    This totally worked. I had to rub oil (Old English) on it immediately after steaming and it got the stain out! AMAZING!

  199. Shana says:

    WOW!!! I must say even after reading a few of the “wow it worked” comments, I was still skeptical. I have a brand new set of very expenxsive “formal living” coffee and end tables. A mishevious 3 year old thought it would be funny to pure milk on mommy’s new table, by the time I caught the spill the damage was done. A friend suggested a mix of oil and vinergar, I tried with no results . Horrified by the stain and feeling defeted I moved the table to the game room out of companys site.
    Today I came across the site by accident or was it devine intervention, I don’t but IT WORKED and the table is back in its rightful place!!!
    Thank you so much to whomever it was brave enough to put an iron on a table!!!

  200. Phyllis says:

    OH MY GOD!!! Who would have thought that steam would have fixed a problem that steam caused!!! I just came down for breakfast this morning and my fiance said “i just ruined the coffee table”. I said “what are you talking about”? He explained he heated up a breakfast sandwich and left if on the wood part of the table while he was making his coffee. There was a circular smudge of white left where the sandwich sat. I didn’t think there was anything I could do. In my head I was wondering if they still sold this brand new coffee table and perhaps I would get another one. Then I just went online and saw your post…I told my fiance I was going to try it and he was very skeptical. Well I did it and laughed…he said “what are you laughing at?” I said it’s gone!!!! He was like “no way!!!”. Thank you so much for this amazing trick! You have saved me a couple hundred dollars to have to buy another one!


  201. Becky says:

    Not that you need another vote, but YEA! I LOVE my birch with a cherry finish kitchen table, and absolutely sick over the white heat stain. I tried the steam iron a few inches above the table, no luck, but the first time I ironed a towel with steam it was GONE! A few seconds took away all my heartache! Works, works, works! Why would hot steam remove what caused the stain in the first place? But had to try- how much worse could it get? YEA! I am doing the happy dance!

    THANK YOU!!!

  202. Byron says:

    Well, I know this is CAMP to write on here… but yes, it worked! I texted my beloved flatmate to tell him that I had marked his table – with a tea pot full of stewed earl grey tea – because I couldn’t bare telling him to his face.

    Today, having read the advice on this website, I have successfully removed the stain from the table. I know you’ll be as happy as I am to know that I can now face him. I will not, however, tell him how I did it as it may reverse the good that I have just done.

    Thanks again for the frightening yet beneficial advice.

  203. Rossen says:

    It worked for us too. We had a Louis XV dark oak dining table with three white marks. Used the tip on 14 June 2009 and it worked immediately!


  204. Erin says:

    Oh my gosh, I have my mothers 50 year old cherry table. Now, this table is in bad shape to begin with, my fault, but you would not believe the heavy, thick white marks, I caused. So, I tried it and it worked. My tip, do not use a cheap terry cloth towel. trust me. I switched to a flour sack towel and even though it will never look like new again, it is a 100 times better. Thank you for posting this technique.

  205. Lia says:

    Thank you sooooo much for this information. I ironed over 50 napkins on my table and flattened my irnoning board so that I could sit down and watch TV while ironing. When I finished this I lifted the board to find a huge (size of my ironing board) on my table completely ruining it! I felt devestated not even a placemat would cover it. I was looking for new tables as I know that refinishing is very costly.

    I was very skeptical to try your recommendation as I thought the iron and steam was what caused the marks in the first place. I was amazed!!!!! Thank you so much!!!!!! I now have my nice table back without the huge eyesore.

  206. mendi says:

    you are awesome! Thanks soooo very much for sharing this info! I was ready to trash my table due to these horrid hot spots! you saved me a couple hundred bucks! thank you thanks you, and i used towel and iron with olive oil asap after the mark was gone. thanks again!

  207. Corey Friend says:

    Sweet!!!! That hot bowl of greenbeans left a doozie of a spot. There were some other spots too from hot bowls of oatmeal and a hot pocket. This took them all away!!! I used a dry iron at high heat—–DO NOT USE A PAPER TOWEL> the bonding agents made the towel stick to the finish (only a little spot thankfully). I used a thick dish towel. I do woodwork and have some experience with finishing and I would say that using heat without steam is better because the cause of the white circles is water trapped under or within the finish and the heat from an iron releases that water out of the surface. I guess using steam might work but it probably just makes the towel a better conductor and speeds the process but could cause “white rings” again. Just the hot iron is my recommendation. I dunno for sure but that’s my 2 cents worth. Thanks for the Tip though… saved our table!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  208. Becca says:

    I had the white faded spot from a coffee pot put on the table on a placemat

    I spread the area all around the spot with olive oil and rubbed it in. Thought this would help protect the non-damaged areas. Then I steamed it (no towel, just held the iron about a half inch away from the table surface) for about two minutes, then rubbed the olive oil in the spot, let sit and then wiped olive oil off. I repeated all these steps 3 times, and the spot got progressively less and less. After the last time it was completely gone. Thanks for everyone’s tips.

    What bizarre ways to get rid of heat spots…but they work!

  209. Juliet says:

    OMG! Amazing! We have a very expensive dining room table and I tonight I placed a hot dish on it and a HUGE white stain appeared! I wanted to cry! I was prepared to have to buy a NEW table, when I stumbled on your solution. IT WORKED!!! The table looks just like new. You would never know that the stain had been there!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Steam heat with an iron is the trick! MAGIC!

  210. Judi says:

    IT”S A MIRACLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I LOVE the INTERNET !!!!

    Two white heat stains gone in SECONDS after being on my furniture for years !!!

    Thank you everyone keep the good tips flowing !!!!!!!!!!!

    Judi ~~

  211. AK says:

    Worked great! A bit of dampness in the towel will do the same as the steam.

  212. Terry says:

    If I hadn’t seen it with my own 2 eyes I wouldn’t have believed it worked!!!
    I had a beautiful blond wood coffee table with with marks from a paper plate. I had considered sanding and re-staining it but matching would be nearly impossible. I figured, what the heck give it a try. So, I plugged in my iron and held the iron over the white mark…steamed…I wiped up the dampness from the steam with a dry dish towel and Voila!!! The mark is gone!!!
    My only regret now is that I didn’t take a before picture.
    Thanks so much for this tip

  213. bill sepe says:

    Thias saved my friend Sonia’s table when we was watching UFC 100 and had hot pizzas on her table and lifted them when cleaning up and we was scared it wouldn’t come out so we tried steam alone and it made it worst, but a towel down go over with a iron and steam it.Thanks so much guys.

  214. diva 4 real says:

    OMG OMG!!! It worked!! I tried toothpaste as someone told me to and it didn’t off to the web I went!! I just held the iron over the wood and as the steam hit it you could see it disappear!!! The best part was the table was a great find on CL and now it it is a spectacular find with a little steam!!! OH yeah and the iron was a cheap 6.00 one from Walmart, it gives off a lot of steam!!!! P.S this was done at 4:30am!!!! Off to find more genius ideas!!!!!

  215. Jennifer says:

    SO SCARY BUT WORKED LIKE A CHARM! I had just bought an antique cherry table and served warm food on a paper plate it made a terrible white stain. I found your tip and put a terry towel doubled over stain then placed Iron over and steamed quickly worked great THANKS!!

  216. Joyce says:

    I have an oak table and used a paste made from white vinegar and baking soda, rubbing gently and the white marks came right off. These were fresh marks, but I don’t see any real reason why this would’nt work on older stains.

  217. LISA POLION says:

    I all most wanted to cry when my son left a hot cup of coffee on my hutch.
    Thanks a whole lot! The iron really does work. I was total amazed that in
    fact it does work. Thanks for the great tip. My hutch is back to looking beautiful!:)

  218. Kim says:

    OMG, BEST TIP EVER! Our steamy-pizza-box-damaged coffee table is perfect again – thank you so much, all the way from New Zealand!!! πŸ˜€

  219. ScarlettMama says:

    It works! My husband was so angry with me for using the iron on the dining table but it’s like new again. Can someone explain scientifically what happened in the first place and what the steam is doing to get the white stain out? Thanks again!!!

  220. jim from so cal says:

    Great Tip! I found this from doing some google search and it worked like a charm. I used the steam and constant move method. Now all I need to do is figure out how to get the ring out.

  221. Brian says:

    I was able to remove the existing stains with the iron, but I accidentally created a new one. I must have used too much heat, or I went over a part of the table that wasn’t previously stained. It isn’t a bad stain. It looks a little like the texture of the white towel that I was using (terry cloth) made marks on the table. I can’t get this new stain out. I tried vinegar, salt, olive oil, vegetable oil, baking powder, etc… along with the iron again, but nothing seems to work. Any suggestions?

  222. Aaron says:

    Used an iron over a white t-shirt folded in half (4x thickness). Did not use steam. Worked great. All stains are gone and table looks brand new.

  223. Kristin says:

    My husband and I own a furniture repair business, but don’t do a lot of wood repairs. We have a customer’s table in our shop and the only thing left to do was remove the white stains from the top.

    We also have a table in our home with the same problem. I tried your tip on our table first using a steamer we use for furniture, and viola! the stain was gone. Next I tried it on our customer’s table (pretty scary since it is not ours). Most of the stain came off leaving a slight cloudy appearance. I then used a little oil over the stain and the rest of the white has disappeared. I’m so glad to get this piece out of our shop and it makes us look genius to our customer. Thanks so much for the tip. I’m sure we will use it again!

  224. Slav says:

    Thank you sooo much. Oh man, you saved me from big frustration time.
    It worked like a charm….

  225. Cindy says:

    I just tried this now. I have a dark varnished table and I used the steam hovering method. It disappeared like magic! Thanks.

  226. Tamas says:

    We are a young couple ‘inherited’ an nice dining table from the previous owner of our flat – but with lots and lots of white stains.

    It was just about to be thrown out and replaced with a new one until we found this tip.

    It worked like a miracle.
    The dining table will stay! πŸ˜‰

  227. Potato says:

    Yes! Thank you so much. I put a hot baked sweet potato on my roommate’s new cherry table while he was gone on vacation! The steam mark went away after a few swipes of a medium heat iron with steam over a folded white t-shirt. A rubbed a little olive oil over it afterwords. Looks great! NO STAIN! Thank you thank you!

  228. Ashley says:

    THIS WORKS! I had 3 terrible hot plate stains. I didn’t use steam because my iron doesn’t have a steam mode. I put vegetable oil on them first, then I put a hand towel down, then the iron on top for about 15 seconds. After releasing the iron, I immediatly sprayed more oil and/or pledge on top of the warm surface. AWESOME!!! They are gone. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  229. Debbie Verderosa says:

    It worked like magic !!!!! I didn’t lay the iron on it, just held it over and pressed the steam button a few times. Thanks πŸ™‚

  230. Jodi says:

    Thank you soooo much!!! I hovered the iron and pressed steam and it worked beautifully!!!!

  231. Rachel says:

    It looks much better…Thanks for the tip.

  232. Paul says:

    Our son had put a hot pizza box on our coffee table creating to our horror a large milky white mark. We took your advise and held a hot steam iron over the mark and wiped away the moisture. Ta-da, good as new. Thank you so much for the great tip. I can’t wait to pass it on

  233. Vinay says:

    Thanks, it worked .. amazing πŸ™‚

  234. Russell says:

    I finished my front doors with a valspar spray clear coat. I accidently created an overspray or cloud/mist of valspar high gloss finish/clear in my dining room which covered my dining table. This is a nice table! It’s clear finish is smooth as glass. The mist landed on it and created a rough feel to the touch. How do I remove this residual overspray and bring it back to the original smooth finish?

  235. John says:

    I left a big white mark from a bag of fast food on my roommate’s table a couple of months ago, and it’s been bugging me. So I tried the iron technique described above. I laid down a dampened white dish towel, heated my iron up, and steamed the area, hovering the iron a half inch above the table. The stains disappeared, and I quickly tried to wipe the moisture away. But soon a larger hazy white area appeared. I tried again, this time wiping with olive oil, but the results were the same. I gave up for the night.

    Then a couple of nights later I read further down the page where somebody mentioned using a hair dryer. Next there were a couple of posts with hypotheses that moisture was causing the marks and that it’s the heat that helps, not the moisture. I think this is true, just that the moisture is a more efficient conductor of heat to the table surface. So I spent about a half hour carefully applying heat to the tabletop with a hairdryer. The process was gradual- which in my estimation is a good thing, but I was able to remove the marks completely and not feel scared about the process as I could see exactly what I was doing (no towel in the way).

  236. RobertH says:

    Just tried the iron-approach to removing a heat mark on our breakfast table, and not only did it not work, but it made the existing stain worst and created an even bigger white mark where I had applied the iron over the cloth. Put mayonaise on the spot afterward also but no improvement. Not sure what happened, but this technique must only work with certain finishes and woods. Any suggestions or comments?

  237. Janey says:

    OMG it worked, I had a few old marks on the kitchen table, but yesterday I mistakingly laid a hot cup on the table, then did a search on the internet to find out how to remove the stain, came across this advise, followed it this morning and it worked……….Thank you

  238. silvana says:

    i have tried all the tips but my table looks worse can anybody help

  239. D says:

    Hot laptop computer battery left mark on 7 year old oak finish dining table. Hovered the steam iron over a white terry towel for about 2-3 minutes and then immediately rubbed olive oil in and wiped whole area. Seems to be gone.

  240. Cassie says:

    As everyone else said, tried it and it worked. Gobsmacked!! Was thinking Id have to buy a new coffee table! Thanks!

  241. Marci says:

    This worked brilliantly!! Thanks for the tip πŸ™‚

  242. alisha says:

    The iron for white spots worked like magic on my kitchen table! Thank you!

  243. Bruce says:

    Cheers 4 this dude. Worked in 30 seconds

  244. Felicia says:

    I just did this on a beautiful mission style table(dark wood). It took the white stain off almost immediately. Thanks so much for the tip.

    • Nathalie Massanelli says:

      I did what you said and put a white towel on the table and rubbed over it with a steam iron and the stain automatically disappeared! Thanks!!


  245. Annika says:

    Wow – it’s the hair of the dog! It really works. We had a party last night and we were supposed to eat out on the patio. It started pouring rain, and everyone (can’t blame them) instead gathered around the dining room table. It’s a gorgeous table and only a year old. We were devastated to see white clouds on its surface after dinner. I looked online for chemicals I might be able to use to remove the stains and ran across this tip instead. Unbelievably, it worked like magic. THANK YOU!

  246. Frankie Powell says:

    this totally worked (even after the furniture store “repair guy” said he could do nothing about it) and I can’t stop telling people about it….thanks so much…my table is beautiful again…thank you thank you thank you…Frankie

  247. Steve says:

    Mixed results for me. From a birds eye view the marks went completely and very quickly. However, from looking into the dining room at an angle where light from the window reflects off the table, the mark remains visible and its surface area has increased from where we used the iron.

    Thankfully, we can just turn the table round and it should look fine. So all in all pleased! Thankyou!

  248. Donna Jenkins says:

    I tried the steam iron tip on my teak dining room table. I had 3 white spots caused by hot dishes. It works!!!! I was a doubter when I was reading the how to do it but figured what the heck, it already needs to be refinished how can it hurt. Well, it works on teak. I can’t thank you enough. Donna Jenkins

  249. AB says:

    My idiot brother pulled a classic dude move and put a hot pizza box on my roommates black wood coffee table. Tried the steam and it worked miraculously! Thanks

  250. cindi says:


  251. Stephanie says:

    WOW!!!! THANKS SO MUCH!!! Our first dinner on our brand new cherry wood table created four white steam stains. I wanted to cry, so I found this very useful tip. It worked so well! I can’t even see where the stains were! Thanks again!!!!

  252. Raquel says:

    Fantastic tip! I tried hovering the iron turned on high + steam, about an inch and a half over the white heat-stain on the table, no cloth underneath and it worked. I had to lift the iron and wipe away the water few times to see where else to go. Small, slow circular motions worked just right, and when done, I wiped the surface with olive oil on a paper towel. The table is like new again. I also found the olive oil helpful with the little pesky scratches on other parts of the table, just be sure to be consistent with the direction of the strokes and work with the wood-grain. Polish with soft cloth.

    Thank you so much for sharing your tips.

  253. Pamela says:

    UN-FREAKIN-BELIEVABLE!!! I can’t count how many times I’ve tried do-it-yourself fixes for things around the house that didn’t work. Not only did this work right away, but I had to call my aunt. She has an antique table given to her by a famous actress. At our family gathering last year, someone left the coffee urn slightly open and hot coffee dripped all over it. My aunt was delaying refinishing in case she found a solution. She is thrilled to find that this actually does work and she can save the table!!
    BTW, I found that even a thin towel didn’t work. I used a T-shirt wrapped around the iron, using the balled up shirt as the handle, and just moved the entire thing across the surface. Thanks, thanks, thanks!!

  254. Sharon says:

    I set a Chinet paper plate with hot food on it on my dark coffee table and thought it was the type of plate that was at fault, I had no idea heat/steam would do this to wood. I followed your instructions with the iron, towel and steam and it worked like a charm! At some angles you can still see some very slight cloudiness, but NOTHING like it was before. You saved my table, and I’m so grateful, THANK YOU!!

  255. Pamela says:

    My aunt just emailed me….. “I can’t believe what happened when I tried your trick on removing the white stain on my little table. It miraculously disappeared and I am so happy I could shout for joy, but there’s no one around to hear me!! I think it also removed the laquer finish so I’ll have to put a coat of poly on it. Thank you so much.”

  256. Becky says:

    PRAISE THE LORD!!! My family and I have had a white spot from a hot dish on my “beloved” dining room table for 6 years and tonight my husband accidenatally laid a hot pizza cardboard circle on the other side of the table that was not scorched and it left a dinner plate size white spot. I was so sick and devastated. I love my dining room table and I thought it was ruined forever. I was praying and found this site and what made me really believe that it worked was all of the positive feedback. We just got through doing this (no steam but white towel, sprayed water on the towel with spray bottle, put the iron to work for several seconds, lifted towel and my husband was right there to rub vegetable oil on it which he saturated onto a cloth. GONE!!! We did this on the other burn mark from several years back and GONE!!! I GIVE THANKS TO MY LORD JESUS FOR LEADING ME TO THIS WONDERFUL SITE! AND THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! You saved my marriage (ha!ha!)


  257. Elaine says:

    I’ve just tried this tip for removing white marks from my mahogany table; they’ve been in place for years! I thought, one last effort on my part! Well, it worked! I cannot believe the amount of products and ‘other tips’ I’ve tried over the years; only to find something so simple that actually works and the wood has been left with a lovely sheen! You must try this! I used a thick terry towelling tea cloth and used circular motions! Probably the removal of all the products and of course those dreadful white marks! Whoever found out the amazing secret! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  258. ginnie says:

    Thank you so much! We bought our dining set off of Kijiji about 8 months ago. It is a beautiful Winslow table and buffet/hutch set by Ashley furniture. We got a great deal on it but only one week after we had it my husband set a hot Corelle plate of steak right off of the bbq on the table and left a nasty white ring. He was so disappointed but we didn’t think we could do anything about it. Tonight, 8 months later, I tried your tip. I used a wet cotton terry cloth tea towel folded in half and just moved the iron in a circular motion over the stain for about half a minute. It was like magic. My husband is going to be thrilled when he gets home. This has just put the value back into our beautiful dining set and has also rescued my husband from his respite in the doghouse.

  259. sue says:


    • TipNut says:

      Hi sue, can you give more details about what you did and what exactly the results were? What type of table/finish?

      • Christine says:

        See my post below – I switched to an iron with smaller holes and that was actually level (bad iron had a dent in it, made marks!) and that removed the damage that was caused by my using an iron with large steam holes…

  260. jeanne says:

    I am trying to address a black stained, probably veneer wood table with a not so lovely white cloud heat stain. Most of the posts talk about more natural wood finished tables. Will the iron tip work in my case? Feedback greatly appreciated.

  261. gabrielle says:

    I put a heat stain on my employers mahogany bistro table and thought he was going to deduct the damage out of my paycheck from the look on his face! Found your website and saved myself $500! Thank you!! You saved me like 2 weeks pay, lol; no seriously.

  262. Tim Bagley says:

    Hi everyone a varnish or shellac finish is much hard then a lacquer finish so the lacquer finish would have better results ,its a more pouris finish.

  263. Jim M says:

    Add me to the list – your tip saved the day. I had my heated humidifyer CPAP machine on the coffee table last night and when I was filling the water I must have spilled some under the machine. I didn’t notice because I was riding a 103.5 swine flu feaver. Well when I woke up today the heat and the water on the table created a big white mark which almost caused me to throw up. I used your tip on a white T-Shirt and the stain is gone – thanks for sharing this.

  264. Liz & Amelia, UK says:

    The iron trick really works! We were sceptical at first wondering how heat could remove a heat stain as we’d ruined an antique table (our landlord’s not ours) – but after tentatively trying out an iron over a doubled pillow case the stain was gone in seconds – as if by magic! You would never have known the difference!

  265. Mrs Prangitt says:

    We had a large white stain on our dining table, just had to hide it under things!

    We used a steam cleaner (the ones used to clean and sanitise when cleaning house) and just puffed the steam onto the white area, dried up the table, checked for coverage and re-applied. Within 2 minutes, stain is just not there anymore!

    Thanks for the heat / steam ideas!

  266. Erica Cooper says:

    I cannot believe this, it is like a miracle. My beautiful wooden dining table had numerous heat marks on it. I had tried the cigarett ash, and the baking soda, the hair drier and steel wool. Tt looked grim, but presto, instant results with a steam iron over a tea towel. I am so pleased. Thank you so much.
    Cheers Erica

  267. Christine says:


    I used the technique once before with an iron and a towel and it worked. I tried it a second time with a different iron on the same table and it made it WORSE. I thought it was maybe the cloth, but then I noticed the holes were really big on the second iron and there was a dent that made it not level.

    I switched to a THIRD iron, with very small steam holes and that was perfectly flat and wiped the table immediately after, and it got rid of most of the white stains, the worse ones I just made with the big holed iron! I think the big holes in the iron let out too much wet steam hence the white steam marks. Table looks much better now, but a very very slight white film in areas still from Iron #2. I am going to try with this third iron again and use oil to see if that gets rid of every trace of marks.

  268. Diane says:

    WOW I was very doubtful about this idea, but thought that it couldn’t hurt to give it a go – the table had a large white heat mark already. It disappeared within seconds! Thanks so much

  269. christine says:

    Thanksgiving my table was ruined from a hot pot. I was beside mysekf and did not believe anything would work to get the white large stain removed. I figured I would be the one it didn’t work for! The iron w/ a t-shirt worked in 2 minutes flat! I was scared to death I was going to make things worse but I was losing sleep over this table nor did I want to walk in the room and look at it. That is when I figured everyone couldn’t be wrong so I gave it a go! Wow one less thing off my plate to worry over! Worked awesome! I didn’t use steam just dry heat!
    Big thank you to all!

  270. Alana says:

    I LOVE YOU!!!!!! I have only had my table for 8 months and on Thanksgiving I had a horrible white spot from a hot dish and your idea completly fixed it. I am so happy!!! Thank you, thank you!!! And I WILL tell everyone that I know about this idea. Thanks alot

  271. Marlie says:

    Ok so i am reluctant to try this… I have a black table with a couple of white marks and it seems lately they are just getting more and more of them.. Im sure it was a finish on it Im just wondering if anyone with a black wood table has tried it and was successful.. This table cost WAY to much money to just replace it.. HELP!!

  272. Erin says:

    While working one evening my husband decided on a pizza for dinner for him and the kids. I get a frantic phone call from him telling me that there was a white spot on the table from where the pizza box sat, and he wanted to know what to put on it to get it off. After finding this tip, my husband saw what I was doing and he thought it was the craziest thing ever, and had no hope that it would work. Sure enough, using the white towel, steam iron and a little olive oil to follow, it looks good as new. Thanks for the great tip.

  273. Lynne says:

    I was really frightened to do this with a hot iron but it worked it must be some kind of miracle, I put a damp tea towel over the white mark and with the iron on hot I (with great trepidation) ironed my table.

  274. MJ says:

    Thank you! I am housesitting for 6 months and had a small Christmas party last night. Two of my friends put their paper plates (loaded up with hot chicken pot pie) on the nice oak dining room table. After they finished and picked up their plates…..I saw the nightmare. Big white scorch stains where the hot food had been. I was so freaked out. Today, I quickly found your tip and it removed much of the stain. It’s not all gone and I’m a bit afraid to do much more, but with a bit of Old English rubbed into the area, it’s hardly noticeable now. Thanks for posting the tip. It may have saved me a lot of money.

  275. James says:

    The key to this is steam – simply hold the steaming iron over the mark and it will disappear in less than thirty seconds. If you don’t have a iron that makes steam, then simply wet a towel and put it over the stain to create the necessary steam. It is genius and it has got me out of a lot of trouble!

  276. Ruth says:

    Yes! It works! Iron on high with steam held 2 inches above spot, in circular motions. Every 30 seconds or so I wiped the table with a soft cloth with Old English on it. Worked perfectly on my cherry table!!

  277. Keri says:

    I can’t thank you enough for posting your tip on how to get a white heat stain out of a table. When I lifted off the tablecloth after Thanksgiving I was beside myself when I saw the white marks on my $1600 table. I ironed a thin cloth over the marks on the table using steam and it only took 3 swipes of the towel to remove the marks. Less than 5 seconds. No trace of the marks at all.

  278. Charlie says:

    I can’t belive I just took a HOT IORN to my cherry table. It Works, it really works. After I iron/steamed the spot up I took a little Old English and it’s like I have a whole new table. Thanks For the Tip

  279. lorraine briggs says:

    The white scorch mark on my wooden table bugged me for years! This morning I held the steam iron above the scorch mark and the mark disappeared like magic! Many thanks! I thought the only option was to sand the table back till I noticed this tip! Hurray!

  280. Tom says:

    We had mixed results on a black wooden table. The stain was in a pattern left by a mat we’d put something hot from the oven on. I put over a tea-towel, and did the ironing thing – to my horror the tea-town was patterned with hatches, and the pattern left itself imprinted on the table. Oops.

    We changed to a plain towel and did it again. We got rid of the major patterns, but managed to spread the white stain further across the table than the original stain.

    In short, we got rid of the worst of it, but the table is discoloured in a larger area than we originally damaged. I gave up, feeling that to continue doing this would spread it even further. Still, better than it was before!

  281. Terry says:

    I just tried this on my dining room table, and it worked somewhat, but what I found was the stains came off initially,but returned soon after I had finished, but less than before. Should I continue doing it or do it for a longer period of time to get the stains off completely??

  282. Matt says:

    This tip worked amazing. The steamed towel followed by rubbing vegetable oil over desired area worked miracles. My sister was baking cookies and set the hot cookie sheet on a towel on my moms beautiful granite/cherry wood table. It looked like christmas was gonna be a sour one while we were waiting for mi madre to get home. But I jumped online and this was the first tip/site I came across and half an hour later the table looks good as new. Just another classic case of what momma don’t know don’t hurt her.

  283. Wendy says:

    OMG, I can’t believe that worked. I put a paper plate of hot food on my beautiful dining table and when I picked it up, I had a huge white mark the size of the bottom of the plate! I wanted to cry! I turned on the iron to steam and lay down a clean dish towel (flour sack, not terry) and ran the iron over it for all of 3 seconds and it was gone! I then wiped it down with oilve oil to remoisturize it and it is good as new!! Who would have thought!!

  284. Joe D says:

    Incredible. I tried the steam iron trick and it worked wonders. I was sick that our $5000 solid cherry game table was ruined. I had thought an acidic cleaning product was used by one of the family or a maid, which ruined the finish. I tried several products to try to fix it. The white spots were all over the top and the edges. Some of them small as a dime, others big blotches. I adjusted my ironing process and this one worked best – I filled my iron with water and set it to 4.5 (with 7 the highest), which is high enough to produce steam. I got an old white t-shirt and laid it flat, so there were two cloth layers between the iron and table. I ironed it section by section, where each section was twice the size of the iron face, steadily sweeping the iron left and right over the section 50 times. This appeared to get down enough steam and heat to remove the blotch without hurting the finish on my table. Your wood and finish may be different, so be careful and experiment first. The results are immediate. Thanks again – my table looks like new!

  285. Lizzy says:

    Thank you for this tip – you saved our Christmas! I have never seen such fear in the eyes of my mother after we pulled the table cloth off following our dinner from a pizza box… she is now singing at the top of her lungs. We used the hover technique and the results were nearly instantaneous. For flare, we polished the whole table olive oil… the heat spots are GONE off of our brand new cherry Hinkle Harris table.

    Thank you!!

  286. Samantha Smith says:

    Me and my family are renting a house on captiva island. While eating dinner one night we accidentally placed a hot dish on the wooden dinner table, at first we didnt notice anything, but after about an hour a white ring was left on the table. We didnt want to leave this stain on the owners table, but we had no idea what to do. I decided to google it & see if anyone had a way to get rid of it. this was the first website that popped up & i immidiatly clicked on it. We followed your exact directions & the stain went away like magic! Thank you so much. This was extremely helpful. πŸ™‚

  287. Lisa says:

    This worked like a charm. I had family over and had 8 big white marks on my dinner table (shouldn’t have gone with paper plates and should have used place mats!) I used my iron on the lowest steam setting and placed it on a folded light white towel over the marks. I moved it slowly over the marks for about 2 minutes each. The spots came up but the finish looked a little dull at first. I applied a wood oil polish and now you can’t even tell there was a mark on the table! Thanks for the great tip!

  288. Nazareth says:


    My husband forbade me of applying your technique but I tried it anyway and it worked!

    Because my iron does not have steam, I used a wet cloth and I applied the iron on it until the stain went away.

    Thanks for your great tip. I really couldn’t stand the stain any longer.

  289. judith green says:

    I spilled a glass of white wine on my mahogony veneered table over Christmas 2009 and by the time I realised, it had left an awful white stain. I read the tip on this site and was almost too scared to try it. Finally took courage and held the iron on a clean tea towel. The stain was gone in about 5-10 seconds!! I truly could not believe it. Thanks a million.

  290. Clint P says:

    WARNING: I don’t recommend trying this unless it is a last ditch effort on a piece you’re ready to get rid of or have professionally refurbished. I tried it on a very expensive table and it made it horribly worse! It caused damage to the whole area the steam touched, not just the mark on the table. I tried only steam and the towel on a very low iron setting and the same occurred with both. This was a high-end table only a couple of years old.

    Don’t try to impress the wife with this one…trust me.

  291. Leanne says:

    Someone put something hot on my dinning room table over the holidays and I was left with a big white round mark. I used a white tea towel and low dry heat and it was gone in with a few minutes of wiping. I kept moving the iron, wiping the moisure and checking the stain as I went as I was afraid of what it might do. BUT IT WORKED, it looks brand new. I’m VERY happy. Thank you very much for this tip!!

  292. Kathy says:

    Thank you so much for the hot iron tip! It worked like magic for me also. I had tried the mayonaisse trick I learned when I was younger (but I did forget to leave it on for an hour per your other reader’s tip), I tried furnish polish and even a litte matching stain to no avail. Then when I first tried the hot iron I thought I was continuing to make matters worse (I first tried steam with a hand towel, then hovering with steam, then dry iron with the hand towel). The trick that worked for me was a dry iron with an old pillow case & moving the iron in small cirles for about 20 – 25 seconds ~ my 10 yr. old daughter & I were amazed ~ it just disappeared like you said. I bought the table second hand for my son,now I know he’ll love it! Thanks again so very much.

  293. Kimberly says:

    It worked for me!!! My table looks brand new, seriously!!!! However, I put some olive oil over the stains first then I wiped it off with warm water dried the table off, then did the iron trick. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  294. Nicole says:

    Tried the iron trick and it created a large white stain far worse than the one I was attempting to remove. Had read that mayonnaise works, so I thought it cant do any worse than the iron already had! The mayonnaise worked like a charm! It is an antique table and not sure about the finish on it but I am recommending the mayo trick!

  295. Jessica says:

    I left a cake to cool on a rack on the table I’m currently borrowing from my landlady and it left white stripes on the table. I used the steamy hover technique with the iron then immediately applied canola oil and it worked perfectly! Thank you!

  296. Gemma says:

    Worked perfectly on my dining table..amazing!! I only need one second of steam follwed by rubbing in a little oil. thanks a million!!

  297. Nichole says:

    HOLY COW —Worked like MAGIC!!! It was on there for years, Thank you so much!!!

  298. Mark H says:

    Another success story with the iron on low heat, max. steam and used in a circle motion on a towel

  299. Dawn Blumrich says:

    Wow!!! This worked. I was a little skeptical at first but though “what do I have to lose?” The iron trick took the spots right off. I didn’t use steam, just heat. Thanks for the tip!!

  300. thom donahue says:

    i had some light haze from a quick iron i did only using a towel. i used this tip and completely destroyed my table. no matter how long i ironed through a towel with steam, it just made huge white stains. i will never be able to show that table top again. i feel like throwing the whole new table out.

  301. Alivia says:

    i just about cried when i saw my new BLACK TABLE with a milky white heat stain from a plate…i read the tip about the iron and tried it! It really DOES work. Baffling, but amazing! THANK YOU!!!!

  302. Jennifer says:

    Lifesaver for me too! We are in a temporary furnished apartment while we wait to buy a house and we put hot pizza on paper plates on the table and left marks. We would have had to buy a whole new table to replace the one we damaged, but this worked like a charm! Amazing! Thanks so much!

  303. cathryn says:

    I just tried the iron on the white stain on my dark oak table – it has never been varnished – just beeswax polish – Hey presto!! It worked. I just wonder who first tried it and why? genius. 4 years in the Antiques trade and this is the first time I have ever put a hot iron on a 17th century table!! Thank you

  304. cathryn says:

    sorry – 40 years in the antiques trade – what I would have give for this tip years ago – saved me a fortune in restoration fees.

    • L1honeygirl says:

      Wow! it is 408 in the morning and i read this, got up and went to the tv room and put the thin towel on the table where the large white heat spot has been for over two years, an right before my eyes it was gone and i do mean gone, this is an old table and the spots felt a little ruff on one small spot, i did use olive oil over the top of the table and i am leaving it over night to soak in, but this is magic and i am so pleased thank you so much and i am going to share this great news with all my friends!

  305. Michelle Mehrtens says:

    This worked!! Thank you! I had a small white mark from a hot dish on my dining room table. I tried low heat with no steam, low heat with steam, but the only thing that worked was high heat with steam. Put iron over a white Tshirt on top of stain, ironed it with steam for a few seconds, and it was gone!! Polished the table afterwards and no more scorch mark!!

  306. Eileen says:

    Brillant tip for the removal of hot pot stain on my table with a cloth and a steam iron. It worked 100%. My daughter was amazed. Thank you!!

  307. Adele Brookes says:

    I was distraught when my Son’s friend ironed his tee shirt on my table the white stains was on about a 1/4 of the table and I thought it was ruined. I was dubious to say the least about trying it, but holding my steam iron above it and bursting steam, it was disolving before my eyes, screamed at my Husband to get the teak oil.

    Table more or less back to it’s original condition, thank u so much.


  308. sac says:

    Wow! I was sick last night when I saw 8 large white spots from paperplates with hot food on my antique mahoney table. I decided I had nothing to lose since it was going to need refinishing..the mayo, olive oil, Old English oil etc… nothing I had read about worked. The hot iron on minimum setting with steam on fold white towel over the spots WORKED in minutes. It is unbelieveable ALL OF THE SPOTS ARE GONE!!!!!!
    Thank you

  309. Tammi says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! It worked

  310. Shane says:

    Thank you very much! That worked like a charm. I was ready to take the table to the garage and start sanding. Now I can go watch football! I do have a bit of roughness on the finish over the affected area, but no more white stain. I’ll take it!!!

    These forums are such a great place to find valuable information!


  311. murphy says:

    I have a white formica coffee table that had a heat ring stain on it. I used the steam iron over a tea towel but its made the table looka lot worse. It removed the ring but its now got a huge white patch where the iron was. Ive tried oilive oil but nothing is working. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • TipNut says:

      Isn’t formica plastic? I have no idea what will help with that type of material.

      • Dave Nptts says:

        Yes formica is plastic.

        Formica is a brand of composite materials manufactured by the Formica Corporation now based in Newcastle, Tyne & Wear, a division of the New Zealand company Fletcher Building. In common use, the term refers to the company’s classic product, a heat-resistant, wipe-clean, plastic laminate of paper or fabric with melamine resin.
        I would suggest Murphy checks what his table is made of in future!

  312. alaina says:

    This worked amazingly well! The stain on my table so so bad that the wood was cracked and there were huge white marks. I used the steam iron over a towel several times in the affected areas until the stains were gone and then finished with some oil on the wood. The crack is barely noticeable and the stains are gone. Thank you so much for posting this!

  313. Annie says:

    This did NOT work for me! First, I tried steaming the mark by holding the iron a cm above it and using the steam button. Nothing happened whatsoever. A couple of days later, I placed a tee on it and ironed it with steam. Where I had a faint, cloudy mark before, now there is a large opaque one! I tried rubbing some olive oil into it. Now it looks a little better, but worse than it originally was! Help!!!!!!

  314. MIchelle says:

    Just tried this ironing tip on our dining room table. It was miraculous! We set the heat on steam heat (highest setting), ironed on a white towel – we kept the iron moving and IMMEDIATELY wiped the moisture off with the towel. We found that the first spot we worked on we didn’t keep the iron moving and didn’t wipe the moisture away quick enough – as we continued and became more proficient we were more successful. The table is now restored to its original condition and we couldn’t be happier! This defies all logic but works! Try it – you’ll be amazed!!! Thanks for the tip! We are grateful!

  315. preston says:

    So we were freaking out because my brother was out of town and we were babysitting his kids for the night. We decided it would be fun to make a nice Sunday dinner for us and some of our friends. We ate on paper plates and after dinner we noticed the heat stains on the black wood table. Shoot me now. We saw the iron and steam solution on this website. Seriously?!?! It worked like a charm. Make sure you use a towell in between and polish afterwards but THANK YOU for saving my tail! What a miracle and a lifesaver. AMAZING! Thank you.

  316. Seonag Mackenzie says:

    The hot iron method on wool setting with steam is unbelievable! I would never have believed it unless I had seen it with my own two eyes. Fabulous!

  317. james says:

    Kids created white heat mark on very nice Ethan Allan end table with paper plate of hot food. I used steam iron with white towel – put towel over spot and gently rubbed with the steam iron for about 15-20 seconds. Worked great!!

  318. Julia K says:

    Oh my gosh!!!! I was so worried this was not going to work. While my parents were out, I put some tea on my new desk. And when I looked, oops!!!! I had no idea what it even was or how to get rid of it. Then, after looking at all these sites, i figured i would try the magic eraser (start out slow). No luck, so I hesitantly got out the iron. First, without steam, nothing changed. So, i added some water to it, and the steam did its magic!!! πŸ˜€ Now, Im sitting here, at my clean desk typing this!!! THANKS SO MUCH!!!!!!! ingenious!!!

    The only thing i wonder is why one should use an iron with steam if that is technically what made the spot in the first place? any thoughts?

  319. maria says:

    not long had our coffee table, most expensive coffee table we have ever bought! found a white heat ring on it last weekend, no one knows how it got there! Anyway, i tried the iron thing and yes it worked on removing the heat ring, but it left a far bigger patch! I stayed on here looking to see if anyone tried anything else and went to the link on other methods used. at the moment i have got mayonnaise and salt on the patch will let it sit for an hour then wipe it off. My coffee table is varnished btw. will let you know on the results.

    • Bex says:

      This worked a treat! Amazing, thank you so much! I used iron with towel and heat first and it removed the two hot pizza box stains but left a paler but larger mark from the iron. So I rubbed along the grain with olive oil and it is all gone! Iron and oil combo worked for me! Thank you so much for this tip, I can’t wait to tell my mum!

  320. Rosie P says:

    Had a steamer on 40 yr. old oak dresser on double folded towel for 36 hours. Moved it and had 9″ solid circle of thick white. I was scared and skeptical, but tried the white tea towel and steam. IT WORKED. Took about 45 min to get it all off, but there is a slight residual, in outer circle that won’t come, so I rubbed in lots of olive oil and will let it set. See what happens. Recommend that tea towel or whatever fabric used, has not got waffle patter or such. Left pattern on the wood. Thank you for the advice. Will certainly tell others of the site.

  321. joanne says:

    I have had a ring from a hot dish on my birch dining room table for over ten years last night we were playing cards and had a hot coffee and no not again another ring but i went on this site and they told me what to do a thick white towel on the spot and i put the iron on with lots of steam and the two spots are gone i cannot beleive it i keep going back to check it it has ben four hours and still all gone an amazing tip thank you

  322. Jennifer says:

    I too am just as amazed as everyone else. I tried the towel with dry heat iron and it didn’t work. Then I used the steam hovering over and it worked!!! I had the brightest white spot on the darkest wood and it worked like a charm. So amazing!!!!!

  323. Dori says:

    I had our card club people over and the chinette bowls I used to serve soup left marks all over my table. I was devasted. I found this website and followed the directions. I could not believe my eyes. The stains all were removed. A few of them I needed to use the steam on the iron, but the rest just came out with heat. It’s been several weeks now and the stains are still gone. This has been a lifesaver for me!!!!! Thank you so much!!!!

  324. FuzzyK says:

    Amazing! I received similar heat clouds from paper plates that I used to serve pulled pork during a cook-out. After seeing that my 20+ year old hand-me-down kitchen table looked ruined, I was worried I would have to invest in a new one.

    I actually used a hand-held steamer and applied the steam to a pillow case that was folded in half. After only a minute or two of constant motion on each spot… and a once-over with Orange Pledge, the table looks good as new. Thanks for saving me a lot of money and hassle!

  325. Marion says:

    I tried the iron method to remove white splotches on my dining table. I don’t know what I did wrong but it didn’t work for me. The white areas are now larger. I need more suggestions!

  326. Liz says:

    THANK YOU !!!!

    It worked like magic. My coffee table has been covered with white marks for nearly 20 years and I have been wanting to re-stain it for a long time but hadn’t got around to doing it. Have placed a cloth over it ever since some house-sitters damaged it with hot cups and pizza boxes. Had been looking for a solution regularly on the net and decided to try again a few days ago. Came across yours and saw so many success stories that I decided to give it a go. It was like watching a magic trick. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My coffee table is as good as new. Thanks again.

  327. Joan says:

    I can’t believe it but it worked! I have a very, very expensive kitchen set that my husband, accidently, put a very hot dish of vegetables on it without a hot plate under it. Well, we were going to hire a company to fix the steam damage but I decided to go online to see if I could get any home remedies. IT WORKED! I tried the dry heat, didn’t work. I then tried the steam heat and in LESS THAN ONE MINUTE the stain was gone. I did move my iron around while removing the stain. You are a lifesaver or should I say expense saver! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!

  328. Kylie says:

    I can’t believe it worked! Thanks so much. High steam and wipe off moisture. I too was in the doghouse. It took a while to remove the secondary cloudy stain that came after. I put olive oil all over the table, wrapped the iron in an old white cotton cloth, on a low heat and ironed the table directly. It seemed to work and I could see what was happening…
    Thanks again!

  329. Nic says:

    Worked PERFECTLY. I used a steamy iron with a dust free rag and my table looks like new!!!

  330. Julie says:

    Based on everyone’s comments I was very hopeful in the iron approach. Unfortunately it made my table worse. Instead of 2 small white spots, I now have 2 very large white spots that are basically 1 huge white spot on my custom made table. My only option now is to refinish the entire top of the table.

  331. Forrest says:

    Today, I just put a white hot spot on my wife’s great looking wooden kitchen table with a hot corn muffin. And the table was my wife’s college graduation gift from her parents. I couldn’t believe it, but I tried a hot steam iron going over a white bathroom towel and within 30 seconds the white spot is gone, and is still gone. Thanks so much for the tip that worked.

  332. tmac says:

    stain is gone, gone, gone. i thought it would be so difficult and was very skeptical. i checked a few other website recommendations confirming this recommendation. it was easy – 2 seconds later – stain vanished. have to love the internet for this type of info.


  333. kelly says:

    I ironed a shirt over a towel on my dining room table. I was crushed to discover a white streak across it later. I places a thin cloth over area and ironed with steam in circular motion. This made it worse. I now had a circular white area on my varnished table. I decided to iron back over the area with no steam in a circular motion. This worked better. I repeated several times until white spot virtually disappeared. Then I applied furniture oil polish and basically massaged it into my wood. This worked great for me. By the way…I have a varnished oak table if this helps anyone.

  334. Jeff says:

    OMG! Thank you so much!! It’s a miracle!! It worked!!

  335. Adam says:

    Thanks all! I just want to report that this worked on a newer table as well. I have a fairly inexpensive high top cafe like table which is likely just veneered but my roommate had put a hot pizza box on it and left a white ghost mark. I tried the iron over the towel without steam, then with steam, then hoevered with steam and it kept coming back.

    The final thing that helped was reading through the comments. I ironed slowly over a towel on high heat WITH steam and then wiped up the table with vegetable oil and its PERFECT.

    The vegetable oil is what helped out greatly for me after the ironing.

    Thanks everyone!

  336. katie says:

    This was amazing. It truly worked. I had a large “cloud” from putting a casserole dish on my wood table. Even with 2 towels the steam escaped and marred my table. Completely gone. I also used extra virgin olive oil after and it looks brand new. Thank you

  337. k says:

    just tried this on my piano and when i saw a LARGER mark from the iron i about passed out BUT i tried HOVERING the iron over it again and pressing the steam button and it seemed to lighten then mostly disappear. i rubbed lemon oil into it and left to saturate into the wood. will buff it in the morning. its scary to do this on an expensive piece of furniture but seems to work.

  338. adam says:

    For everyone weighing which method to use, simply think it through: contrary to popular posting, it is not actually magic. Steam and super hot irons are not unnescessary. You need only to apply enough heat to soften the protective layer and evaporate the trapped water. It seems to me that a hair dryer would work best. In fact, that is what worked for me. Seems that that the low wind/hi heat setting would cause the least stress to the surface. Keep in mind that the heat will cause very slight damage to the surface, but you should be able to soften and smooth the surface with oil or polish.

  339. T. says:

    The steam iron worked – two different tables with different finishes – amazing – fast – fantastic. I had tried the mayo to no avail. I find the mayo works on watermarks which have a similar appearance. If the mayo does not work, probably the problem is heat marks – the steam iron with towel does the trick with no dammage!

  340. Fiona says:

    WOW! We are house-sitting and my husband put a large pack of fish and chips right in the centre of the table last night, causing a large white heat mark. So grateful to have found this tip! The table is perfect again, you would never know it happened!

    We used a standard steam iron and white towel. If you iron till the towel gets hot, then lift the edge of the towel to check under it, you can see condensation forming on the table top. That’s the point where the stain disappears. GONE! Just like magic! Could not believe it worked so well!

  341. Karly says:

    Thanks for the tip ! Worked perfectly. Even with a straightner it works, if it’s possibly broken, if you don’t have a iron.

  342. reddy says:

    Thanks a ton.

    It worked beautifully πŸ™‚


  343. karen says:

    That was awesome, it really works. I didn’t think it would, using heat to remove heat stains, but it did. Thank you for sharing.

  344. Margo says:

    I had a white spot on my beautiful black dining room table from Pottery Barn. I read all the great responses and decided to give it a try this morning. OmG. Now I have a much larger spot! I should never have tried this ~ sounded too good to be true.

    Very glad for all those that did have success.

    • Bonnie says:

      Hi Margo,

      Did you ever find a solution? This happened to my sister-in-law when she tried this on her black dining table. Made the problem much worse…


  345. Annie says:

    Hello! I just wanna thank you for this tip. you saved my life,literally. Im a babysitter and I made rice on my employers kitchen, i placed the rice cooker too close to the cabinets and the steam made a huge white mark, I was so nervous, but thank God i found this site. Thank You so much! πŸ™‚

  346. Aaron says:

    This worked for us! We have an antique cherry table that someone placed a catering tray on and it left four large, bright white spots. We tried Jasco, mayo, and furniture polish with no results. After we saw this tip, we used my grandmother’s iron (an old Black and Decker that gets REALLY hot) on the highest setting with steam and a clean t-shirt. The spots were removed within about 5 seconds of applying the iron over the t-shirt. We then saturated the table with olive oil and polished it until it was dry. There are still faint, filmy marks where the large white spots were, but you have to be really close to the table to see them. Overall this tip is incredible!

  347. Tina says:

    Our friends gave us one of their coffee tables after they got married, because it was nicer than the one we had at the time.
    About 6 months later, we accidentally put some biscuits on a paper plate on the table and it left a bunch of little round white spots. We turned the table around and put magazines on the spot to hide it. But then it happened again with some hot cookies! We didn’t want our friends to know that we ruined their nice table!

    So I tried the ironing method. After I ironed and steamed and ironed and steamed and rubbed it with wood oil and a towel, and ironed and steamed again and again, the table was starting to look pretty good but there was still some white spots in the darker, grainier areas. I scrubbed those parts along the grain with the olive oil and table salt paste, and that took care of it instantly!
    My table looks almost new again!
    Thank you!!!

  348. Doug says:

    Wow! this really works. Just tried it on our games table. Cherry stained oak with veneer type finish? Used steam iron & towel. Very easy. Used a little olive oil/lemon polish. Looks good as new! THANKS

  349. Dina says:

    I cannot believe that i have been spending so much time trying to get rid of those white marks on my oak table. I was going to throw it away. It literally took me 2 minutes to remove 8 white marks with and iron and steam, i cant thank you enough!!!!

  350. sandra says:

    It worked! within seconds my white stain was gone! I’m siked now I just need help removing old ring stains. If you have any ideas please let me know!! Thank you!!!!

  351. Billy says:

    I have to come back to the site to say thank you. I applied steam with heated iron hovering over the white heat stain, they disappeared in front of my eyes. Now the table is like new.

  352. clark says:

    Be VERY careful.

    The only real method that looks good is to take some iron wool or a brillo pad (iron sponge for ovens etc) and gently massage the wood until you “scrape off” the varnished white distortion.

    One this is done, get some soy sauce (dark) and massage it into the table.

    Leave it for a while to stain then remove it….

    Your left with a perfect table.

    However, since you removed the troublesome layer, do not reburn…..

  353. Frank Kentfield says:

    Thanks for the great tip. We have a solid maple dining table which has a cherry finish, varnished not shellac, It sustained a white stain the size of a place mat apprx 12″x18″. By placing a hot steam iron 1/8″ above the stain the stain magically disappeared. Thanks again.

  354. anna says:

    Thanks for this tip. It saved me. my boyfriend spent 5hours refinishing some furniture we bought and I set some clothes on top not knowing they were damp. This left those white marks and he was very upset. Using the steam on the iron worked perfect. Thanks!!!!

  355. Jason says:

    Wow, one of the few things that I actually tried from the internet that works. I am house sitting for someone and I forgot to use a coaster on the dining room table a few times. The truth is, I’ve never been a coaster guy with cups of tea, now I am. Anyways, I did the hover technique with steam and it came right out.

    I think what happens, when a table gets damaged, is that some of the finish is absorbed into the hot dish, but when heat (steam) is applied, the heat (steam) actually melts the finish so that it fills the damaged area back in. Remember that finish is a liquid when first applied, therefore I think it liquefies when heat is applied again.

    Anyways thanks a bunch for saving the embarrassment of having to fess up to damaging a table. πŸ™‚

    • Prettyleodia says:

      It didn’t work for me!!! My coffee table actually looks a bit worse than to begin with. πŸ™
      I followed all of the tips. I’m not sure what went wrong. I was really looking forward to seeing my table look great again. :-/

  356. Alexis says:

    Brilliant. Going by the number of comments submitted I thought it was worth a go. Coolest steam setting, Terrys nappy doubled and about 30 seconds circular motion with a couple of mid process checks. I just fixed a coffee table and a side table that now match as they were supposed to rather than because of heat stains! Now just waiting for my wife to come home so I can claim it was all my own work! Thanks :-)))

  357. Tanya says:

    Thank you for your tip! This worked for me on our new dining room table which we managed to get several heat spots on in the past year. I used the clean white T-shirt, a warm-hot steam iron and followed up by rubbing vigorously in the direction of the grain with the Tshirt after removing the iron and then with a tiny bit of olive oil.

  358. Barbara says:

    It works, I must admit I followed instructions with great trepidation, thinking if it doesn’t work I can always get it repolished. I shall pass this tip onto all my frisnds

  359. Alyson says:

    Well, my story is like so many other stories that have been posted. I had a Christmas gathering and when everyone had gone, I discovered several cloudy spots on my dining room table. This table was purchased 70 years ago by my grandparents when they got married. I was convinced that I would need to refinish it, but with the steam, the cloudy stains are gone. Thank you for posting this info. What a life saver!

  360. Rob S says:

    ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE – was very sceptical but it works amazingly. Just used hovering powerful steam iron on my beech table that had severe iron white heat marks

  361. Subi says:

    Had 3 big white rounds on my dining table caused by hot bowls and I was frustrated after all my efforts to wipe it out failed. Came across this tip and I immediately tried,the white spots disappeared in minites over steam iron ,but left cloudy patches which wouldnt go away. Then followed the tips posted,rubbed vegetable oil, wetted the cloth and placed steam iron over the wet cloth for about 10-15 seconds and it worked !!! Table looks 99% better now..Thanks for the wonderful tips !!!!

  362. Christa says:

    What about white spots cause by vinnegar? Any suggestions?

  363. Richard Tustin says:

    Worked like a dream. Couldn’t beleive it. Amazing. Found this website after a google search. Sometimes the simple things work better.

  364. nikki says:

    Wow! It really works. Thanks so much for the tip

  365. Mark says:

    I bought a pub table and four chairs several years ago, the kind you find at major furniture outlets like Ashley…etc…Someone put a pair of folded jeans fresh from the hot dryer on the table, and an hour later…cloudy spot in the shape of those folded jeans. I was skeptical about the heat treatment from iron, but I tried it anyway. WOW, it worked, after a couple minutes of waving the magic iron over the spot (bout 1/2 inch) I started to notice a difference and then wiped small amount of olive oil with wash cloth into whole table. You couldn’t tell where the spot was now. Thanks for saving me lots of worry and money. OH yeah, I opted for the steam treatment method without cloth. Now to tell everyone else I know who has this problem, but haven’t found a solution.

  366. John Coathupe says:

    Absoluely defies logik that using a hot iron & steam to remove the stain caused initially by putting large hot teapot on a tray would work, but it did it, I was amazed how quickly the mark disapeared. I had previously used a variety of commercial products without success, the coffee table in question was a rather expensive Ercol piece of furniture. My son immediatly tried it on a stain caused by placing a hot cup on a pine beside table, the stain dissapeared in seconds. MIRACULOUS!!

  367. John Paul says:

    Tried the olive oil/baking soda method first, didn’t work on my table. I had a really big white mark from YES, ironing on the table with a towel, so was skeptical to say the least. Then, with desperation setting in, decided to go for the steam method, lots of steam, holding the iron about 1cm or 1/2inch from the table top. It worked!! Gave it a lot of steam, and then quickly rubbed in olive oil while still hot. Hasn’t got all the mark out but has reduced it from “oh my god white” to a slightly lighter shade of the wood colour.
    WOW! Thanks for the tip!! :O)

  368. Barbara says:

    Thanks so much! This not only got the stain out, it helped me to identify what the stain was. SO glad it wasn’t mold. Thanks again!

  369. Gabriel says:

    Thanks so much!!!!! This took the white marks right off of my grandmother’s table! (Steam iron over a cloth suggested in orignial post) The funny thing is, I made the marks by ironing on transfers onto pillowcases for my daughter’s class. Thanks again!

  370. ERICA CROSBY says:

    I am scared but I am trying this as soon as I get home!

  371. Erica says:

    Thank you for posting this tip. It help to save my 2 1/2 year old oak table!! πŸ™‚

  372. Susan says:

    My table had the white clouds from ironing the tablecloth on the table….
    (No comments please)
    I tried olive oil and mayo with no luck. I was afraid to try the iron with the steam because that’s how they happened in the first place. Next I tried Fantastic with “orange power”, they came off in a minute! I think the orange peel oil in the Fantastic did the trick!

    Moral: Use an ironing board!

  373. Abby says:

    It’s a miracle!!! I’m currently living in a pre-furnished apartment, so you can imagine my dismay when I noticed I’d made a big white ring on the brand new black coffee table…this tip SAVED me and my security deposit!

  374. Brie says:

    I have been working on a table with white marks all afternoon, trying, retrying and then trying something else – none of these suggestions have made one iota of difference in improving the apearance of my table and truly have made it look worse – HELP! Now what?

  375. Joe K says:

    My dad put a hot iron on our wooden table, leaving a white V in plain sight.

    I told my mom about this tip. She was a bit anxious and sceptical about putting a steamy hot iron on her table.

    But it worked! 15 seconds and it was gone.

  376. Brie says:

    Update – today I again worked on my oak table. I have used toothpaste, steam iron, nonsteam iron, olive oil and salt, olive oil and baking soda and the magic eraser. Nothing made a bit of improvement and what I didn’t previously say is that the steam made the white marks significantly worse. So, today off to the market and hardware store I went. After using 0000 steel wool and lemon oil followed by vegetable oil I can say that while no magic happened the table definitely looks significantly better. It is difficult to believe that people are talking about magic – it certainly did not happen for me!

  377. Lana says:

    I am blown away…Had a spa party last night and somehow my relatively new oak table got steamed through a tablecloth. I was just sick this morning when I found the big white splotch. I did a wood restorer and got no results whatsoever. In desperation I “Googled” the problem and found this site. I did as directed…turned the steam on and laid a white wash cloth down and kept the iron moving. It took about 5 times (didn’t want to do it but for a few seconds at a time) and my table looks as good a new. Cannot thank whoever sent this tip in enough.

  378. Diana says:

    I just tried this trick on my cherry wood kitchen table and I can’t believe it, but it worked like a charm, even the deep dark stain!

  379. Margaret says:

    I just tried this trick on my rosewood (cherry stained) dining table, and it worked!!!! “ruined” it last night with a pizza box. fixed it today with a hot steamy iron and a white towel. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE TIP!!!!

  380. Sam de Santiago says:

    I really have to thank the girl for the tip! I just saved my security deposit from the furnished appt im rentin ! Thanks for the help it worked PERFECTLY on the wooden board on my kitchen πŸ™‚

  381. Melissa says:

    I am amazed! A hot plate on a damp dish towel caused the mark. I was so skeptical of the steam. I chose the hover over direct steam method and it worked in seconds! Finished it up with some pledge and it looks like it never happened!

  382. Jodi says:

    I put a paper plate on our new dinning table, got a had white spot. Tried the cloth and hot iron but made much lager white spot and towel marks. I tryed just the steam iron [no cloth] then put oil on right after. Took all stains off. My table is wood veneer.

  383. Mark says:

    Wow – worked in less than 5 secs. Amazing stuff.

  384. Paul says:

    I placed a hot cup of tea on our coffee table using only a thin paper napkin
    as a coaster. The heat from the cup left a very visible white ring on the dark walnut stained surface.My wife was not pleased!
    I took your advice and did the following: I placed a cotton tea towel on the table covering the ring. I filled our iron with water and turned it on the highest setting. After the iron was hot I placed it on the tea towel for approximately two seconds and hit the steam button on the iron. I immediately removed the tea towel and the ring had disappeared! I then wiped the table with our usual furniture oil. Thank you very much for the excellent advice!

  385. Dawn says:

    I was completedly skeptical. I have a dark wood table – our only dining table – that we got heat damage on. I covered it with decorative place mats for over a year, then found this remedy. I though how could this work when the wet heat is what ruined it! But it did work! I am so thrilled and baffled!!!!!!!

  386. Zippitydo says:

    Amazing! I followed your advice and placed a napkin over a white heat stain on our French polished table, ran the steam iron close to the cloth for a few seconds and the stain was gone. Many many thanks for your wonderful tip.

  387. Virginia says:

    OMG I have a fabulous old jelly cupboard on which I stupidly set bread on a rack to cool. I was horrified by what I had done. I just found this site, tried the hovering steam iron and the spots were gone in 10 seconds. THANKS!

  388. Virginia says:

    Uh Oh, didn’t wait long enough. The spots are back. Okay, I’ll try the dry technique and let you know.

    • Julie McCollum says:

      I was absolutely terrified to do it…but to quote a previous comment…”no guts no glory” absolutely amazed…the white spot has drove me nuts for months…tried covering it, but it toward the edge…so anything I sat there looked off..10 seconds, damp towel and a hot iron and I danced a jig…really I did, I am sorry it doesn’t work for everyone, the feeling when you move the towel and the white spot is gone…amazing..thanks so so so much!

  389. Danielle says:

    it did not work AT ALL and now it looks soo much worse

  390. Lorna says:

    This worked for me, too, but it took a few different tries with different items between the iron and the table (a dishcloth, a t-shirt, and a little towel — all 100% cotton). I wiped Old English scratch remover at the end of one of the steam treatments and left it there. Thank you for this answer! Be sure not to do it on laminate, like counter tops.

  391. Thomas says:

    You have saved me a world of stress. When I first read this I was skeptical. I think the key is if the finish is a urethane. My table has been restored and it only took about 15 seconds to repair the damage. The iron was barely warmed up and it worked. A little olive oil per a previous posters recommendation and it was like the damage never happened. Anxious to try this on our old seating 10 dinner table that has loads of water and heat damage.

  392. Helen says:

    *Phew!* Thank you! I’m house-sitting and was absolutely horrified to see I’d marked the dining table of the people who’d trusted their house to me while they’re away. I tried rubbing in mayonnaise (as suggested elsewhere) first, as it seemed less likely to do damage, but alas it also had no effect. I couldn’t bring myself to put a hot iron on the table (even with a towel) so instead I hovered it a few millimetres up directly over the stain & hit the steam button several times, and hey presto – white stains gone – MAGIC! :o)

  393. Rachel says:

    This was a lifesaver. We’re staying at my mom’s home for a few weeks while she is away, and I found that the warm pan from last night’s supper left a cloudy area on her beautiful new kitchen table. Frantically I looked on the web for solutions, and I tried your method….but used my clothes steamer and a thick towel. I first used just the steamer hovering over the spot, but nothing much happened. The towel worked…….probably to absorb the trapped moisture as ADAM states above.

  394. Sophie says:

    Sorry to say it didn’t work for me either. The stains are a little fainter but the finish is now dull and not smooth anymore, like it melted in the heat. I recommend trying this out on a little surface first, instead of smack in the middle of the table like I did.

  395. Tim says:

    I left a hot pizza box on our beautiful oak wood table and it left a big white grease stain on it. I used the steam iron method without a towel hovering just above the stain and within minutes the stain was gone. Amazing. Thanks for the tip.

  396. C Houghton says:

    Just had 16 people for 5 days at my house. After removing the table cloth we found multiple white stains – probably from coffee mugs. The steam iron and dish cloth worked wonders! We couldn’t be more pleased. Thanks so much for this help.

  397. D Lauper says:

    After reading all of the positive feedback with the steam iron on high, I decided to try it on my beautiful dark mahogany wood diningroom table. we had some pizza on paper plates and when we went to clean up, we were so upset. Now we are so happy. Love the tip and now love the table agsin… maybe even more now!


  398. Krista says:

    Thank-you so much for the tip, I really dident think it would work, but seeing how my in-laws just bought us the table, I was willing try anything, and what do you know it worked, only a small mark was left, thanks again.

    Krista from NB canada

  399. Blacksheep says:

    Blimey – I was sceptical at first. I held a hot steam iron over a water mark and a heat mark, blew some steam and promptly waxed. Now you would never know they were there.

    I owe you a pint!

  400. JJ says:

    Amazing!!! My 9 year old gourmet chef son sat a hot dish out of the microwave on my new dining room table and I just wanted to cry… He promptly found your solution. It sounded scary at first but the results were beautiful. You saved my table!!! Thank you so much.
    P. S. Not a bad science project either.

  401. Catosha says:

    My table looks brand new. I’m moving and almost got rid of it!!! I’m so glad I found this!

  402. LB says:

    Link posted of before & after pics of my dining table.

    AMAZING!!!! I’m so happy that it worked!
    I have another, cherry end table that it didn’t work on….yet. Going to try the dry iron and see what becomes of it!

    Happy ironing!!!


  403. Robert says:

    Well tickle me pink and call me Elmo… Best trick I’ve learnt in a long time. I just did this only $6,000 dining table after a staff party and it worked in under 10 seconds. Beauty!

  404. Leeloo says:

    It is amazing! We had huge white marks on our table and all of them diappeared. Thanks for the tip!!!

  405. ella says:

    Holy ** this iron steam thing worked like magic, took a few goes, we had ironed a shirt on a dark wooden table on a few layers of sheet and it left big iron marks. I tried the steam trick over a white towel in various ways just hovering, touching and doing long sweeping movements then tried wiping away the moisture before immediately wiping down with olive oil. I am staying in a sublet and would have lost my whole deposit for sure. Thanks everyone for all the advice. You all saved my bacon!!!

  406. andy says:

    wow used the steam iron on a white cotton shirt and poof the white spot was gone i am not one to post to comments but wow thanks for this great tip my table looks 100% better

  407. Amanda says:

    UNBELIEVABLE! I thought this was the craziest thing I had EVER heard of and it is so unbelievable. i just cannot stop laughing about it! My black table looks like NEW

  408. Tammy says:

    It worked! I tried to remove a large white spot (hot casserole) left on an oak veneer table . First I tried the iron on a cloth pillowcase with out steam and it didn’t work. I then turned on the steam and left the iron about a quarter of an inch off the cloth on the table. I just held the iron for 10 or 15 seconds at a time and then wiped any condensation off the table. After a few tries the white mark was gone and then we applied a bit of olive oil. Looks great and Mom is very happy with her table!!! Thanks for the tip!

  409. Becky says:

    Wow! Amazing! Works like a charm! Took longer for the iron to heat up than for the marks to be gone.

  410. Jennifer, Australia says:

    27 September, 2010, Australia. I was skeptical after reading comments from all these happy people, but it actually works a treat – my ruined dining table is like brand new. I took before and after photos if you can allow me to post them on the site.

  411. Jennifer, Australia says:

    PS Becky is right. It did take longer for the iron to heat up than for each marks to be gone. They literally disappeared before my eyes.

  412. Ana, South Florida says:

    My husband ironed my son’s school shirt on top of our expensive Pottery Barn dinning table. When I came in, I saw a 10×10 in. white stain mark in the corner he ironed on.

    I immediately panicked! I tried Pledge, Murphy oil and mayo, but these did not help at all. My husband calmly googled it and found this site which recommended to use the steam iron, and of course, since the stain had been made by the iron in the first place, i was very reluctant to bring it near the table again.

    So, he took a small towel, set the iron to steam, and put it directly on top of the towel for 2-3 seconds. When he lifted up the towel, it was like magic! The white stain was gone and the table was good as new. He repeated this process until all parts of the stain were gone.

    The steam iron REALLY WORKS. My hubby saved the day (after he had ruined it).

    I normally do not write any comments on websites such as this one, especially when they require you to give your email address. But I felt compelled to write this post because in this case the best solution was not so obvious. For us, it worked perfectly – I hope it works for you too.

    Try it on a small area if you still are unsure, but do try this – you can save your table too.

  413. Rowan says:

    How nervous is everyone trying this for the first time!!!!
    It works an absolute treat. Thank you all for posting to
    give me the confidence to try it.

  414. R. Davis says:

    I was very skeptical – and am very happy to report that it worked! A huge white spot on my maple dining room table – was lifted with the steam iron and towel process. Thanks very much!

  415. Jen says:

    Has anyone tried this on a black table? I have a beautiful black table and the white spots seem to have appeared after some oil was used ont he table and then a hot/moist plate was set on it. I am desperate to fix this but do not want to make it worse.

    • Mo says:


      Yes, I have a black Crate & Barrel coffee table and side tables. I had a couple of little white spots about nickle and dime size on the coffee table. I folded a white cotton t-shirt to double it up, used full steam and between medium and high heat setting. I was careful to move the iron and just did a couple of quick passes wiping with the t-shirt between passes. It just took two passes. I think just a few seconds at a time is best. I guess it depends on the size of the spot, but less is more and you can always do more quick passes as it was a little less than 20 seconds total in my case.

      Applied lemon oil that contains no wax and it looks great.

  416. Bill says:

    WOW! is all I can say. My girlfriend put a hot pot directly on my expensive solid birch, natural coloured, dinning room table and left a 8″ round white burn mark. When I looked at it I thought that she had burnt the clear finish right off. She had called a refinisher to get a quote and they came back with $700 to fix it. I found this amazing tip and gave it a try… because of the severity of the burn it took about 10 mins of steaming it with the iron on full blast on top of a damp towel but I got about 95% of the burn out. OUTSTANDING! Thanks for publishing this tip!

  417. Michelle says:

    Thank you – I have had my moms maple table for years and it was covered with white stains – THEY ARE ALL GONE – white flannel piece of material, ironed for maybe 5-10 seconds with steam – and gone.
    couldn’t be any easier.

  418. James Hamilton says:

    Fantastic! This worked perfectly on our beech wood table also. I was absolutely disgusted to find a huge white ring on our table which cost a couple of grand. The mark had been there for a couple of months after a dinner party and we had resigned ourselves to a total refinish of the surface. I was not too keen to use direct heat and decided to ‘hover’ the steam iron about 2cm above the mark. Literally within 10 seconds the mark had dissapeared, just a wipe down and it was gone without a trace.

    Fantastic tip! πŸ™‚

  419. GeQu says:

    It’s been over two months since I have been contemplating using this method to gt heat marks out of my dining table. I was overly skeptical being a guy. I finally gave in and tried it a few minutes ago. The white heat marks were gone in less than 10 seconds…maybe like 7 to be more precise….WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW…Thank you. Now I can go ahead and sell the set since I wanted to get rid of it for a while. But the heat stains were prevnting me from getting it sold.

  420. nicci wright says:

    I hovered the iron above the table and used the steam. This took the white away right away but took what looks like a layer of the varnish or laquer (whatever it is) off and left the iron imprint even without it touching the table. OOoooh, I was mad. But then I used a towel and pressed the iron with steam in circles for a few seconds and it took the imprint away but it still made the table look “dull” wherever the iron had steamed. I rubbed olive oil over it since I didn’t have vegetable oil and it shined right up. I wiped the oil in really well. It looked great. I left it like that until the next day and then cleaned the table as usual and the dullness came back πŸ™
    It is better than the white stains but for me, it didn’t look like it did originally so be forewarned.

  421. SFKatz says:

    Wow… Tried it… Works like a charm! Thanks for the tip!

  422. Chaney says:

    It worked AFTER I rubbed the entire table down with 2 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice. It made it worse at first but I just continued to alternate between the iron and quickly rubbing it with the oil. I think the table was just parched and it was grabbing up the water like crazy! I replaced that with oil and it looks great!

  423. Louise says:

    I wish I had read this a few years back. I had white rings on my bombay coffee table and I was told to use furniture oil and sandpaper. Most of the rings are gone, but now I’m trying to figure out how to get rid of the sandpaper scratches.

  424. Trent says:

    This tip worked beautifully on a mango wood table we have, but took some adjusting on a our sheesham wood coffee table. The table’s finish is only wax, so the ironing removed the heat stain, but also dried out the finish, making the table top lose its color and luster. However, after I “ironed” the whole top, I put a couple of coats of Howard Feed-N-Wax (amazing, found at most hardware stores), and the table looked like new.

    Thanks so much for the tip. It turned something bad into a rather interesting and successful science experiment!

  425. Nancy says:

    Holy cow, it worked REALLY well. Saved the look of our family dining table after we set the hot lid from our rice-cooker on the bare wood. It looks like new.

  426. Elena says:

    This is a miracle! Works in less than a minute. My mother-in-law was on my case for days over my dining table. And now the stains are gone, made my day!

    Thanks a lot for this amazing tip

  427. Lisa says:

    Wow – I tried this on my espresso diningroom table and was amazed. It worked!! I am so happy because I thought it was ruined!! Thanks for the tip.

  428. mary says:

    What a great tip! Thanks so much, I was disappointed in every thing else I tried and the iron did the trick…in about 15 seconds! THANKS!

  429. Tanya says:

    My husband got me a table off craigslist for free..beautiful, but had white marks and rings all over the entire table. That’s why they got rid of it. Well, the iron worked and I have an amazing dining room set for free! Thank you for the amazing tip!!! πŸ˜€

  430. Rick says:

    Tried the iron on an real old solid cherry table. Made a lot worse.Did try mayonnaise first. Didn’t help the spot but give a nice shine.

  431. nic v says:

    I tried the Ion trick and it worked great, I just hovered the ion with a lot of steam over those white spot and they disappeared in 30 seconds. Thank you so much for your infomation. it saved me a lot of money as I thought that my table was cheap and that I was in need to purchase a better quality table. It is great to have my table back.

  432. Renee says:

    Started with the high heat and steam, made it a little worse. So I turned the heat and steam down on low and then turned the heat and steam up in small intervals until I say the old and new white marks go away…it took a little time but it looks so much better now. Thanks

  433. Kim Brown says:

    I am amazed that it worked!! I tried the mayo first and that didn’t work, then I tried the iron and worked like a charm. I don’t understand how heat caused it to happen and heat took it away, had I not seen I wouldn’t have believed it. Thanks for the tip πŸ™‚

  434. andrea says:

    Ok, so I definitely have the shellac or lacquered finish table. The steam made mine worse, too. πŸ™ I don’t see any solutions for this type of finish….anyone?!?!?!?

  435. Todd says:

    We sat the Thanksgiving turkey on our table still in the roaster on several towels thinking that would protect it, but we still ended up with two saucer sized white splotches in the tables finish. I’m happy to report that the steam iron did the trick. Amazing! Thank you!

  436. Juan and Susan C says:

    While preparing for Thanksgiving, we placed several items including a warm pie plate on our kitchen table. After a few minutes we moved the pie plate and saw a 9 inch in diameter white stain on the table. We tried the iron and it worked!!! Thank you!!!We will share this stain solution with our friends and relative.

  437. Beth says:

    It worked on my 43 year old hutch to that I used as a sideboard at Thanksgiving for thr FIRST time! I put hot food bowls, but had cloths undernesth them, but obviously not enough. I tried ironing with a white t shirt, and steam. It worked miraculously fast- thanks so much!

  438. james says:

    didn’t help me one bit tried many different things that i read in the post but all i have now are a bunch of iron marks. no matter if i use steam or if i completely emptied the iron out. i have a dark wood varnished table. so now is back to good old fashion sanding and refinishing. thanks anyways.

  439. Elizabeth says:

    Worked magically! At first, no results, so I turned up the heat and after another minute it was gone! Again, it was hot pizza left on the table! Thanks!

  440. richard von e says:

    Amazing! My girlfriend had used my dining table for an ironing board (god knows why), leaving white marks in the dark finish. I have an IKEA pine table with dark stain finish. Using a white cotton cloth, iron set on high steam, I hovered over the marks for 20-30 seconds. A miracle! The white marks are gone. I followed up with some walnut oil to polish, and the table looks great!
    I’m a huge skeptic of ‘help tips’, but this one was right on for me. If it doesn’t work on your table, it’s probably the type of finish on your wood.

    Thanks again!

  441. bermused says:

    Bloody hell how did that work???????
    no more noticable stains on our antique mahogany table
    next job to re-iron and get a damn good wax polish
    no more table cloths for me when people come round!!!

  442. Mary says:

    One thing to add to the discussion: I had tried rubbing compound (which worked on similar problems in the past) but it did nothing this time. I used the tea towel/steam iron approach and most of the mark went away, leaving a brighter mark on one side of the former spot (on a 1930’s era buffet with old finish). Figured, “what the heck” and tried the rubbing compound (one of those catalog “magic” white ring removers that are basically jewelers’ rouge in a flannel cloth) and it wiped out the remaining stain.

    Conclusion: there really are two types of stain that look alike. The steam works for some; the ring removers work for others. Between the two, I got my buffet back!

  443. MrsH says:


    We had friends round for festive Sunday lunch – clearing up afterwards I discovered that despite our feeble place mats, the dish with the roast in it had left a huge semi circle white scorch mark on my gorgeous teak dining table. Gutted!

    Searched the web, found this link, read a zillion of the comments, still took an hour to get the guts up to try and it because it sounded insane but finally found the nerve to try it and BINGO, table fixed!

    I put a clean teatowel over the stain, hovered the steam iron above the towel and wiped with the towel after every steaming and the whole stain was gone in five minutes! Wish I’d taken pictures now, it’s like magic, thanks so much for posting this tip!

  444. Wes says:

    We used only canola (vegetable oil), and it worked. Four year old oak butcher block kitchen island. Thanksgiving turkey roaster was placed on a dish towel on the island – directly out of the oven! Carved the turkey while still in the roaster and had the meal. During cleanup is when we picked up the roaster and noticed a whitish spot about 9″x9″. Searched and found this site and read multiple recommendations. Being a bit leery of using the iron, we thought we’d start by wiping a thin coat of oil on the spot and let it sit overnight and see what happens. Next morning the spot was gone.

    The heat did damage the varnish/urethane finish, the area looks a little duller than the rest of the island, but the obvious white spot is nowhere to be seen. Very livable.

    Appreciate all the comments others have posted. Thanks

    • Ann says:

      OMGosh, I tried the hot iron on a terry cloth dish towel. I had several huge white marks left from hot soup bowls on Christmas, plus some older white spots that had been there for years. It worked like magic. I did not have to use steam, just got the wood hot and the white spots just melted away. I did check every 15 to 20 seconds and wiped away moisture but other than that just heating the wood worked like a charm. Thank you SO much for this tip.

  445. Allen says:

    I placed a hot paper plate on my sister’s wood table (not sure of the type of wood or the finish). A huge ring mark was left! I tried toothpaste and using mayonnaise overnight; neither worked in the slightest.

    Once I used the steam and hot towel method I began to breathe a litter better. It took me some time (definitely not a few minutes like other people). I also did one pass with a paper bag. The ring is not 100% gone… I could have kept trying but I felt as if I was pushing my luck. The wood was finely cracked and didn’t know if it was already there or from me. I didn’t want to further damage the wood from moisture or excessive heat.

    I rubbed the table with vegetable oil once I was finished. Overall it looks really good and my sister is pleased (THANK GOODNESS because… whoo! She is something to deal with)!

  446. Anders says:

    My wife was going to kill me now she’s putty in my hands!!!

    Thanks for the tip, I can’t believe how well this worked, you can’t even tell where the spot was!!

  447. Martha says:

    Thanks!!! The iron worked like a charm.

  448. Michelle says:

    OMG – The Iron trick did the job!!!! Amazing!!!

  449. kimbarcellona says:

    thanx for the great tip, i put a flannel over the white marks on our dinning table and hovered over it and ironed it with steam, years of marks vanished b4 my eyes.trully amazing!!!!!

  450. Nikhil says:

    This is great!!! Thank you so much! I was struggling with the white marks on my table for months trying to search for a solution. I put a light cloth over the marks and ironed on it. the marks vanished in an instant!! Amazing!!!

  451. Rangzen says:

    Just to add to the chorus! worked wonders on my quarter sawn oak table top. White marks caused by hot pizza box last evening. After about 10 seconds of steam from hot iron hovering about couple inches above the spot in circular motion, stain disappeared. Polished off with some bees wax. Good as new. Wife’s happy. πŸ™‚

    Got thinking about why it works. Here is my thoughts. I believe hot steam re-distributes the varnish from around the white spot and evenly spreads it. Similar principle worked, back in the days, with the typewriter/computer printer ribbons — since ink was used only from the centre of the ribbon, spraying the roll of the ribbon with WD40 redistributed the ink — instant recharge of those ribbons.

  452. Savannah says:

    Thank you so much for this advice! It worked perfectly! I had a few couples come over for dinner and we sat in my dining room (which is rarely used). One of the dishes I made left the grey circle on my really expensive oak dining room table. I was so upset because it ruined such a great night. I was panning on hiring someone to fix it but decided to do some research first. I am so happy that I came across this advice! I used the white t-shirt and the steam of the iron and it came right off like magic! Thank you again!!

  453. Barbaree says:

    Think technique worked very well on a year-old water spot. I used my Shark floor steamer with great success!

  454. Bev says:

    Devasted to find an enormous white mark on our dining table after a meal. Tried the iron, amazing, worked like a dream.
    Thank you so much

  455. Amy says:

    CAN’T BELIEVE THIS WORKED! Purchased an antique table at an estate sale THIS MORNING. Had family over for dinner and used paper plates = 5 white marks after dinner. I nearly died. Googled this, used wool setting with steam and t-shirt. Followed immediately by olive oil mixed with baking soda. Like friggin’ new (actually better b/c when i bought it there was a small white spot that is now gone!!!).

  456. shaenas says:

    I had a high gloss dark wood table. I used a low iron setting and a spritz bottle on the cloth. Two things 1) how moist the cloth is, and how hot it gets, matter, it must be consistantly, very slightly moist, not damp.
    2) you must constantly remove the cloth and dry the surface. Leaving the cloth on an area you have made steam will cause clouding, because it is trapping the wet heat against it.
    This worked for me when I never let any one area get too warm or rest with the cloth down. Constantly moving the cloth and wiping of the moisture prevents adding faint clouding while still removing the marks. At low heat it took half an hour.
    Add oil moisture product after, a wood oil polish, even olive oil.

  457. Angie says:

    OMG! as they say…… Worked in under a minute. Used a bath towel (for thickness) and started up my iron. On the highest setting I began pushing the steam button and iron right on the towel-directly over the stain (pizza boxes)on my cherrywood dinner table…. kept checking in fear that the stain would get worse and it was disspaearing right before my eyes!!! Unbelievable. My husband was getting ready to strip it and repaint it. AMAZING!!!!

  458. Michele says:

    WOW! Thank you so much! I just did this…and my dining table is restored!

  459. Hannah says:

    We tried this tip on a teak table.
    Left the iron on the white towel for about 7 seconds but unfortunately it has left an iron mark.
    We tried further to just hover the iron a couple of inches over the table with steam on and the white mark disappeared. Unfortunately we are still left with a slight iron mark. Are there any tips for removing this? it seems dry – would some oil help?

  460. Dev lindel says:

    i has stains on two tables. first the kitchen table, i tried hovering the iron with steam on and it worked perfectly and stain was gone. wife was happy. the sofa table in living room had dark finish and has a stain from Top Ramen Bowl. tried hovering steam iron first – made it worst. then cloth and steam iron made it even worst. then i warped the cloth around the table and irons the entire surface of the table. now the color of the table is surface has changed bu no stains. but i now i have a furious wife. i ll try re polish the surface this weekend. i guess this has something to do with chemical reaction that water has with varnish when heated under iron. now it depend on the varnish or liquor applied on the surface initially to what should the outcome be. but it is good way to remove stains no doubt. i’d say try on small patch ( side of the table or a leg may be) before treating expensive furniture.

    Thanks alot.

  461. Marge CT says:

    My sister had the family over for my son’s birthday tonight and after dinner we noticed 9 burn mark in her 4000 dollar table…..We all thought the world was over…..and 30 mins and an iron later…..the world is back on its access…thank you all…..

  462. Di says:

    To anyone who is reading this…TRY IT. It was so worth it. I read this and immediately tried it. It worked so well. I had already given up on our nice table. THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this!! I can’t wait for my husband to come back home to see I got those heat marks out. Thank you!! D.

  463. J says:

    I think you guys might have just saved my marriage. We just bought this table off craigs list for $200 (it was the exact table my wife had wanted and cost $700 at Mathis Brothers. So I was dumb and decided to lay a blanket over it and use it as an ironing board and when i removed the blanked 2/3s of the table was covered in a new white stain (keep in mind our table is espresso and at this point it is 3:30 in the morning). My wife was out of town and I just started to think about how this was going to go down when she came back and began to freak out a little. So of course I googled and found this page. I got a 100% cotton hand towel and proceeded to iron over the towel in a circular manner. To my surprise it worked 110%!!! I even got out the few stains that were already on the table. I then got a wash cloth and used mayo to buff everything out. The table looks better now than when we bought it! Thanks you guys saved my life now I’m going to bed.

  464. Melanie says:

    OMGsh this worked!!!!! My husband put a pizza box on my prized coffee table and then saw the mark he had made, so he tried to polish it before I got home. It worked temporarily, so when I sat down I didn’t notice anything. 5 minutes later the mark reappeared. I freaked out and my husband pretended not to know where it came from, but spent the rest of the night guiltily polishing and repolishing the stain. I woke up this morning to the realization of how the mark appeared (he’ll get an earful later). This was the first website I found and followed your instructions, substituting a white t-shirt for the towel. The stain was almost completely gone, so as some others commented I immediately rubbed the area with vegetable oil. It worked beautifully! My table looks like new. Thank you so much for saving my beloved table!

  465. Carrie says:

    It worked, but…

    I have a wood veneer table. I used a sheet that was folded over twice and the hovering method with a steam iron. It did indeed get the white cloud stain out, but it took the shine off the parts where it was not damaged. On the places where the iron made contact with the sheet it left an iron mark of missing shine. I then tried the olive oil trick, but once the oil was dry/gone the shine was gone as well. I may try some lacquer spray in the future.

    My best advice … never spend $800 on a veneer table!!!!! It has cracked, chipped, stained, and upset me from the very beginning!

  466. Kim T says:

    Holy Crap! It worked! We had a rather large white stain and a couple of smaller ones….I used a hand towel and iron with steam…came out in about 30 seconds. We then used wood polish and BAM! Good as new!!

    Thanks sooooo much for the tips!!

  467. DD says:

    Yes it worked. We were selling a table to upgrade to a new table when we noticed how bad it looked. The buyer was on the way. First we tried a technique we saw about using a blow dryer- not as effective. Then the thin towel over the spot with a steam iron worked. We experimented with movement holding it on first then around the area- nice quick fix.

  468. sue says:

    Mayo worked great – 15 mins with a heavy layer on the spots and wiped with a dry paper towel. The bigger white spot took some rubbing to completely come out but it did in a couple mins of working it!!

  469. Linda Koch says:

    Thank you. I had tried the mayo, the vaseline, the iron – everything. Decided to search online one more time. Found this website and read same stuff, but wait a sec, did I turn the steam on the iron—ran home from work. Threw off my coat and grabbed the iron. Yeah–worked like a charm. Happy day.

  470. Janet says:

    I have a teak table. Our white heat stain came out right away after briefly steaming through a medium weight towel. The secret is to quickly wipe away the sweat created under the towel. My husband thinks this process works through “reverse osmosis”; that is the white mark is water trapped in the wood and released by the steam. You then wipe it away. I too used olive oil to rehydrate. You can not see that we put our Irish Soda bread on a rack on the table to cool off! We have had this table for 40 years and now thanks to this great tip will continue to enjoy it for many years to come.
    Thank you.

  471. Lance says:

    Yes! I tried this with my parents visiting. They and my wife didn’t like the idea at all, but I got out a Toby steamer and ran it over the table. At first it seemed to make the white mark worse, everyone said to stop. I did it some more – slower, now it’s amazing. No marks at all left.

  472. vicki elllingwood says:

    I just steamed my kitchen cabinet door by accident and left a white spot. I was so happy to find this post. I thought it quite funny that what I did to cause it actually worked in about 20 seconds. Thank you. What a great tip.

  473. chris says:

    I can not believe this worked. I have been looking at this stain for months loornow. I was too lasy to use an iron, so I got out my floor steamer and a dryrag, and wha la…spot be gone.
    Thanks for the tip

  474. Kimberly says:

    My husband sat a hot pizza on my brand new table & I thought it was ruined until I ran across this site. You saved my new table, and my husband!!! Thank you!

  475. Michelle says:

    Yes!!! It works!! I’ve been looking for a tablecloth or other way to hide the two large white stains on my table. Both stains came from setting hot plates on the table without adequate protection. I used the hover technique with steam on one stain and it worked great. On the other stain I used the steam setting and ironed over a lightweight dishtowel. It worked just as well. I finished with old english wood polish and my table looks like new again. Thanks so much!!

  476. Tracy says:

    THANK YOU so much everyone! I have to say when I read all the comments I still didn’t believe it would work but it did! I put a white Tshirt on the table and I ironed the shirt like I normally would. It took the white stains right out. It took a huge weight off of my shoulders. Love it!!

  477. liz crookshank says:

    My son left a hot bowl on one of my table nest. The mark was awful, white and very large. I checked Google yesterday and saw this page. I thought I had nothing to lose so gave it a go. Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could hardly believe my eyes. I used a towel, placed it on the table and steam ironed it. I kept the iron moving and then removed the towel and ‘dried’ the table with rough movements. I did this a few times and the mark has disappeared as if by magic. I performed the same on one of the other nests which had had a white cup mark for years. Both tables are as new. Whoever came up with this solution is a genius. Thank you.

  478. Partelo says:

    This worked on my non-shellacked wood table. Thank you so much!!!

  479. missstaceyh says:

    Depressed after dinner party last night πŸ™ 2 white marks on table from hot foods. I desperately looked for a solution but thought it was a lost cause. This was the first site I got to and IT WORKED!!! I could kiss someone right now. My table is only a year old and I am SO careful with it. Hopefully hubby will be now after seeing my reaction last night. I think he could kiss someone too! Thank you for awesome and unbelievable idea!

  480. Jenny says:

    Thank you!! This worked for me as well. Very upset this morning to find a large square white mark on the table from our bowl of rice from last night. The hot iron with steam worked beautifully. I guess the steam from the iron helps to put the moisture back into the table. At any rate, very happy! Now I don’t have to sand the table and refinish!!

  481. Betsy says:

    I was at my wit’s end to remove a white round stain from my 30 year old Richardson Brothers dining room oak table. Since this mark only appeared in the last 2 months (when someone forgot to use a trivet) I was reluctant to try too many home remedies. The olive oil & baking soda paste did not work, neither did toothpaste. I tried steam from an iron set to medium heat applied through an old dish towel for 10 seconds. Stain is gone!!! Thank you to Matthew for your suggestion of medium heat, and steam applied through a towel starting with 10 seconds increments. After drying, I applied lemon oil and the finish is just perfect–like it never even happened!

  482. Joan says:

    My brand new dining room table has a mark from sliding a heavy object across the top. It is not through the finish but it is scarred.
    Any suggestions?

  483. Hailie says:

    I was a major skeptic……no more! It worked perfect! Not thinking…obviously….. I folded a big towel over and ironed a piece of clothing on our brand new table. Hours later I lifted the towel to find huge cloudy white mark on it. I thought I had ruined to finish. I tried a little furniture polish and that did nothing at all, so I try to accept the damage I had done and hoped my husband wouldn’t notice. A month or two later, he noticed…uh oh!
    Did some research, found this site. I first tried hovering dry heat using a white undershirt on top of the table..didn’t work. Then I tried circular motion on the white shirt with no steam…didn’t work. I finally tried hovering using med/high heat and steam in a circular motion, with the white shirt on top of the table. I did this in about 15-30 sec intervals, lifting the white shirt and wiping the moisture of each time. After about 10 rounds – maybe 5 minutes worth, the white cloud is gone. I went back over the spot with a little bit of olive oil which seemed to really help also. I’m not sure what my table is made of, but I do believe the damage was on a vaneer and it is a newer table. Hope this helps the next sceptic…give a try, it worked. Who would have thought that the same thing that caused the damage would fix it!!!

  484. Hazel Lochhead says:

    Thankyou so much, My boyfriend brought some mates back for a few drinks last night and this morning I noticed about four white rings on our new coffee table I was furious, but thanks to you I cant believe it actually works I was a bit worried at first but it actually works.

  485. Sharon says:

    Thank you so much for this tip. After putting hot pizza boxes on my table there were 3 white spots about 6 inches in diameter. I was afraid to try it on my antique oak table but after reading how many people tried it and were successful I gave it a try. I used one of my husband’s white t shirts and a steam iron on high. I did not leave the iron on the spot as some suggested but “ironed” the spot over and over again for about 30 seconds. The spots were gone! I did finish with olive oil as some suggested to finish it off and the table is back to its original state. I can not thank you enough! I am saving this website to my favorites so I can always refer to it! Keep up the good work.

  486. Patricia says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Total save!!!! I could NOT believe it worked!

  487. Vicky says:

    Thankyou! Parents away and thanks to this they will never know! Life saver haha x

  488. Jim says:

    I guess you can believe some things you read on the Internet. We have very expensive Oak table that I was sick over a white mark today. I tried this technique and it is gone!!!!

  489. Debbie says:

    OK. Three coffee cup rings on my good oak table. The only reason I tried your method was because of all of the positive comments on this site. Shock and awe are the only suitable words to describe how I feel about the amazing results. No more coffee cup rings! I can’t thank you enough for these ‘words of wisdom’!!!

  490. Mo says:

    Excellent hot iron and steam

  491. Cyndi says:

    How do you know what type od finish is on the wood? I have a cedar coffee table with the “infamous white heat rings” but I am afraid to make it worse…any suggestions TipNut???

  492. Judy says:

    Excelent tip… like magic!!!
    It really works!!! i tried on one of my accent tables who I bought for cheap precisaly because it had this big white ugly stain and scratches in the middle of the table but I bought it anyway cuz I like it so much, its a beautiful table, so I came to the internet and searched how could I get rid of this stain, I found this forum and after reading many of others sites and tips, I found this tip less crazy than many others, so I tried and it worked perfect!!
    this is what I did, cut a piece of dry cotton t-shirt, then turned on the iron (#6 steam chart)… placed the rag on a tiny corner of the stain and put the hot iron on top, rubbed for a few seconds (about 5 or so) and checked the spot… well, guess what?? the stain on that tiny spot I’ve tried, it dissapeared!!! I was amaized and so happy for the result that obviosly I kept doing with the rest of the stain… and now my table is stain free but still with the scratches though… I’ll try to post pics of the “after” and “before” and hopefully they work out, so all of you can see that Im not lying but mainly to check it out for yourselfs and see that it REALLY WORKS!
    Time to find another great tip on how to get rid of the wood scratches now! lol… any tips on that?
    Thank you very much to you who posted this awesome tip in here… you have made many people happy now !

  493. Patricia says:

    Mythbuster. This totally busts the myth that “If it sounds too good to be true, it is” Because it totally worked for me and got me a SUPER MOM badge for getting my pre-teen daughter out of the doghouse with her father who was very angry that she and her friend ruined our table by setting a bowl of hot cheese dip on it. The big white spot was so intense that it almost looked like paint. I found this information on your site and, although it sounded really too stupid to be true (like some kind of prank web site to see if people will really do something like this) . . . . I figured that the table was ruined anyway, so what the heck. I quietly got my daughter out of bed at midnight and told her that we were going to try this thing together. And it was like a miracle. lol. When her father saw it in the morning, he couldn’t believe it. He said that the table looked better than ever.

    The only differences I found: using the cloth was taking out the white stain, but seemed to be taking off the finish and melting some lint into the finish. So I re-did it with just the hover-steam method . . . . then quickly rub in some vegetable oil . . . then dry. THEN, when it was clear, I rubbed some scratch remover liquid over the whole table. Dried it. then put Holloway House Quick Shine (get at Kroger – – it is a hardwood floor cleaning product that leaves a shiny protective coating) on the whole table. By the way. I use that Quick Shine once a month on my wood tables that gets used alot anyway. It looks great and gives a temporary protectve coating.

  494. Peter says:

    This worked fantastic! I am amazed. I had a terrible white circle on the table from a hot tea mug I put on my wood coffee table. Wife wanted my head for this.

    I used an iron with steam. Put down a thin white cloth & ironed over it- alternated between ironing flat & hovering it a 1/2 inch over the table. Removed the towel & Checked the stain every 6 or 7 seconds. Watched it disappear before my very eyes. Highly recommended. God bless you for posting this!

  495. Alicia says:

    Worked Beautifully!,, works Best with a white cloth n iron

  496. Alexandra says:

    I just let the iron hoover (with steamer on) over the spots for a few seconds and they are now completely gone. I was very skeptical since the spots got there with heat in the first place. My husband always gets upset because I bring by hot tea to bed and put it on the nighttable. I am so relieved, he would have had a fit!

  497. Sue says:

    It took so much courage to iron the table through a thin table cloth…. but it worked!!! I am so happy. thank you for the tip. :-))

  498. Kathy says:

    I am speechless. Thank you so much. My beautiful new table is now restored to it’s glossy self. I had a round white pot mark left after a casserole dish was placed on the table. I frighteningly followed all the advice listed and now, much to my amazement, my table is perfect again.

  499. Donna says:

    Wow, I bought an old farm table, paid almost $900. After second use, I had three white heat stains. I googled, found this site, but was afraid I’d make the table worse. A year later, I was desperate. I didn’t want to have to cover my table. I tried the blow dryer, but it didn’t work. Reread this site and went for the iron, using steam and thin towel. I steamed the table first, laid the towel down and steamed while moving the iron around. Only did it maybe 3-4 time back and forth. The table is shiny like new–with not a hint of white!!!!!!! Thank you so o o much!!!!!!!

    Felt so guilty for spending so much on a table and then ruining it so quickly! So relieved!!!

    I tried it on an oak piece that had a water stain from an old crock of water sitting and sweating on the furniture. It didn’t help there–although maybe a tad. Will have to try something else for that.

  500. CT says:

    This DOES NOT WORK on veneer. I tried it and it made it worse! I tried both ways…with towel and hovering…made the spots bigger and the same size and shape as the iron. Maybe it works on solid wood…but watch out on veneer!

  501. Sue Smith says:

    TOTALLY BRILLIANT – but how brave you have to be when first applying that hot iron to what you think is already a burn ! Took the white marks away in a few seconds…and to think I was all set to go and have to buy a new table !

  502. andrea haywood says:

    will the steam iron method work on a wood vaneered table thanks

  503. alex says:

    omg this just saved my life. my lease ends in two days and i did this to my landlords expensive table. You sir are a hero.

  504. Brian says:

    OMG! This worked for me. Saved my dining table that costed like $1500 five years ago. My dining table is one of those modern looking ones in dark brown. Those white burn marks were very ugly. Although I cannot explain exactly why this worked, I really care more that it did! Thanks!!!

  505. Susan says:

    WOW…I have had this white stain on my kitchen table for months and decided to check out what others have done to get rid of them. I was very skeptical at first, but decided to try the steam iron. Worked like a charm in about 15 sec. THANK YOU!!

  506. Archie says:

    Tried it with the steam iron and a thick kitchen towel on a couple of small white spots, and it worked perfectly!!

  507. Shilpa says:

    Thanks…it helped me…

  508. Rich says:

    Mine got worst thx

  509. jk says:

    worked for me…amazing

  510. Stasia says:

    Luv u! My fiance ruined my cherry dining room table and my coffee table by placing his french press on them, I had close to 9 white rings. I decided to sell them so right before a buyer came I tried ur technique and it saved the table and they bought it immeadiatly. I made a profit and I still get new furniture,lol. Thanks again!

  511. skeptical says:

    I set pizza boxes down on my wooden table and assumed it would have to be refinished to get rid of the white spots. I finally got up the nerve to try this tip and it worked! I hovered the iron about an inch or two above the spots, pressing the steam button every few seconds and wiping away the excess moisture from the table. Within 1-2 minutes it was completely gone.

  512. Angie says:

    My husband thanks you!! My brand new dark wood table with marks from grilled hotdogs on a paper plate…. can’t even see them.

  513. Chas says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I left a hot paper plate on my friends table which resulted in a white spot. The steam iron- towel trick worked like magic.

  514. Carly says:

    I was so hesitant to use this trick on my table at work. I was so amazed when the huge hot bowl stain literally evaporated. THANK YOU. lifesaver tip

  515. Roger says:

    Antique cedar chest used as a coffee table – med-hot iron, no steam, flour sack towel folded into four layers. Marks gone in about 30 seconds. The towel sticks – use caution! It worked perfectly and is a lifesaver.

  516. Ben says:

    Wow. Served lasagna on Chinet Classic White dinner plates tonight and after my guests left, was horrified to see round white stains on my beautiful dining room table that is about 11 years old. Placed a white cotton hand towel over each stain, used my Rowenta steam iron on high heat and max steam settings, and moved the iron in a circular pattern over the towel above each stain for 3-4 second intervals. Removed the iron and wiped the moisture off of the table immediately after each session. After about 4 or 5 “treatments”, the stains were gone. It was amazing. I was so hesitant to try this, but it worked absolutely perfectly for me. I don’t know what type of finish is on my table, but I believe it is pine wood. Good luck to anyone with this troubling issue.

  517. Imogen says:

    WOW what can i say this was absoloutly AMAZING tried many other methods before finding this tip and this one worked a charm easy, simple and removes the stain thorouly thanks heaps!

  518. Susanne says:

    This is amazing. It worked straight away!!

  519. Mary says:

    Thanks so much for the great tip! The spots are totally gone and my table looks like new again. I used a heavy cotton flour sack type towel between my iron and the table. It only took a few minutes, and I got awesome results.

  520. Susanne says:

    Forget my previous comment. I tried the hot steam tip and after initially being delighted, I looked about six hours later and instead of four small white heat stains I now have four stains in the shape of the iron! Not happy

  521. amber says:

    I am delighted this has worked a treat!! πŸ™‚

  522. Marnie says:

    I had tried absolutely everything suggested on the internet. Mayonaisse, Oil, Vaseline, even my husband’s electric car polishing kit. NOTHING worked! Today when I had the iron by the table with the white marks, I figured what do I have to lose? I used the iron on steam with a white cloth. I moved the iron slowly with a white hand towel on top of the table because I was nervous about heat stains from the iron. Absolutely AMAZING results! Thank you sooo much for posting this!

  523. Amish Al says:

    I was a little hesitant to try it because we spent a good bit for the Amish made oak table,,, the wife said try it on a leaf in case it doesn’t work,, we had 3 white marks,, two on the table and one on a leaf, I used a white dish drying towel, set the steam iron to high, and I could not believe it, all 3 came out, we went over the table and leaf with polish and it looks as good as it did when we had it delivered…. Thanks for a solution that really works,,

  524. Hilda Burkhill says:

    Wow!There I stood iron in hand hovering over my ruined mahogany table,shall I try it or not.With hand’s a tremble I Slowly lowered my iron on to my white piece of cotton towel here go’s!!!!!my god it has worked, truly astonishing Table like new.Thank you…………………

    • Amish Al says:

      I emailed the people I bought the Oak table and hutch from, telling they what I did and how it worked,, I got a email back from them this morning saying they were going go keep it and refer the problem solver to people with the same problem,,, I still can’t get over how the marks came out in under 15 seconds,,,

  525. Christy says:

    Thank you so much! I tried the steam and a tea towel and it caused bigger spots, but then I went back over it with a dry iron and towel and they’re GONE! Going to use this trick for my cleaning service!

  526. Jenn says:

    OMG!!!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

    We bought our table about 5 years ago from Pottery Barn. When I tell you that this thing will be still standing in 20 years, it will be!!! … has been beaten up, had hot dishes, plates, pizza boxes, chinese take-out, nearly anything and everything you could imagine to produce a stain or watermark on it BUT nothing ever did! It became a joke that this table would outlast the rest of our house, especially with a toddler.

    THEN, two nights ago, my husband made buttered noodles and put them on a very thin paper plate. The combo of the hot moisture and very thin paper left a white mark the size of a dinner plate. For the last 24 hours I have been devastated and looking at all options from striping and refinishing to buying a new one (although the collection has changed a bit and now includes a heftier price tag). Just before heading out to our local hardware store and PotteryBarn, I decided to google…hoping of finding others with the same misfortune but WITH solutions!

    I just tried this about an hour ago and instantly it worked!!! I was so thrilled that after calling my husband, mother and best friend, I had to write and thank you!! You have saved us so much time and money and I cannot thank you enough!!!

  527. Chilik says:

    What a great tip! and how wonderful to be living in an age where people are able to share their experiences! What a privilege! Thanks to this our dining table has gone back to its old days and is now sparkling!!! If we could all join in in the effort to make this world of ours a better place by sharing our knowledge through the net I have no doubt our kids would be blessed.

  528. Shirley says:

    Like others, I was very skeptical; but it WORKED! I am SO HAPPY! My dining room table is my favorite piece of furniture. Thank you so much for this tip. I’d also like to thank Google. he he πŸ˜€

  529. Lee says:

    Lacquered Coffee Table….Being sceptical, and a little nervous of trying the steam iron technique,I decided to try the hair dryer approach; figuring that heat would do the trick!!
    It was amazing to watch the mark literally disappear before my eyes…brilliant!

  530. Michelle says:

    I left bread to cool on a towel on my table. when I moved the towel there where a6 bread shapes on my table. I was upset it was my fault. read this and thought what the hell. I just used my steam iron and they are gone. I have a steam boost to I tried it and they where gone in seconds. LOVE this! I will never fear heat marks again!

  531. Kim and Eavie says:

    I was about to spend the money on getting our eight-seater dining table sanded and relaquered because of a white mark that had been created from a friend putting a hot teapot on it. A French polisher suggested that I rub a brown paper bag over the mark to create friction to make the mark fade, and if this worked, use the iron. I also found this site and was convinced it might work. We tried it and voila! amazing. The French polisher, Peter Harrison, said water was trapped between the wood and the laquer, which created the mark. The heat evaporates it. How amazing says Eavie, my 6 year old. We are so happy.

  532. james says:

    left hot corn on the cob off the grill on a paper plate on our favorite dark wood breakfast table. looked like the new table was ruined. found this when i was searching google and wasnt sure but had no other choice except sand the table down and try to match the finish and shine. i used a pillow case and an everyday iron with extra steam. worked like a charm. i really couldnt believe it. i would suggest going lightly, and dont hold it in one area too heavy but this idea totally saved this 4th of july.

  533. amy says:

    amazing! thanks so much! our kitchen table looked so beat up, and now it looks a million times better! 2 big white spots from pizza boxes, and a big white stain from where a plant had sat are all gone! steam iron over a white towel for just a few seconds. Followed up with olive oil and endust and tadaaa!! brand new!
    Awesome! Our table is a ~5 yr old table from American Signature furniture, I think it has a veneer finish over it if that helps. It certainly isnt made very ‘tough’.

  534. Maureen says:

    It’s not working guys…what am I doing wrong?

  535. shimmer says:

    IT WORKED!! :))) i have a vintage 1960’s teak table that had white marks from hot pizza boxes that were placed on it, coupled with white marks from hot cups etc. i’m not sure what polish/varnish was on the table but gave it a shot none-the-less. i hot steam ironed on an old t-shirt placed on the table marks, then furiously rubbed it afterwards with a dry towel. it still left marks but faded. i wasn’t satisfied so persevered again the next day. i had to give it a few goes with the iron, then Danish oiled it afterwards and VOILA!! goood lookin table to say the least.

  536. Anne says:

    thank you everyone after making a second white mark on our coffee table with a pizza box i paniced as, although it is not a very expencive or fancy table it was a gift from my husband, i used a combination of steam first with a towel(not much change) then with a cotton pillow case which got rid of the older stain not the new one, then tried a hair dryer worked a charm added a bit of olive oil and now there is a slight mark but it is slowly fadingand is hardly noticable. it is definately veneer, not sure what type though if there are different types? πŸ™‚ Thank you again!!

  537. Erin says:

    It worked the second time. Last night, after setting 2 1/2 gallon jars of boiling water for tea on a hot pad, steam-burned my table. Tried the iron, nothing happened. Setting was too low. Got brave, put setting on high.
    Disappeared within 30 – 60 seconds. Immediately wiped in canola oil.
    Very happy. Looks new.

  538. Marianne says:

    Works! What worked for me was a fairly hot iron, spray of water on double paper towel, iron on top of wet paper towels, and in seconds the large white spots gone. Great, great, great!

  539. Chris says:

    Unbelievable, saved me from having to explain a disaster. Incredible. Thank you.

  540. Deirdre Nicholson says:

    … have just tried it with a hot steam iron on an old white mark and a new one from last night … it works!! Many thanks to the first person brave enough to try this ……

  541. John says:

    Hi, I just used this technique on an antique which had a white stain the size of a serving dish on it (water collected under a tray after a flower vase overflowed.) The technique worked with an old undershirt between the wood and the iron. Before ironing the piece, I had tried wood oil, which improved the stain but did not fix it. I passed the iron over the stain a couple times, checking the stain visually and monitoring the heat with my hand. The lighter parts disappeared first with minimal heat. The heavier stain took longer and I ended up using more heat. I started using the cotton setting (medium heat). During the process I used no steam. At the very end, I briefly applied the iron at the high setting to eliminate the densest white section of stain, which I DO NOT recommend because it began to bubble the finish. Because of this observation, I would infer that the technique can damage the finish and requires care and attention to avoid any visible damage. After I finished heating the stain, it was barely visible (unfortunately along with a few small bubbles) from certain angles. To finish the job and make the stain completely disappear, I oiled the whole surface and buffed it off. The oil really seemed to finalize the removal, and my family was really impressed with the results. I suspect that the heat softens the finish for some types, evaporates the water and allows the finish to re-fix itself to the wood, but I’d love some scientific results.

  542. Stephanie says:

    The only thing this did is give me a much bigger white spot. Thanks for nothing.

  543. Jane says:

    Hi tried olive oil and a few other things before the iron. I just put the iron on high, steam on high and off I went, not more stain on my new table. WOW couldn’t believed it worked then I put some olive oil and table looks better than new. Thanks everybody for input.

  544. Claire says:

    Hello, I have a question about white marks on my table. I have got a used maple table I am refinishing – sanding and using polyurethane. Anyways, it had a few marks on it which I have removed, but my mother (trying to help) gouged and scraped at three marks on one side of the table, assuming she could sand them down to nothing, but now there are three white chalky marks (not water or heat stains). These are marks right in the wood as I had already removed the old lacquer or mostly all of it. Is there any way I can get rid of these pressure marks…If i continue sanding it does not seem to work and I really want to start protecting it, but figure the marks will still show through the clear polyurethane. I didn’t want to stain it but just leave it natural… what should i do? Or is it even possible to get rid of these marks?

  545. Yesi says:

    OMG!!!! Hallelujah it worked. Make sure you have the STEAM on!!!!!!!! Thank goodness for this site.

  546. Stephanie says:

    That’s amazing! The steam did the trick!! THANKS!

  547. kedeshia says:

    Wow Thank you so much i couldn’t believe my eyes that this actually work

  548. SW says:

    WOWZERS – this actually worked and saved me from getting a royal butt kicking from the wife!


  549. DL says:

    Awesome, this worked very well and very fast!

  550. Michelle Brown says:

    I love you I love you I love you….thanks for posting this quick fix…I’m usually skeptical of these kind of things but it really worked…I bought a dark stained table from my neighbor and it already had some scratches on it but I put a hot cup of coffee right on the table and it left a horrible white ring…read your post and did the steam iron over a white towel and poof the ring was gone…thank you so much.

  551. Norma says:

    WOW – it works – I must admit I was scared to try this but it worked for me – I was dubious because I wasn’t (and still am not) sure if it’s laminated or not but my heat ring has gone. A linen tea towel, medium heat iron like I was ironing that area. No steam but there was a little natural steam from the tea towel I guess.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH – the table is just a year old and I don’t need any more expenses right now πŸ™‚

  552. m walsh says:

    Here’s one for the books. I had a small ring on a dark table and no iron. So I heated water in a plastic container to use as the heat source, dipped cloth in the container and tried to wipe the stain away with the steam of the hot cloth…no luck. In the meantime, I placed the hot plastic container on the table and got a square outline 5 times bigger than the spot I was trying to remove!
    Next day I bought an iron and removed both stains in less than a minute. Miraculous!!!

  553. Jackie says:

    Hi there!! I used a hairdryer set on hot heat. No towel or steam. Just a couple minutes and it was gone. Sorry, I don’t have an iron. I did apply some olive oil as the spot felt a little raised after the heat.

  554. Kimberly says:

    WOW!! I am so excited that my table is back to it’s beautiful self!! We tried cooking salmon on a cedar board in the bbq. It was amazing! My husband had a towel underneath the board, and he put it on the table. As I was cleaning the table, I was sick to see that it left a large white area.

    I used my iron on medium heat and high steam. I had a white tea towel and went over the white area with the iron for 5 seconds and it was completely gone. I already had previously put orange oil on it, so after the ironing it look amazing!


  555. Sue says:

    Thank you sooooooooo much for this tip. The white stain appeared after a chinese takeaway, even though we had used cork table mats. I was totally gutted when I saw the stain and thought the only way to get rid of it would be to have it revarnished. The table is dark mahogony and I used the white cotton tea towel with the iron on medium heat – was too scared to try the steam. After a couple of goes, the stain started to disappear and has now gone completely. THANK YOU!!!!!

  556. Laureen says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I set a hot casserole dish on a trivot on my dining room table and ended up with a lovely patterened white spot. I was devestated. The table is fairly new, and I didn’t want to have to try stripping it and refinishing it. I found this tip of using steam. I was skeptical, but I tried it, and voila! It’s vanished! Amazing. I thin tried it on my coffee table that also had some white spots on it. Now they’re gone too!

  557. Bev says:

    If the idea of applying more heat by using an iron is just too much to contemplate, I have tried another remedy this morning after a coffee pot error last night. Equal parts of bicarb. powder and olive oil painted onto the mark and left for a few minutes rubbed off with a clean cloth and followed by the normal polish used on your particular wood. It’s been two hours and not a hint of the white mark as yet.

  558. Danny says:

    I’m staying with a friend for a few days. Got the munchies last night and microwaved some chicken parmigiana on a paper plate. Put another paper plate under it when I sat to eat, but that wasn’t enough. Next afternoon I noticed a huge white spot and a smaller one a couple inches away. My friend hadn’t noticed on her way out to work that morning.

    I was figuring out how to break to news to her and figuring how I would fund either a fix or a replacement when I decided to give Google a try. Typed in “hot plate ruined table” and this site came up first. The original article was helpful, but the comments even more so!

    First I used a hairdryer, but that did absolutely nothing. Then I got bolder and plugged in the iron. Got a towel and laid it down on the table. Put the iron on and moved it around to keep anything from getting scorched. Still nothing.

    Turned the iron up and left it in place for nearly a minute at time. Checked results. Spot kept getting smaller when the heat was allowed to do its work. Within five minutes, it was like nothing had ever happened. Good as new.

  559. Joy says:

    Thanks it worked a treat table like new WOULD NEVER OF THOUGHT IT O GREAT

  560. Sharon says:

    Thank you so much my mahogany table is like new! The results are amazing and it worked with in seconds saving me pounds on expensive restoration!

  561. Meghan says:

    I was so skeptical on this method. I have an antique table that has numerous cloudy spots. My grandmother tired old English dark stain oil thinking that would work and it did nothing! We were also told to try damp coffe grounds with some cooking oil, that’s how furniture is stained in Mexico, so we tried thy with absolutely no luck. Google is a great thing, I googled how to remove cloudy spots and got directed to this tip, and I couldn’t be more happy! Thank you so much!

  562. Ruby says:

    Thank you, We have an old antique table. My husband hovered the iron with steam on a high setting over the table in the spots we had (from setting hot plates down)and used old english dark wood scratch cover which wasn’t doing anything by itself. It worked like a charm. He thinks it may remove part of the finish and that is how it works. The spots did seem to get lighter and spread at first but then he polished it it looks pretty again. We are not ready with one child and another on the way to refinish the table it seems like a wasted effort and are glad that this worked because the table is beautiful and we want to enjoy it.

  563. brenda taylor says:

    Couldn’t believe it was so simple! the steam iron worked a treat. Many thanks for the tips

  564. Leslie says:

    WOW ….. so excited it worked …

  565. Laura says:

    Disappointed. Left a larger white area and a rough finish. Tried many of the suggestions. This table will need professional help.

  566. Jo says:

    I just tried the steam hover over a white mark on table. It worked..thanks

  567. Sophie says:

    I’ve had cloudy marks on my wooden table for a couple of years (at least) and never dared to try taking them out. Finally googled for tips and found this one. Obviously scary at first!
    When I saw the hairdryer alternative I tried it (didn’t seem as “extreme” ) and even though the marks seemed to faint slightly I can’t say it was a success. So I gathered the courage to pull out the iron and Wow!

    I used a hand towel. You need to leave the iron down for a second. At first I was a bit to keen to lift it as soon as I had released the steam.
    Thanks for a great tip!

  568. Kim says:

    Well i actually just tried this. I thought no this is rubbish but it worked on my table at first it took a while but the hotter the iron got it actually worked and im not lying about this..I used a small flannel (facecloth) So thank you for your help.

    Kim from Palm Nth NZ

  569. Bennie says:

    Worked FANTASTIC in removing a steam mark on a sealed wood floor left by a floor steamer. Laid an old towel over the mark and let the steam penetrate for iust a few seconds several times, wiping dry between times. “Hair of the dog,” I guess.

  570. Hube says:

    Worked for me too! I had tried a few polishes before trying the iron trick but none worked for me. My guess is that the heat from the steam reheats the finish and redistributes it evenly, causing the white marks to disappear. Note that I had to really rub in some of the marks but with a little elbow grease I managed to get all of the marks out. Be careful no to overdo it with the steam however. I noticed that I created a few light marks that weren’t there in the first place so be careful not to apply too much heat. Nevertheless, the table looks 1000 times better than before, even with the new smaller scuff marks.

  571. Lynn says:

    My husband set a hot paper plate on my cherry dining table and put a hugs white spot on it…THE IRON TRICK WORKS TY TY TY TY TY

  572. Kate says:

    It works! Should have “googled” this a year ago. Saved us from having to refinish my Husband’s Grandmother’s 100 year old chest…which I thought I ruined between the hot mug ring & heating pad mark (which was huge).

    Put the Iron on high, used steam & took passes over the very thin, white towel for 15 second intervals -would check it, rub the spot with the towel & redo until it was gone (took a good 5 intervals for the large mark).

  573. paddy says:

    Hi man, that worked great. Fair play to ye. Had a tea-bag stain on a mahogany TV unit and I simply used a hot iron through a T-shirt with plenty of steam for about a minute or so and the stain just vanished! Dried away all the steam and then, like another responder reccomended I rubbed in a little olive oil to get the shine back up. Perfect!

    May the road rise to meet you and the wind be always at your back!


    • Marcus DiMarco says:

      What you did is leave a big faint stain on the table, it isn’t lacking on shine. You used too much steam for too long. The olive oil might cover it up but see my method at the bottom of the page for better results and how to fix big faint white marks that too much steam creates.

  574. Marina says:

    This worked great!! Thank you so much for this! πŸ™‚
    After only 5 seconds the white stain just vanished!! I used a hot iron with steam and very thin white towel.

    THANKS!! :-))

    • Marcus DiMarco says:

      This is dangerous, I would be suprised if you didn’t leave a bigger but fainter white mark on the table doing it like that. See my post toward the bottom of the page for theory and a better method.

  575. Kim B says:

    Even after reading all the comments, I was nervous to try this. But, after trying a number of other things, decided I had nothing to lose. I am THRILLED to say it worked, my table looks great again! Thanks for the tip!

  576. Ali W says:

    OH MY GOD! Used the hover tequnique and it disappeared before my eyes, it was magic!


  577. Brad says:

    It works perfectly!! White stain on custom table, less than 10 with hot iron w/ steam and the spot vanished…Thanks

  578. Mark G says:

    I admit being a little nervous trying this, too, but it does work. I sprayed the spot lightly with water first, laid a thin towel over it, and use the medium steam setting on my iron. Within 10 seconds of moving the iron briskly across the towel the spot was gone. I can’t even tell that it was there. Thanks for the tip.

  579. Leen C says:

    This worked amazingly well and fast, as in seconds!!! I had accepted the fact that my table was stuck with the glass marks. Thanks a bunch!

  580. fw says:

    Was horrified to see white stains on new cherry table after I left a couple of hot pans on wet washcloths at the table.
    Found this post. Tried it.
    Couldn’t believe that it worked like magic! Kept moving the iron around. Used medium heat and no steam (wan’t brave enough to try steam + high heat). About 5 minutes, and both stains were gone.
    Thank you ever so much!

  581. Tags K says:

    I had two tables with the ugly white marks. i tried the steam iron

    + the white cloth on the least expensive one and it worked like magic. i was so excited when the first stain gone so I asked my husband to watch my magic trick while doing the second stain and he was amazed himself, so I decided to do the second table and agian it worked in second. so big thank you for this great tip

  582. Hilary says:

    I can’t even believe this worked! But it DID!!!!!! Thankyou sooooooooo much!! πŸ˜€ This tip has saved me from getting into trouble with my mum. Absolute legend, i will never forget this!!!

  583. Jason says:

    Thank you so much, thought I was going to have to buy a new table. Steam and olive oil. Nice one!

  584. Joanne says:

    Need some help…Had a laptop on my dining room table with a placemat under in…bad move…now my table has an imprint of the pattern of the white marks though…it’s just deeply in the wax…do you think this iron trick will work or does anyone have any advice to help me?

  585. Jane says:

    We dreamed of a great dining set, not the usual starter sets that can be bought from Ikea. After saving enough money, we bought a beautiful one from a popular brand. I am aware of getting those scorch marks, we get them once in a while but but as soon as it happens, I rub Old English and it disappears. However about 3 weeks ago, we left our house to our sister in law and her family to house sit. When we got back, I almost threw a fit when I saw large ugly white scorch marks on my beautiful table. I am very upset, we left padded place mats for them to use and their excuse was that they didn’t want to ruin the place mats, the freakin’ $2 place mats from walmart against a $1500 table! They even placed a very hot box of pizza smack in the center. Ugh! It was heartbreaking. I cried the whole night. I tried the Old English trick again and again but sadly, it didn’t work. So I threw a tablecloth over my poor table. Then I stumbled this website and tried the tip you gave. I didn’t use the flat iron, but I tried applying heat by using a hair dryer set on high. At first I thought it wasn’t working but eventually I saw the white marks disappear. I guess more heat and directing the nozzle straight into the white spot helped a lot. I was so happy with the result, it didn’t matter if it took me almost 2 hours to get every single white mark out (there were many!). The flat iron would’ve made my work easier. My sister-in-law and her family still refuse to come over for fear that I’ll skin them alive but I’m so over their blunder. I now know what to do. Thank you very much.

  586. sam says:

    i ironed my shirt on a towel on a nice wood table dining table last night and when i removed towel their were cloudy white marks where have been ironing.
    what would be the best thing to get rid of the marks please help thanks

  587. Dona Marshalek says:

    I widsh I had know about this tip 20 years ago when I burnt a spot on my wood kitchen table, I could have fixed it before I gae it to my son. We had a hot dish on my oak dining room table yesterday, I looked up with Google search enging and found your site. Your steam iron tip worked like a charm. Thank you for your help. You are now in my “favorites” list.

  588. MELISSA says:


  589. Robin says:

    Wow! It really worked! I’ve lived with several cloudy white marks on our Skovby teak dining table since just after buying it. it’s the paper plates with hot food. It just happened again, even with a heavy table cloth on the table. Today my courage was strong. I first tried the hovering technique. It left little dots from the steam vents in the iron so I covered the spot with an old thin turkish towel then set the iron down, slowly moving it in a circular motion, maybe for 15-20 seconds. I was shocked how the spots disappeared. A couple of years ago a furniture refinisher told me I would have to completely refinish the table top. Thank you, thank you, for the tip.

  590. Ashley says:

    Thank you soooooo much! This saved my roommate’s table!

  591. Maria says:

    I had a lovely wooden table – and put a hot plate down and got an awful white mark – did the same again recently and was going to pay for a french polisher – found your website – and followed the ironing over a teatowel applied steam and Bingo – my table looks beautiful again, no ghastly white marks.
    Best tip I have had – you are a star – a huge Thanks

  592. pat az says:

    10/11/11 – Worked for me as well! 12 year old Birch dinning room table with a semi-glossy dark cherry finish. Two 5-6 year old white heat spots on the table top. I used a pillowcase and an iron set on medium heat with lots of steam. First I tried the “hovering” technique with the iron and was getting some results but then I applied the iron right onto the pillowcase for about 15secs at a time, keeping the iron moving & steaming at all times then wiping away excess water in between each application until the stains were gone. Took about 5 or 6 times on each stain but they eventually vanished. I didn’t use any olive oil or polish just a dry cotton towel to dry/polish. My wife thinks I’m the greatest- again. =:^D

    Great tip, TipNut! Thank you!


  593. Joan says:

    Just tried the steam hovering over a cloth on my yew coffee table, 5 seconds layer the stain was gone. Hard to believe but true. Thank you.

  594. Farhad says:

    I have just tried it as well on my dinning table with a very large heat stain with pattterns. I used a tea towel and not a very hot iron first and when I switched on the steam the stain started to disappear.
    It was magic. Thank you for your advise.

  595. Jackie says:

    l have also tried it, dry white towel, iron on steam, now l have a water stain – HELP

  596. Nancy says:

    Just tried it on several large white spots on my wood table – they are completely gone!

    I used a white pillowcase folded in half, steam iron set on “cotton” (high) setting, and did not hover, but moved the iron around in a circular pattern for approx. 30 seconds over each spot while pressing the steam button several times.

  597. Marcus DiMarco says:

    The hot iron with steam on a towel takes practice. If you leave the hot water from the towel (really what you are doing is making a hot damp towel to fix the table) on the table for too long you will make a bigger white mark. Not to worry you can fix it .
    The right way to do it is to tune the amount of steam to how thick your towel is. It is better to use a thicker rather than thinner towel. The thicker the towel the more pumps of steam you will need, but it will also give you a broader and more homogenous result. A thinner towel will only fix the small area where the steam jets are. I got best results with a white dish towel folded up twice so 4x thickness.

    So for each thickness you use, use that many pumps of steam max. So for the 4x thickness use 2-4 pumps of steam, then swipe the towel off the area quickly. What you are doing is swiping a hot damp towel over the area, that is how you fix the table. Once you get it as good as you can (which using my method, almost unnoticable) finish by rubbing in a few drops of olive oil and it will look good as new.

    This method was done on a modern light colored wood table, I think the wood is particleboard with veneer. And whatever the modern cheap clearcoat is.

  598. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for this article!!!!!
    I thought I had ruined my mom’s table forever!!! phewwww I was gonna be in so much trouble, all for placing a mug of hot water to dip some Halloween fangs in. THANK YOU!

  599. Lori says:

    OMG….Thank you so much!!! It worked wonders!! The mayo trick did absolutely NOTHING…but, this was awesome!! Thanks again, so very much!!

  600. Sharon says:

    WOW! I’ve spent a small fortune on furniture refinishers with none of them removing the large white spot left on my coffee table by a pizza box. Don’t buy any of those products that promise to do the job just heat up your iron and slowly move it over a towel and just like magic the spot disappears! THANKS FOR MAKING MY COFFEE TABLE BEAUTIFUL AGAIN.

  601. Agatha says:

    Not to be redundant because you’ve obviously been a life saver for a lot of people… but it worked for me too. πŸ™‚ Thank you.

  602. Paul says:

    Also not wishing to be redundant … but THANK YOU too!!

    Like many people on here, I left a pizza box on a wooden table that had been painted black. The pizza wasn’t even that hot do it didn’t occur to me to put down a mat. I used a cotton dish cloth (folded over once) with a steam iron on a low-medium setting. The white oxidation stains were gone within 5-10 seconds of ironing. Absolutely amazing!!

  603. Lori says:

    I have a square black pottery barn table and had hot soup in a bowl leave a white ring. I did the hot steamy iron with reluctance and it is gone. I did put olive oil on it right after as well and it looks great! Sooooooo happy!!!

  604. Colleen says:

    The sheer number of successes by people who have commented here shows how well this simple repair works. After reading about 20 comments, I was ready to try it. What did I have to lose? I could end up with one more white mark on my ash table, which was so covered now with white marks that I always left a tablecloth on it. The only thing I regret was that I did not take a before and after picture. Once I got started, I got so excited I didn;t stop until I did the whole table including the once leaf that was in it. What I took out the second leaf, I realized that I should have stopped to take that picture. No one would believe this. I did take one picture with the unrepaired leaf in the middle.
    I think the variety of settings people have used is likely due to different irons. On mine it was the wool setting on steam, with a dry white hand towel. 12 to 15 seconds did the trick. Then the olive oil brightened it all up and yes, it did look like new. AMAZING and you can’t beat the price! I no longer need to send it to a furniture refinisher!
    THANK YOU!!!!!

  605. Karyn says:

    WOW! $40k wooden bar. Brand new house. Hubby decides to have 15 guys over to watch the fight. Buys 5 pizzas and puts down protectors that were too small. This morning I go check out the state of things – OMG! So many white stains on a maple bartop stained espresso. I was so scared to try this but it TOTALLY worked. I figured if it didn’t work, I still had a pass as I wasn’t the first to wreck something in our new house…but now I’m the hero. THANK you – AMAZING to see it work!!!

  606. Jen says:

    Thank you! Amazing! Worked in 10 seconds on my expensive crate and barrel table. Wow!!,

  607. Debi says:

    I had hurriedly put a tablecloth on our wood table, forgetting the table pad, and the heat went through the paper plates we used that night. I hovered a steam iron over the white areas and they vanished…..followed with English Oil and it looks wonderful! Thank you!

  608. Suzin says:

    DO NOT TRY THE IRON, STEAM AND TOWEL method. My beautiful new oak table looks WORSE than before.

  609. Bobby says:

    I found 3 white ring marks on my new Oak dining table last night and was mortified as they were so prominent, we have been using mats but obviously they wernt good enough when placing hot dishes on them, so in a panic i googled how to get them off and came across this page, i’ve just tried it out on a medium steam and WOW the marks really have gone and i’m amazed and one very happy lady, i wiped some Olive oil over the top very quickly and the table is now like new again.

    Thnks so much for the brilliant and very helpful tips!

  610. Janet says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    Like so many, I was just sick when I saw the white mark left by putting a hot dish on top of a damp dish towel. I have a dark wood dining table that I thought was ruined. I even contacted a refinishing company to schedule an appointment to provide me an estimate to refinish. Before the appointment, I saw an “Ask Heloise” article that suggested using white toothpaste to get rid of the white mark. This did nothing but leave my white spot super shiny. Frustrated by that, I decided do an online search to see if there were any other suggestions when I came across your site. I just used my iron according to your suggestion. I tried dry heat first – and it did not help. So I tried the steam and the white mark was gone in minutes!! I followed up with applying some olive oil for the finish and the table is like new. As we go into the Holiday season, I no longer have to worry about how to cover this awful spot.

    Thanks again – AMAZING, for sure!!

  611. D says:

    Sorry folks, the steam iron trick DOES NOT work. I have several spots a on a chery wood dining table that I can’t figure out. I’ve tred oils, polishes & now this but nothing works. Would appreciate any other suggestions.

  612. k says:

    It works!!! I was leary of trying this but the table was so bad it was this or new table. It took the stains out in seconds!!! We put the white cloth down and put the iron directly on the cloth with steam. Yay!!! Thank you!!!

  613. The Zacka family says:

    It’s thanksgiving and we ran out of pot holders so we put the stuffing on a dish towel. When we cleaned the table we lifted up the towel. We gasped in distress!!! There was a big white rectangle on our table! Our thanksgiving is ruined!!!!!!! Then my sweet, wonderful daughter went online and found this website! My mom thought it was crazy but my daughter knew it would work because Omar said so. We used my dad’s t-shirt and the stain was gone in seconds!!! We poured olive oil on a paper towel and it was pretty and shinny! Oo la la!! Thanksgiving is saved!!!!!!!!

  614. Cindy says:

    I have an antique mahogony dining table that I set a hot bowl on and was also using a very thick hot pad. When I took my table cloth off there was this awful white mark the size of the bottom of the bowl! I could have cried it looked so bad! I used the toothpaste trick and it didn’t work at all. Then I went to the computer and looked up answers. The steam iron, white towel, and a little olive oil got rid of all of it! Now I have one more thing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving! Thanks, DIY!

  615. Elgin says:

    This solution is legit! Just worked after our Thanksgiving meal left some white heat stains!

  616. Kathie says:

    At Thanksgiving dinner,someone places 2 glass coffee carafes (HOT!) on my cherry Stickley buffet. By the time I realized it, there were huge white rings. Did the iron (at a less hot setting with steam over a man’s old undershirt, and voila!!! Totally remarkable!!! I might put lemon oil (or maybe mineral oil — doesn’t get rancid) on it, as there is a slightly less shiny spot… I am truly amazed, and would never have believed it!!!!! Thank you!

  617. Carla says:

    I runied my wood dining room table on thanksgiving. I had the sweet potatos on a towel and a hot pad. However after dinner the towel was stuck to the table. I was so upset. I saw this tip and tried it with a towel and warm iron with steam. It took the stain out but left it a littly cloudy. I rubbed olive oil on a paper towel and rubbed all over the table. Let it sit a little then rubbed it out with a clean paper towel. the mark is totally gone and the olive oil conditioned the table and made it so shiny. I had to olive oil the chairs so they matched the shine of the table. They just soaked up the olive oil! So surpirzed it looks better than before1 thank you so much! YOu saved me from buying a new table!

  618. Anna says:

    What about if the hot food left bumps and not white marks? The wood covering is very thin and if you scratch it it leaves much lighter marks since that’s what’s underneath.

  619. Victoria says:

    I was extremely nervous about giving this a go and ruining the table even more! But, 30 seconds later after using your advice (ironing a towel and some steam) the water mark has been removed – it’s like magic! Thank you for this brilliant table-saving tip. I will be sure to pass it on.

  620. Carrie says:

    God bless you and bless the ability for those to be able to help others on websites. I was borrowing my friends, dad’s, table, which was old. I place a hot dish on a towel on it and it left a horriable white ring. It was like a miracle it only took seconds and it disappeared. Thank you so very much!! I works. I will never forget this.

  621. Ian says:

    Thanks for this tip. A friend came over for dinner and put a pizza box on the dining table. When we were done there was a white mark on the table. I followed your directions and the mark is gone. It’s a high-gloss table so I was skeptical but it’s out and I am thrilled. Thanks again.

  622. katie says:

    Thank you!
    my table looks brand new.
    I had many white marks from hot plates and boxes…I hovered the iron while pressing steam, wiped up any water and polished with olive oil!
    Makes no sense….but i am so happy it worked!

  623. Marlene says:

    Thanks for the tip! I was skeptical because my table had heat marks for years. It worked! No more heat marks! Thanks!

  624. Susan says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! Just tried this and it worked!!!

  625. Yann says:

    Thank you. This worked for me too.

  626. LJ says:

    I don’t know or care why but it worked on my dark table…medium iron, little bit of steam for just a few seconds at a time

  627. Heather says:

    No more covering up with a table cloth. I’m shocked and impressed. Wish I had done it years ago.

  628. Sharon says:

    This worked beautifully for getting a large white mark off of our antique table..we just stood there amazed that it actually completely removed a plate sized mark. Thanks so much for this tip.

  629. Jamie says:

    Good tip! Worked great! Thanks!

  630. Alyssa says:

    So….the trick to this is to go lightly at first…..I had to try this method a few times.

    The first time, I had the Iron on high with the steam on high and went over a towel….it actually made the stain worse. I tried again, because hey! the table was already ruined.

    The second time, I doubled up the towel and turned down the heat on the Iron. Nothing happened.

    The third time I tried, I removed the towel all toghether and went with the hover method and used a shot of steam. voila! the white stain disapperred where the jets of steam hit the table….so now I have a big white blob and wood circles in the middle in the shape of my iron. After multiple tries, I found that if I let the steam come out and kept the iron moving, the stain disappeared. The table gets wet, so I had a towel in one hand wiping up the water. I also would use olive oil in between shots of steam and wiping with the towel. It was a quick process…about 1 minute in total.

    Good luck!

  631. Lin says:

    I tried the steam iron/white cloth tip on my mahogany kitchen table that unfortunately received white burn marks from paper plates. Sad to say, this tip made things worse for me, i now not only still have the burn marks on the table from the plates but now have a white iron mark too πŸ™ I kept the iron on for a very short time as i feared this might happen and tried to rub olive oil in to bring back the shine….nothing. Oh well, it was worth a try.

  632. julie says:

    Slowly faded the white hot cup marks from my walnut polished dining table. Took a few minutes doing it repeatedly for a short time and rubbing away the dampness. Polished it afterwards and virtually gone. Excellent

  633. Jackie says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful tip. We have a new dining table which we’ve only had a month and I had a microwaved bowl of soup and not realizing how hot the bowl must have been, set it on the table. I didn’t realize there was a white heat stain on the table until just a few moments ago and was really upset because this is such a nice dining set but your tip saved the day! The iron method worked perfectly at removing the white ring. I used a clean white t-shirt and set my iron to low initially and gradually increased the heat and kept the iron moving and it was gone in no time. Once again, thanks so much for the wonderful tip!

  634. Carolyn P says:

    I really want to say Thank You so much for this tip, I found it on Pinterest. A few months ago, a bottle of rubbing alcohol got spilled on my bedroom dresser, needless to say no one told me they spilled it…turned the whole top of my dresser white…..I tried this tip, and I was totally amazed….IT REMOVED THE WHITE STAIN FROM MY EXPENSIVE DRESSER!!! THANK YOU

  635. Alie d says:

    I wonder if heat will work on crayon and marker lines all over my table…we took in not only my 3 year old niece but a family who was dealing with domestic violence and the kids ran a little wild. I noticed after the tablecloth came off that there were crayon and marker stains ALL OVER my table!! I tried EVERYTHING so now I am gonna go try the iron!!!

  636. David Chesler says:

    Cup of hot chocolate splashed across my grandparents’ 80-plus-y-o mahogany expanding table that hadn’t got put away yet after Thanksgiving, white marks in just the shape of the spillage.
    Steam ironing over paper towels did it — needed to be on the cotton setting with some steam to make the heat go through. Got a little too hot and/or damp and a bit of paper towel stuck into the finish (didn’t have a white cloth towel handy) — got that off with toothpaste, and olive oil (didn’t have mineral oil or furniture polish around) over the entire panel and it’s looking as good as I’ve ever seen it.

  637. Kathy Garrett Jutte says:

    Thank you so much. I was so angry at my children tonight I thought I was going to explode. No one would own up to it, but I thought it was odd when one of the kids put on a tablecloth on the table and said look how pretty this looks. Now I know why she put it on there to hide the spots. I was livid, and only 4 days before Christmas. I tried the toothpaste, didn’t work, but the towel with the steam iron worked wonders. I also put some olive oil on the towel and rubbed it in at the end. Looks great. No marks left. Thank you so much. I am back in a great mood, just in time for Christmas.

  638. Diana says:

    Worked like a charm!
    We had a Christmas party last night and in the morning we noticed white foggy marks on our beautiful wood dinning table. I was so upset! One of my friends spilled red wine on the table last night, so I first thought the stains were caused by the wine even though we wiped it out right away, then I noticed that one of the stains was square shaped and it was the size of a square bamboo mat that we placed under a very hot pot when serving dinner.
    I tried rubbing mayonnaise and the stains became a little less visible, but it made very little difference.
    Then I tried the steam iron and I could not believe my eyes! All the stains s are now gone! I am so happy! Thanks so much for sharing this tip!

  639. Josie says:

    Thank you…Thank you…Thank you! Christmas dinner and hot plates even with the hot pads stained my table! I used a hot iron with a cloth and they were gone with no damage to my cherry dining room table! Oh so relieved!

  640. Sheree says:

    Works Fabulously! What a relief. Tried mayo, tried orange oil, but no luck. Medium iron, no steam, white t-shirt and the spot was gone. I had set a bread basket with one of those microwavable heat packs on the table. Won’t do that again … not without my iron handy. THANK YOU.

  641. marletta says:

    I set a hot bowl of veg on my oak dinning room table and when I saw the mark later that night I was sick, I tryed all the reg treatment and nothing work until I tryed the steam iron and shirt. Thanks

  642. Meghann says:

    We were staying at a cabin and made a turkey dinner. My mom placed the turkey on a dish towel because we had nothing else to put it on. When we moved it we had ruined the table with a large white spot. We tried to remove it and nothing worked. Then I googled it and found this site. Unfortunatly we didn’t have an iron. I tried tooth paste, salt, anything I good. All the sites said use an iron or a hair dryer or any oil. So to anyone out there that has none of the above- here is how to fix it. Boil water in a pot then put that on the towel. Remove it after about 30 seconds and try again. Rub the stain with paper towel to get the water out. Keep boiling and repeat until almost gone. Then I used butter because that’s all we had and that removed the final hint of white. It took awhile and a lot of creativity but it’s 100% gone now.
    Thanks for the help

  643. Mandy says:

    Thank you for the tip regarding the white heat stain from the wooden table. I couldn’t believe the advice but it worked a treat however, it did take the shine off the table but this was alot less obvious than a big white stain. Thank you.

  644. Andrew says:

    Wow! It ACTUALLY worked! Within seconds! My good deed of bringing coffee to my partner in bed was punished when I placed the hot french press on the dresser. The iron (with steam over an old t-shirt) worked within 2-3 seconds – so amazing! Thanks for this! You saved my life! Literally! πŸ™‚

  645. Joana says: I have a white kitchen table where I wash the dishes..I put a bowl which was hitted and left a brown stain (ring)..I tried the iron on steam.I put a white towel over the stain and I wanted to place the iron over the stain but I was afraid that if I leave it , it would do another stain so I held it over the towel..and it didn’t get off the stain..please help!What should I do? And yes the stain was brown-yellow..

  646. Don says:

    Every fiber of my being told me NOT to do this. I did anyway. It worked. All of the fibers of my being still can’t believe it.

  647. Carolyn says:

    Had white steam mark on Russian oak table from hot fish and chips. Used steam iron on medium hovered it 1cm over mark it started to disappear before my eyes rubbed olive oil between hovers. I’m so exited.

  648. Katie says:

    FORGET THE IRON: Spray Pledge on the spot(s), let it sit on each area for abour 10 min. Wipe off, then buff with a paper towel. The white marks will disapear. Pledge has an alchole base which will dry the moisture trapped in the finish of your table .

  649. Amanda says:

    Black table, white heat stain from a pizza box (those things are the devil :|)
    I used toothpaste, Arm & Hammer Baking Soda & Peroxide. There is still a dark grey (almost not noticeable but I’m OCD), so I might wait a little and try it again later. But over all I’m extremely impressed and happy with the results!

  650. Josie B says:

    I just bought a dining room table off of Craig’s List and then ironed my curtains that were on top of a folded towel. This left a line of white stains…ugh! How could I have been so stupid?! After promising God that I learned my lesson, I went to the internet and found this trick. I was hesitant, so I tried the canola oil 1st, which did nothing. I then got a 100% cotton white shirt from my closet and set the iron on no steam, but it did not help. When I added the steam, then immediately wiped the stain when I took up the cotton shirt, the stain was gone! Praise God! Now my table is like it was when I bought it! I was hesitant, but I am now a believer!! Thaks!

  651. Lynn S says:

    The steam iron worked quickly and thankfully!! I tried the toothpaste first and it didn’t make any difference. Thank god for google. Saved me buying a new table or worse yet…having a perfectly good coffee table with a big ugly white stain!

  652. Lisa says:

    I have been looking at these 2 white stains on my table for years now. I’ve heard about the iron trick but too afraid to try it. Well this morning my husband put another lovely large white stain on it so I did a search online on how to remove it myself. I can across your site and tried the iron trick. First without the steam. Nothing happened. Added steam and INSTANTLY removed all 3 stains. I applied olive oil and my table looks stain-free again. So mad at myself for waiting so long to try this. Thank you!

  653. Teresa says:

    This really works! I used our clothes steamer first, which worked somewhat but seemed to leave a white haze. I then tried mayonnaise (but only for a few minutes). I wiped that off and tried the blow dryer–which didn’t make a difference for me. I then got a dish towel out, and used the steam iron over the spots—making sure to keep the iron moving and immediately wiping up any moisture on the table every few seconds. Our 2 tables look great now. I went ahead and used some Old English on them to enjoy the beautiful shine without those ugly white spots. I can’t wait till my husband comes home and sees the change!! Thanks so much for the tip!

  654. Teresa says:

    P.S. Something to help this from happening again is putting plates on potholders and putting oven temperature foods and pizza boxes on wire cooling racks that I place on my tables at meals.

  655. Gina says:

    Worked amazingly on antique oak table. At first it made it worse and left cloudy white marks. I figured I couldn’t do any worse so kept going and it eventually went. Used steam and olive oil and kept wiping. Took ages, but now looks great.
    Would love to know if the table can be coated with anything that wont do this. I want this to be a usable table, not one I have to iron every time I use it and not one I have to freak out about when the kids go near it. Maybe I should sell it now it looks perfect.

  656. Donielle says:

    Yes, this is the most amazing tip, period. I just tried this on my bady scorched kitchen table. Used an old toddler boys white t-shirt doubled and a small amount of olive oil. Voila, a brand new table. Seriously. Thanks.

  657. Jehu says:

    This is amazing, It worked. We were eating and my wife put a hot pan on top of the table, and left that white cloud looking mark. After applying the Iron, it worked. Awesome, thank you guys.

  658. Jenny says:

    I know you’ve got enough thanks already but THANK YOU!!!!!! I CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PUT THIS UP ON THE INTERNET – my mango wood table looks brand new after the ironing + olive oil finish suggestion!! πŸ™‚ (It looked terrible earlier – with multiple white circular marks due to teacups and milk mugs!)
    Thanks a million!! And please do keep posting up good tips, they could save someone’s life like they did mine! πŸ™‚

  659. Sue says:

    Cannot believe it! bought item from ebay Ducal Pine draws and when it was delivered I was upset as there was a white heat mark on the top, Husband was out so tried the white towel and steam iron trick and it worked AM AMAZED and very pleased….. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE TIP and seeing so many commects gave me the conveidence to have a go…

  660. Stewart & Sheila says:

    The Iron Trick has worked wonders on our cherry wood dining table, the white heat rings were removed within minutes and once we wiped our table with the Olive Oil it has come up like new again, Many Thanks for this suggestion we are now able to see our lovely table without a cloth on it again.

  661. amanda says:

    A.M.A.Z.I.N.G have an expensive table that had several white marks from children spillages etc, thought we would have to get a french polisher in…but tried this method and it WORKED…thank you so much will def remember this top tip πŸ™‚

  662. Becky says:

    THANK YOU, thank you, thank you! Tried products recommended by hardware store & worked for hours with it. Didn’t make a bit of difference. I bought this table at a consignment shop & have lived with the white heat marks all over it for 3 yrs. Folded a thin dishtowel in half, high steam for several seconds over the mark with my iron, dryed it quickly as I went along & it looks great! Marks are completely gone. I’m still in shock.

  663. Betsy says:

    Ok, I tried the mayo and salt technique first, then the iron thing. The mayo didn’t work, but the iron thing did. Thank you for that. But now I do have a shiny area where the mayo was. Any hints to get rid of that now?

  664. Melissa says:

    I tried the iron trick and it made it worse(I probably did something wrong lol). Then I tried the toothepaste and baking soda…my table looks brand new!!!! Thank you so much!

  665. Vince says:

    OMG!!!! after reading this i quickly went down and did it on the white marks in our dining table and it disappeared in just seconds!!! amazing! haha. . .i felt so releived since i was the one who made those marks!!! thanks so much!

  666. Steamer says:

    I used my STEAM MOP – THE SHARK and it worked GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!

    They should advertise that it works on wood clouds!!!!!

  667. Mitaine says:

    I used some toothpaste and it worked like Γ  charme !!!

  668. jennifer says:

    Well, worked right away!! BUT within a few seconds it came back even worse. Any suggestions

  669. HL Will says:

    The steam iron actually works!!! The wife went nuts after my daughter left 2 large hot pizza boxes on the table for her SUPER BOWL party. She (wife) does not know I got the spots out (which took less than 2 min). When she returns home, I’m going to earn major points for this.
    Thanks a million!!!

  670. Mavoubate says:

    Wow, it worked and saved our beautiful (and expensive) table. Iron + steam + olive oil method. It’s magic! I would say the problem is at least 95% gone. I can still see some decoloration if I look closely, but it’s very minor. I should have taken pictures before/after, our tabled looked even worst than the one on the pictures.


  671. Dawn says:

    Wow! I was in such a panic. I put a hot pyrex dish on top of a table mat…and took it off an hour later and there was a huge white cloudy stain on my beautiful dining room table. I tried the “Hot iron with steam” method with a white hand towel over spot. I went quickly over spot for just a few seconds and checked and almost the whole stain was gone. I went over the a few more seconds with steam iron and voila! Like magic my stain was completely gone. Thank You for this post! I polished my table with lemon polish and it is as good as new!

  672. shelly says:

    WOW!! Thank you so much! this stain we have lived with for 2 months on our kitchen table is gone!

  673. Kathy says:

    It worked! My table is as good as new. Who knew, what damaged it fixed it.

  674. Laura B. says:

    Just tried this. Am amazed. As others were, I was sceptical, but had tried other things to no avail. Wow. Whoever came up with this solution is a genius!!!!

  675. Christina says:

    My husband and I had a beautiful cherry coffee table that was ruined from heat stains and we just tried this. We are baffled. It is brand new! One thing i will say is that we had some expensive polish (we purchased to buff out the stains) and it didn’t work quite as well as the olive oil. Thanks a million!

  676. natalie says:

    Incredible…it worked in less than 10 seconds. My table is like new.!!!Thanks

  677. Kayla says:

    My fiance and I received his parent’s oak table that they had for several years, and we placed pizza boxes on it tonight and it left a huge white spot that I couldn’t remove! I panicked because if his mother saw it she would flip out! Saw this and it worked amazingly on our varnished table. Placed a hand towel down on spot, had the iron on medium heat and rubbed it for about 8 seconds on the spot 3 times and it is completely gone. Thank you so much.

  678. Christa says:

    What a relief! I thought that I had ruined our dining room table this morning. I ironed on the table with a towel under my shirt, and a white cloud was left on the table. After reading the reviews, I nervously tried the iron + steam + olive oil method and my table is 95% better. In fact, so I didn’t have an oil spot on the table, I polished the entire tabletop with it and it looks very shiny and nice. Like someone said earlier- who knew that what caused this would actually fix it! Thank you so much for posting this!

  679. Cindy says:

    I just tried two methods to remove years-old white rings from my dining room table. I read a variety of tips, but assumed a professional furniture care product would work better than an old home remedy. So I bought a Homax cloth and rubbed and rubbed but nothing happened. Then I tried the free method of using the steam iron and towel and it took just seconds for the rings to disappear. I held the iron with full steam just lightly touching the towel, moving back and forth. The rings just seemed to dissolve. Then rubbed dry with a soft cloth and re-polished the whole table. Nice result. Really appreciate this tip!

  680. Judy says:

    Mine is caused by a vaporizer setting on a folded up beach towel all night. Seems like the cause is the same as the cure? It goes away for a few minutes but then comes back. Should I keep trying?

  681. Damien says:

    Brilliant – Probably saved my marriage! (joke) – fitted study mahogany furniture costing 1000’s – no idea how the heat stain got on it – or who did it – but this tip defied the laws of Physics and saved a lot of domestic “discussion” – I tried 20 secs with an iron on the “cotton” setting and using a tea towel , no steam and moving gently over the large stain, lifted up the tea towel – it had gone – better than any David Copperfield trick anyday !

  682. AM says:

    THE IRON WORKS!!!!!! Seriously, we have had a large white stain on our table since Thanksgiving. I tried salad oil, toothpaste, etc. Helped, but not much and they were messy. One iron, one white towel and 30 seconds later – no stain!!!! We also had some small white stains from who knows what so I ironed those, too – GONE!!! THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

  683. meagan says:

    Using the steam from the iron left white stains on the table. I thought i was making the mark worse. As soon as i put the olive oil on the spot it was gone. Table looks brand new. Thanks

  684. KRISTI says:

    The iron on steam mode WORKS LIKE A CHARM!!! I was visiting my brother and sis-in-law helping out with their new baby. I was being “helpful” by making dinner and set a glass 8×12 casserole dish on a thin tan dish towel. After dinner, I discovered a large white scalded stain on their beautiful $1000 wood table!!! OUCH! Googled some home remedies… tried the toothpaste and baking soda remedy first and it lightened the stain, but was still visible. Then hesitantly tried the iron on steam mode over a white t-shirt. Went over the t-shirt briskly at first, then when held it for a few seconds over the white stain…and low and behold, it worked!!! No one would ever know that there was a large white stain on that gorgeous table!!! THANKS FOR THE ADVICE!

  685. Nancy says:

    I had white steam marks on my kitchen cupboards from a rice cooker. Since the cupboards are vertical it was difficult to get the steam iron to work properly. I dampened a white tea towel, held the towel on the cupboard and ironed the cupboard. It worked. The molding on the cupboard was more difficult, but used the edge of the iron, again ironing over the damp towel. Can’t believe the mark is gone, but it is! I keep going back to check. Thank you!!

  686. tony says:

    I was moving the iron over the towel on my cherry wood dining table.i almost freaked when i lifted the towel. It made the white spots fade but then it made some new white marks. So, when ironing , be careful only to go over the exact marks. i used old english wood oil and looks much better.

  687. angela says:

    amazing! Thank you so much! I thought my pie shelf was ruined! You can’t even see the spot now!

  688. Mark from NZ says:

    My table was a gift from my old man years ago, he passed away last year.
    It had 4 or 5 bad white marks on it.
    I 1st tried the towel and iron trick, it got the stains off yay amazing !!!
    But it left some bigger stains around the areas that I ironed, then I read of the hovering iron and wowwwww it really works,
    Thanks to all of you who posted

  689. Shian says:

    WORKED WORKED WORKED! Hot pizza on the end table while studying for a midterm, took it off like a charm!

  690. Ian says:

    I had a mark on our dining room table. I followed these instructions, Hovering about 50 mm to 75mm above the mark with the iron on high steam setting for about 5 to 10 seconds at a time, and polishing away the moisture with a tea towel afterwards. It took about 6 passes, but it worked and the mark has vanished. My Wife and I are very impressed! Thanks.

  691. Tess says:

    MIRACLE, I have a black table and the teapot white steam marks lifted out IMMEDITATELY upon placing the cotton facecloth on table and steaming with iron on high steam setting… Unbeleivable!! Thanks to the scientific who discovered this!!

  692. Ivana says:

    Drying it with a fan helps too!

  693. margi says:

    Hi, i was worried about doing this to my coffee table the iron one as i loved it but some stupid person put hot coffe cup straight onto it even though i had coasters all over the table.
    and i must admit it worked was what you call gob smacked when it worked dont usually comment in things but anybody who has a ring stain or white heat stain please Do this cos it does work with the steam iron over a tea towel. cheers appreciate it

  694. feewil says:

    OMG!!!!! it worked like magik… my girlfriend and i burned a ring into her parents antique dining room table. we were desperate and nervous about using the steam technique… but alas! within 30 seconds, no more ring, amazing!
    we were super nervous at first because there was a slight discoloration on the table, but my girlfriend ran into the kitchen and grabbed some olive oil and voila! good as new.

  695. Chris says:

    DEFINITELY DIDNT WORK FOR ME…followed the instructions to the tee but must be the type of wood it is. Everyone hopes they’re not in that small % that it makes it worse, oh well. Go Bills!!!

  696. denise says:

    This worked beautifully but had to wipe the moisture away immediately or the stain does appear to grow. Used the white cloth and steam iron hovering just above the cloth for a few seconds method. Afterwards used a few drops of olive oil on a piece of kitchen roll to make a perfect finish. Can’t wait to use the method on my other affected tables.

  697. jaffa says:

    wow. This was incredable! Shockingly impressive. Be bold about 10 seconds and look. You just can’t believe your eyes. Almost worth making another stain to see it work again!

  698. Kathy says:

    I used the steam iron method on my oak dining room table, and the hot spot disappeared like magic! I was so thrilled that I used the same method on my cherry coffee table… Disaster. I steamed, I dry ironed, I used a cloth, and the spot kept getting bigger and bigger and BIGGER! Then today I read about the toothpaste solution and like magic, after two applications, a good buffing with a cotton cloth, and some lemon oil, the coffee table is like new! Thought I had ruined it for sure!!

  699. Chris & Vonna says:

    Hi all, I just used a little rubbing compound on steam damaged fine furniture and it completely removed all the damage. In my opinion a steam iron would make more of a problem. Good luck.


  700. Velma says:

    The steam iron worked great but is there something like a finish or something I can put on the table so it won’t happen again?!

  701. Cindy says:

    Absolutely amazing! We are renting a furnished condo and I set a hot tea mug on the coffee table leaving a big round white mark. I googled how to remove hot white marks and this site came up. I used a white hand towel and the iron on high heat, no steam, moving the iron around slowly. Took a couple of minutes but the mark is totally gone and the shine was not removed, probably because no steam was used. I guess we wont have to replace the table when we move, which I thought we would have to do. AMAZING!! πŸ™‚

  702. Margaret says:

    I had just ordered some Liberon ring remover on line and noticed this DIY site. I just happened to look at it out of interest and followed the tips (thinking that I had nothing to lose). I am truly amazed by the results. My daughter had got into the habit of putting her hot cups on the expensive bookcase that we had had for over 25 years when she couldn’t see any mats nearby. The stains have gone and its almost as good as new! I’m sure that the Liberon will be useful some day.:)

  703. Jordan says:

    OK. I never comment on anything, but this was too great to not say thank you! I just thought I ruined my roommate’s coffee table and figured I would give this a try. I was pretty nervous, especially since heat caused the damage to begin with. BUT sure enough, stain gone. Maybe 20 seconds on the wood. High setting w steam. Over tshirt. Brand new! Thanks!!!

  704. Gilly says:

    Amazed! I too was very skeptical but after only 10 seconds of hovering a hot steam iron over a thin towel on my coffee table the white mark left by a coffee pot had completely vanished! I wasn’t brave enough to put the iron actually on the towel covered table but I didn’t need to. Brilliant!

  705. susan says:

    9/05/2012 Just bought a gate leg table at a local recycle place that had a large white circle. Put a terry teatowel over the mark and tried a dry iron, no luck then tried with steam its gone fantastic hate computers but love google x

  706. simone says:

    I foolishly left a hot pizza box on my mom’s varnish wood table. When I moved the pizza box, there was a white stain on the table. I panic and try to google a solution. This was the first website that came up. I tried it and it actually works! I was able to remove the white stain before she came back home lol

  707. Donna says:

    You are amazing – most of the stains removed – like magic. I was about to re vanish it – no longer required

  708. Heather says:

    Unbelievable. Great success just now with the hot steam and hover over linen tea towel approach. Only took a few seconds to work.

  709. Dave Nptts says:


    Could not believe it,it sounds so implausible but with so many positive comment I thought give it a go!
    Had old small table (from a set of small tables) two ugly white rings on it.
    I just got an old (slightly grubby) off-white floor clothe, got the steam iron on medium ironed over the small mark a few times and it was gone!!!
    Moved on the the bigger mark, that took few more tries before it came out but I stepped up the ironing progressively in case it was going to do any damage.
    Sensible to go easy at first and check your progress.

    I am SO PLEASED I left a hot mug on my mums prize coffee table and it left an ugly white ring (she was not too happy – in healthier years she would have murdered me!!).
    Gonna call her tomorrow with the good news!!!
    This is miraculous, it is up there with raising of Lazereth from the dead and the feeding of the 5,000 for sure!!

  710. Linda Leyble says:

    Hi – very happy to have found your blog. 800 comments on this – wow! I guess this problem is very pervasive. I have this issue too on a table I recently bought at an estate sale – and someone else that I met in blogland suggested that I use a hairdryer – so it’s a similar fix with heat.

    I have another issue on the same table. The people who owned it had placed a plastic tablecloth (with that felt-like backing) on the table and it was on there forever. The result – a few places had some sticky white bits on it (from the felt). I am afraid to use glue be gone becuase i fear the finish will be taken off. Do you or any of your readers have an answer for this problem? Thanks…Linda

  711. amela says:

    Our new mahogany table was ruined after placing a pizza box on top. Everyday I saw that white stain, it truly upset me. I used this trick with the iron+stem and it worked fine. It left a little white dull appearance, a little furniture polish helps with that, but I would suggest trying to hover it over the table with steam first.

  712. Han Kim says:

    This is amazing!!! I didn’t have an iron so used a preheated frying pan and a white cloth and the white marks disappeared. Thank you do much!!!

  713. Rich says:

    This is so incredible… first did the steam with the iron and the towel, then it didn’t work on some marks, so just did the iron on high heat. 24 hours later and the table is looking amazing… I don’t know who thought of this the first time… a little drunk to try but hey it’s fantasic..!

  714. Mei says:

    What about heat and water marks off a waxed painted table? I just can’t get this advise from anywhere!

  715. Joan says:

    For water stains on waxed wooden tables, I found that rubbing it with cork from an old wine bottle lifts the stain. Re-wax the table, and it’s like new.

  716. Fields says:

    Thanks so much! I was gonna go buy a new coffee table but the technique worked! and the olive oil was like polish! steam was key also!

  717. CMA says:

    It worked! Iron, Max Steam, white cloth, hovered over for seconds. Misty cloth rubbed on table top to remove moisture and Voila! Thanks to the original author, and to all of you who commented – you were all the B12 oomph that encouraged me to give this a try (boo boo made at parent’s house…)

  718. Diane says:

    Hey there…My tenant put a heat stain on my new faux marble table! I tried the steam thing which faded it but never took it away completely..Do you have any advice for me? I really LOVE this set and want it back the way it was…Please help!

  719. Jan says:

    Using the hot iron, steam, hover over a folded cloth, keep the iron moving method, my white stain worsened. Since I had nothing to lose, I turned off the steam, placed the iron directly on the cloth, rubbed and moved it continually.
    MAGIC! Before my very eyes! Our old rocking chair looks great! Thanks everyone!

  720. Heather :) :) :) says:

    This is fabulous. I actually follow your website…and I had aset a glass of water on top of my grandmother’s old sewing machine table…didn’t think anything of it, since it’s just water and it was cold, not hot. However, the next morning it left a really huge ring of white. So I went looking for some solutions and I found this article πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Thank you, thank you….because now I’ll be able to fix the problem!!!

    Love andhugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather πŸ™‚

  721. Melissa says:

    Fantastic, I just managed to erase a big white mark caused by very hot spilt porridge with iron and towel…..a bit of steam seemed to speed things along. Whoever suggested a hairdryer on another site is missing a trick here as it didn’t work for me.

    Thank you!

  722. Angela says:

    Oh my god, I was skeptical but it worked! I’m so happy. I was so upset when my husband had placed a citronella candel on my brand new kitche table last night, and today we noticed the huge white stain in the wood. I cleaned the table well, placed the thin white cloth over the stain, put the iron over it and moved it a couple of times while applying the steam. I looked and the stain was gone. I added the olive oil right away. I’ll wait a while to see how it is later, but for now it looks good. Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

  723. Carolyn says:

    OMG!!! I had given up trying to polish the cup rings off my nest of tables and they were due to be collected by the local Charity Shop the next day. But decided to see if there was some way of removing the ugly white rings once and for all, so searched the internet and hey presto found the hot steam iron trick and it worked with no damage to the surface of the table. I’ve now decided to keep the tables as they look as good as new!! Thank you very much!

  724. Amanda Spasic says:

    OMG OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH – I had Thai Take away last night and i put my soup bowl down on our brand new coffee table and it left to BIG marks on it. My boyfriend just spent like $1000 on the table and i was freaking out about him seeing the stain. I just went and did what you said with the iron and a cloth and OMG both stains gone. I cant believe it.

    I wont get in trouble tonight now and i donh have to spend the day in hard wear stores looking for ways to fix it. THANK YOU SO MUCH REALLY

  725. Cynthia says:

    This is the most amazing thing i have ever seen!! Who knew more steam would be the secret. Thanks for all the brave souls who tried this first and convinced me with your comments that it would work! Yay!

  726. Cheryl says:

    Thank you so much for the tip, although, it did make my stains worse (must have been a different finish as you mentioned ).. It did however, prompt me to try a little different approach, and I used a blowdryer to I could see what was happening and control the amount of heat hitting the table. WORKED LIKE A CHARM !!!!!

  727. Helena says:

    Do you know if this works on Rimu? NZ native wood – quite soft like pine (but much better quality;). Rather scared to try on our 1.5m square dining table as I don’t want to make the problem worse.

  728. Courtney says:

    YES!! this def works!! I used my iron on high steam and heat, and ironed right over a thin towel. I had about 12 small round stains from placing hot cupcakes on the table-took them right out!! Then I oiled it with a little olive oil, as others said- WORKED PERFECTLY!! so excited I found this TIP!!

  729. bravio says:

    Thanks you tip saved my marriage!

  730. maria g says:

    It worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Iron on medium on white double folded t-shirt. About ten lightly pressing circular passes with 2 bursts of steam and gone! One spot gone with first try, second spot took 3 attempts.

  731. Jane says:

    WOW – magic! I was so upset when someone spilt their wine on my tablecloth last night and when I removed the cloth after the dinner discovered a huge white ring on my wooden table… Straight to Google and up came your tip. I had nothing to loose but give the hovering steam iron a try… My table looks as good a new. THANK YOU

  732. Leon says:

    Thanks for the tip worked like a charm! Thought i was in the dog box!

  733. Supreet says:

    I was 100% sure that it won’t work for me as all the other tricks i had tried failed. But I was stunned to see the results. My table is brand new… no stains. Thats why I hopped in to say Thank you for sharing this tip… God Bless.

  734. Tim K says:

    Iron on 7 (middle of the steam settings), on top of a dish towel.
    5 or 6 passes with steam, 5-10 seconds each, thoroughly wiping the table between passes.

    My cherry table is as clean as new. Thanks for posting this page, with all these tips, an thank you too, to the other commenters who’ve shared their tips and experiences.

  735. helen says:

    I honestly thought this couldn’t possibly work – it is so counter-intuitive – but after reading someone’s comment that it “couldn’t possibly make it any worse” I though, well that’s true, so gave it a go.

    Unbelievable – it honestly, truely works. Thank you so much! I have been saving up to get someone out to restore my chest table – it was really expensive (for me!) and has been completely ruined by hot coffee cups (almost grounds for divorce!).


    My heartfelt gratitude!

  736. Renee says:

    I found the white, foggy discoloration on my laminate table and was sick to my stomach. Hot pizza box was place there last night causing the marks, this morning I read the tips and hints from this website and grabbed my steam iron and tea towel and ironed (medium hot and with steam) those white foggy marks completely away. I had thought my beautiful table was ruined but IT’S AS GOOD AS NEW! Thank you SO MUCH. πŸ™‚

  737. Bradley says:

    WOW, what an absolutely superb tip. I have only had my oak table for a couple of months and we placed a hot dish on table mats for dinner, next day really bad white circles appeared everywhere, like bubbles, I was gutted. I looked on line and discovered this site, the iron tip left me feeling very un easy, but after so many positive comments I gacve it a go, worked perfectly, I honestly cannot thank you enough, it’s probably the best tip I have ever been given.

  738. Dale G. says:

    did a little baking and our hot cupcakes left these ugly eyesores… a little ironing, steam, and olive oil later, they were gone! the internet is wonderful.

  739. Kim G says:

    my son had put a bowl of ice cream on my coffee table and it left the awful white ring, poor kid was really upset. This morning i trird the iron, magical…..i layed down a white thin wascloth and used med setting with the steam and presto, the satin was gone in just a few passes! Thank you all so much!

  740. melissa h says:

    I read through hundreds of positive posts confirming that this actually works and was really keen to try it on the marks on my table.Unfortunately not only did it not work but in fact in made a new humongous mark from the steam from the iron. I went from a small mark about 25mm across to about 250mm across!I have now spent the next few hours trying anything and everything to lessen the damage.still trying πŸ™

    • Lynn says:

      I had a similar experience, but discovered that I had to wipe off the steam IMMEDIATELY after removing the iron from the towel. Might want to give it a try.

  741. Bernice says:

    I used a Mr Clean Magic Erase yesterday and it worked really well. My parents old dining table was damaged and thought they would have to give it away might get a 100 or more for it now.

  742. Kerri says:

    I ironed on my wood table and it left a white mark.
    I did exactly what they recommended, used a hot iron with steam and a cloth under neath. Worked like a charm. YAY!!!!!

  743. Virginia Bauer says:

    Worked great! After procedure with iron, I used a little olive oil, then a lemon furniture polish. Table looks like new!

  744. Sara D. says:

    Our newly refinished dark stained oak table had a white mark from a hot paper plate! I took the advice of the author and used a white wash cloth (somewhat thinner than a luxury washcloth but thicker than a dishtowel), set my iron on high and filled it with water. I then applied the hot iron to the washcloth that was placed over the white marks and sprayed the steam like crazy, moving slowly over the towel. 20 seconds later, I have NO WHITE MARKS!!! Thank you!! Another satisfied googler!

  745. Hugh says:

    You are an Ace! Tea towel, medium heat and steam shots…. gone in seconds! Thought I was going to have to sand it back! You should be paid for this!

  746. Cycely says:

    This tip has been used by my father who was in the furniture refinishing business for years. I just used it on our dining table. The heat rings were from a very hot personal tea pot. Our table in new in the last year and I was worried about the finish not holding up to the treatment. It worked very well. A note on the kind of towel to use. Try to find a flat woven cotton one, not like the textured bath towel type. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying our “new” table again. Thanks!

  747. Ann says:

    Wow! Can’t believe but this really works. Agree that it’s good to wipe moisture away immediately and then I used spray furniture polish.

  748. Sheree says:

    OMG – I DID take pictures just so i could show my husband who is not going to believe it! I did the hover/steam technique over a white t-shirt. Worked like magic! I NEVER would have tried this without all these comments so THANK YOU! Very very happy.

  749. Elodie says:

    Had several stains on my dining room table which had been there for years. Had tried various methods including the hot iron, but nothing worked, until I tried your method with the steam and just iron right over the table without cloth. The stains disappeared. YOU MADE MY DAY. Thank you so much!!!!!

  750. Danielle says:

    I tried it on my newer black dining table and it didn’t work. It actually made it worse. Maybe it’s because it appears to be painted, not stained.

  751. Kat says:

    This really did the trick! I’ve had this bookmarked for almost a year now, and just didn’t have the gumption to try it. Finally, after months and months of being sad about my coffee table (two steaming hot pizza boxes were the enemy), I decided I had nothing to lose. It’s back to new! Thank you so much!

  752. Jie says:

    It is miracle! Thanks so much. I placed the hot cup on the wooden table and left white mark, i just did what the instruction said at beginning, The white mark ARE GONE.

    Thanks again. 20/08/2012

  753. Elizabeth says:

    It worked P E R F E C T. THANKS SO MUCH.

  754. Melissa says:

    FANTASTIC! White mark was gone within 10 seconds!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Polished with olive oil and it looks BRAND NEW!
    My thanks to you will never be enough!
    The 8th Wonder of the World!

    Thanks again August 23rd 2012,
    Melissa πŸ™‚

  755. Kerry says:

    Unbelievable…I was very skeptical about putting a hot iron on my timber table to remove the cloudy marks. Thought I would end up with more burn marks and have to give my table away. My boyfriend decided to put some hot nan bread on my table without a place mat. I am very glad I found your site on the internet.

    Very happy lady.
    24th August 2012.

    Thanks very very much.

  756. Susan says:

    My 15 year old daughter had group of friends around
    They all had drinks & left cups on my highy polished cherry wood sideboard
    I was mortified when I saw the white rings

    I was really scared about the iron technique but gave it a go……

    Placed tea towel over the ring
    Hovered the hot iron over it & pressed the steam button for about 10 seconds

    The ring has dissappeared …….just like magic
    Thank you sooooooo much for this website


  757. Susan in Florida says:

    It worked like a charm on my beautiful pine farmhouse kitchen table once I abandoned the hairdryer suggestion and pulled out the iron……”Gone with the Wind”! πŸ˜‰ Thank you!

  758. Colleen says:

    Thank you,Thank you, Thank you.

  759. teresa says:

    I hope someone can help. I have a beautiful log dining room table with what appears to be a liquid glass finish. Looking at it from an angle you can see indentations of ring marks. There are no stains on the table just the marks as if where something warm {such as a cup of coffee} softened and left an indentation. Is there a way to smooth this out or remove the marks without refinishing it. Please help…..

  760. Jessica says:

    I tried this on my mother in laws kitchen table, but it only made it worse. What am i doing wrong. I took a white towel layed it flat on the table, and ironed with the steam on. It left a huge white stain where the iron had been:-( Help please

  761. Shelly says:


  762. Adriana says:

    Thanks for the tip, it worked like magic! First Itried witht he steam on and the cloth, and I almost ruined the table; however, I decided to turn the steam off and remove the cloth and it actually worked! Then I went on trying on other pieces of furniture and same results. This was the best secret ever!!

  763. Jenny says:

    Thursday, 27/9/12. I am so glad I googled. I steam ironed on a tea cloth and was overjoyed the mark disappeared. The table belonged to my daughter and I was supposed to look after it. Thank you for the tip. Worked wonders.

  764. Maryann says:

    Call me flabbergasted! High heat, steam and a teatowel – It worked!! Despite all the positive comments, I was still sceptical because the white water stain on my oak dining table was large, very very white,and had been covered by a table cloth for a number of years. I was going to send the table out to be professionally refinished, but have saved myself a lot of money. Thanks so much

  765. Devin says:

    I cannot believe it worked and so easy! The olive oil afterwards really helps to bring the life back into the wood!

  766. Allison says:

    I just use olive oil, works well for me if you get to the stain fast enough

  767. Nancy C says:

    I had to write to thank you for this wonderful tip. I have a table that had a large white ring on it for the past 15 years – been covering the ring with a large bowl. I used a white pillowcase and hovered the steam iron for about 20 seconds and wonder of wonders, it removed the white circle. It’s a primitive American antique table that belonged to my mother-in-law, I am so thrilled! Tried the technique on an antique youth chair that had a white ring on the seat, had tried everything I could think to no avail. This technique worked in seconds. Both pieces are very old so I think they probably have varnished surfaces. I am stunned! So glad tonight was the night I finally googled and found this blog!!! You’re a miracle worker. Thanks so much.

  768. Yak says:

    Thanks for the tip. Used a hot iron with steam all at the highest settings, on a tea towel for maybe 5-8 seconds at a time, lifting and checking. Eventually the huge white stains on my cheapy beech veneer IKEA dining table came out. Took about 5 mins of work. Appreciated.

  769. Tammy says:

    I had 15 boys over last night for my son’s high school cross country pasta dinner. They all crowded around my Ethan Allen dining room table. This morning I saw the the white ring of death! Ahhhhh! Thank you, thank you for the iron tip! I very carefully and slowly ironed the stain out and the table will live to see another day. (Even my son had a sigh of relief…)

  770. Lin says:

    I placed a hot Corning Ware container of turkey on a towel on my son’s beautiful wooden dining room table thinking it would protect it. When we were done eating there was a white solid circle on the table. I felt awful. The next day the spot was still there. I goggled “How do I get a white ring off of a wooden table?” Your answer to my question came up…. So I tried it and it worked perfectly. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  771. carrie says:

    i just want to let everyone know! if this didn’t work for you. i followed the directions perfectly and it just made it worse. this seems to depend on how the wood was finished, etc. however, if it doesn’t work for you, there’s hope! i RUINED my roommate’s table while she was out of town by STUPIDLY placing some hot leftover dishes from my catering job on the table. i freaked out. did the ironing trick. made it worse. bought howard’s restore a finish and some 0000 steel wool pads for about 15 bucks. amazing. like it never happened. a few rounds of elbow grease. thank goodness. THANK GOODNESS.

  772. Sakina says:

    WOW!!! can’t believe this worked so wonderfully… I bought a new table just couple months ago and there was a white heat stain since a week and it has been bothering me so much. It’s around 11:30 pm so you can imagine how badly I wanted the stain to be removed! The solution was so simple and it worked like a charm. I just took the iron on the highest setting with steam ON and ‘hovered’ around the stain as mentioned in the feedbacks. It looks like new πŸ™‚ I am tempted to hover the iron around the entire table LOL!!! thanks so much for posting this!!! I had to comment right after trying it! :))

  773. michelle says:

    I can’t believe this actually worked. I got several white marks on my table after paper plates with hot food. I thought my table was already ruined, so it was worth the risk to try it. It is a miracle how it works. Thanks for the tip.

  774. Rochelle says:

    We tried the hot steam iron and it just made the white circle bigger. We then tried the toothpaste trick and after several rounds, the table looks great!

  775. Patricia Pivovar says:

    Thanks for the help! The vaseline didn’t work. The mayo didn’t work. The white cloth and iron worked like magic: quick and easy. My antique desk looks as if I was never so stupid as to put a hot dish on it’s surface.

    Each person’s treasured wooden items are different and we rarely are able to determine how the surface was treated: so, we each face something a little different. I love that so many people use the internet to help others.

    Thanks and God bless you all.

  776. Kasper says:

    Thank you so much. I placed a pizza box on my parents table and noticed the scorch marks the day after and I panicked. This worked like a charm and like most other people, I didn’t believe it actually worked. But it did work and you saved me a lot of trouble. Thanks again.

  777. Jill M says:

    Really works. Took less than a minute with a dry t-shirt and a bit of steam. Very skeptical, but worked great.
    Thanks everyone.

  778. Tracy says:

    Holy cow! This worked πŸ˜€ thank you!! Kinda like fight fire with fire LOL The iron fixed the damage caused by the iron!

  779. Mike says:

    Sweet, worked perfect!

  780. Janice says:

    WOo Hoo! It worked instantly…so thankful!

  781. Kevin says:

    My wife was furious about the cloudy mark on our cherry wood dining table because I used a not-totally-dry table cloth. After the Thanksgiving hot food sat on top for a few hours, there were white cloudy marks everywhere. Your tips helped like a charm. Thanks a million.

  782. Dawn says:

    Thanks a gazillion. White mark from teapot my husband set directly on table (Notice the place mat was right there) Used the steam iron over towel for just about 10 secs. The white mark disappeared, thus saving my husbands life.

  783. Karen says:

    I put a warm cake pan on a tea towel on my oak dining room table and was horrified to find a huge white spot. I tried several suggested hints and nothing worked. I put a dry tea towel over the stain and ran the hot iron (witout steam) over it for about 5 minutes and it took the stain away. Thanks for the tip – it worked wonderfully well and I am so happy with the results.

  784. claire says:


  785. Barb says:

    Thank you, thank you for this tip. On Thanksgiving I put a hot dish on top of a placemat without thinking. When I removed the dish from my sidebar table there was a huge white ring. I tried the steam Iron remedy and it WORKED.

  786. Lisa says:

    After trying a few of the what I deemed safer concoctions (toothpaste, oil & vinegar, etc), I went for the dry iron method. No go. I then turned on the steam and voila! I have a mahogany stained dining table from Pottery Barn and while the texture is slightly different on the affected area, the stain is gone and it looks great. My brother in law who decided to put a pot of cooked potatoes on top of a towel on the table will be relieved. Thanks so much!!

  787. Michelle says:

    I recently purchased new furniture and recently placed a hot paper plate on one of the tables which caused a white stain. I tried several things such as the hair dryer, mayo and vasoline but nothing worked to remove the stain. I then tried straight toothpaste and voila! The stain is gone. It worked great. Can’t even see the stain at all. Thank you for the tip

  788. Stevee says:

    this so works, ironed over the spot it helped a little. Then i rubbed some olive oil on it, totally removed the spot you can even tell it was there. Thank you so much.

  789. Kristin says:

    OMG!!!! I was very upset when I saw the ring left after a paper plate was lifted with hot food. I thought my moms table (which I am just borrowing) was ruined. First thing I did the next mornign was try the trick with the dry iron and white cloth. At first it wasnt working, I tried doing just the steam no cloth, it also didnt work. Again I tried to the cloth and dry iron, but I unfolded the cloth so it was a thinner layer and TADA!!!! IT WORKED!!!!! Stain gone. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!

  790. Mary says:

    Worked like a charm!! Like many other posters, I tried all of the other methods (toothpaste/baking soda; mayonnaise; commercial products) on my $12K solid teak dining room table. I returned from a business trip to find out that my family had a takeout dinner (pizza). The box left an irregular 6″ palm sized blob of white and separate 2″ oval white opaque mark. Tried this method with success. It seemed to work after the wood became warm. I kept the iron(with continuous steam) moving at all times. Tried about five 30-second passes. The most stubborn stain (the oval) took the most time. Cleaned the table with manufacturer’s product and the table is now gleaming!

  791. A Jay says:

    My dining room table was my wife’s grandfather’s table when he was our age, so it is very nice and very old, and I ruined it a year and a half ago with an iron. Then this morning, my wife annihilated it when she ironed clothing on it in a rush to get to work. Now, both times we did not immediately see the damage because of using a towel on top of the tablecloth, (it covered up the stains). I don’t even think she knows yet what she did to it today. I noticed it, and I had previously tried Vaseline, mayonnaise, and even tried light steel wool, (tip: for professionals ONLY).

    When I first saw this post I thought, “No freakin’ way this will work, I RUINED IT WITH AN IRON!!” So, I first tried it with the iron on medium heat on a white t-shirt with steam. I was initially amazed at the results, “HOLY CRAP! THE STAIN IS GONE!!” I said out loud. But, much to my dismay, the stain reappeared within seconds before my eyes, and this time, it had company … lots and lots of company. I kept doing the same thing over and over again, but made it SO much worse. After reading through these comments, I decided to give it another go with no steam … didn’t do a thing. Then, I went back to steam, this time adding in the step to wipe immediately after I lifted the t-shirt with olive oil, (I had a clean towel set right next to my work area pre-loaded with olive oil). It is now an hour later, and it looks gorgeous … I crapped myself with excitement! This really, really works. If one method doesn’t work for you, try another of the combinations listed in these comments. Perseverance DOES PAY OFF!! I’m proof!

  792. Tracie says:

    Oh my gosh, this is amazing!!! I had a mark from around a year ago from a Chinese container and was devastated then. Then I ironed some clothes with a towel and was sickened when it left large white marks on the same table. I was so hesitant to try the steam, but it worked so well!!!! Amazing!!! Maya did not work. Oh and it is an oak table. Fantastic!

  793. Pete says:

    I was ironing a shirt on the (my parents) table and created the white stains. I found your page and it took some time for me to get the courage to put the iron back on it. I finally tried and it worked!!! I was amazed! Your tip save me having to replace their table. Thank you for this great tip.

  794. Maria says:

    Amazing! 15 seconds steam ironed over folder paper towel and heat ring disappeared! Followed up with olive oil and table looks brand new! Thank you!

  795. Denise says:

    Three awful white cloudy stains on my dark mango wood table from hot paper plates, tried the iron on high with a tea towel between and it worked! I rubbed it with olive oil when I was done and its like new again! Thanks so much! I am amazed it worked.

  796. Matt says:

    We spilled hot tea on our Rubber Wood table (purchased from Smiths Furniture, NL, Canada). The tea caused ‘cloud-like’ marks to appear (similar to what others are saying).

    I tried the ‘iron on a cloth’ solution and it worked great. I’ll be passing this idea onto the furniture store as they had no suggestions for me when I called. Thanks for all of your input.

  797. yoda says:

    I left a hot stam mop on my wood floor till it cooled down. It left a white triangle the shape of my mop on the wood floor. Yikes! We tried everything from baking soda, toothpaste, vinegar, oiive oil, to salt/soda pastes. The magic of removal came with the hot steam iron hovering over the white area. We were amazed! Thanks for the tips!

  798. Janet says:

    I have a set of lacquered, dark, soft wood furniture and two items were marked, one with a white heat ring from a cup from years ago and one, more recently, with heat haze from a takeaway container which had been nudged off the mat. The second mark made me think the days of the whole lot were numbered. I used a white cotton hankie, a steam generator type iron (any steam iron will do), non-silicone furniture polish and an old cotton tea-towel. I tried the ring first; put the hankie over it, hovvered the iron about an inch away and steamed for a couple of seconds, took the cloth away and it was better. Gaining a bit of encouragement, I dried it off and tried again for a bit longer. The mark disappeared and I was left with a slight dull area, but used the polish and dry tea-towel and the mark has completely gone. Repeated this on the heat haze and was left with no dull patch, but polished it anyway. I cannot believe this really works – it’s almost miraculous – it took no more than five minutes! You can’t tell anything has ever been wrong with them now. Many, many thanks for saving not only the two marked pieces, but the rest of a set comprising of a tall DVD/drawer unit, a small chest of drawers and a nest of tables. This tip is going into the compilation of household tips I will be passing on to my daughter and my son. Many thanks again. Janet πŸ™‚

  799. sam says:

    OMG yes it absolutely does work. Thank you so so much for posting this!!

  800. Weng johann says:

    Amazing! I was going crazy about removing the heat stain on our coffee table! When all else failed to work, I looked up in the Internet for help and I found from your site to steam the stain and IT WORKED! Thank you so much!!!!

  801. Shannon says:

    I can not thank you enough. My wonderful boyfriend has gone out of his way to create a beautiful home for my children and I. Having never had children of his own he took on the world at 49 when he took myself and my 3 too young for middle age children and, of course, they created on of those nasty heat marks on the beautiful oak dining set we picked out. Thankfully he was out tonight and never has to know that my heart failed when I lifted the table cloth and discovered the huge saucer sized mark. After the broken Tiffany base and bent shade I don’t think he was quite ready to handle the huge heat stain. You’re truly a lifesaver.

  802. Ann says:

    It’s a miracle! Thank you internet.

    I used a clean tea towel and steam iron on my teak table, badly stained by a hot plate of pancakes. The stain is gone. Magic!

  803. Judy says:

    I was worried about trying the iron on the table but put the towel down and used the steam and after two tries the stain came out. Thanks for the tip!

  804. MICHELLE says:


  805. Karin Latimer says:

    Just tried this out on our dining table and it worked a treat. Tried it with steam first but that made it worse. Tried it without steam and it worked great. I had to scour off the white layer between each attempt but it worked a treat. Coated the whole table in olive oil and then gave it a good polish. May need to coat it in beeswax to bring back some of the shine but the white marks are all gone. Thank you for this amazing tip. I would have had to buy a new table without it. Karin πŸ™‚

  806. Ilisa says:


  807. Sharon S. says:

    We’ve owned a very high end Danish modern wood dining table for nearly 20 years. When we bought it the funiture store sold us a cleaner. Within three weeks of using the table (and cleaner sparingly as suggested) it started to develop white spots. The furniture store blamed me, saying I spilled water on it, they recommended I write Denmark (I did, no answer). We tried EVERYTHING to get them off … and more kept emerging. Needless to say we were very dismayed, we loved the table, it was very expensive and it no longer looked presentable. I’d cover the top with table cloths (with liner under it) to hide the once beautiful wood, we even considered redoing the finish. Then I found this blog. I was scared to death to do it, but figured it could’nt look any worse. Using a very soft flannel night gown I applied my iron (set on high with a small amount of water in it-not enough to steam up or leak). Within seconds (literally) the first (and oldest) stain disappeared. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Several of them took a few minutes longer to get rid of (there was a small amount of dampness that I wiped immediately after removing the iron). I’m still not sure what caused the spots, I’ve always used trivets and coasters…always. My thought it that water got trapped under the place.. mats perhaps. All I know for sure is you saved our table!


  808. Barbara says:

    OMG it worked!! Wow, I am soooo happy! Thought my table was ruined. Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  809. Deanne says:

    Fantastic scorch mark on my bedside table from hot coffee cups brought to me in the morning! Very expensive bedside tables and had to put a cloth over it to cover the various marks but since trying this it gone is seconds, did try with steam on hot setting with a thin cloth underneath then I used beeswax polish and looks like new.
    Thanks so much now I will use it on my dining table.

    I have another tip if you have scratches in wood furniture use a walnut yes a walnut kernel and simply rub the broken kernel over the scratch and mark has gone.
    The oil from the walnut will blend in with any color wood and it is totally natural so wont harm any wood surface.

  810. Sharon says:

    Absolutely AMAZING! I thought I had ruined my sister’s piano bench by ironing on it leaving white heat marks. I tried oil and other things right away, but with NO success. I then put a towel over it and hoped it would disappear. Of course it didn’t! Today, with much trepidation, I used the steam heat with a thin towel and it worked! Thank you, thank you, thank you! And IF my sister knew, she would thank you too! πŸ™‚

  811. Stephanie says:

    I was house sitting for my future mother in law (I’m engaged) and I put a bag of fast food on her table…and then there was a huge ugly white blotch underneath. I didn’t have access to an iron, so I used their hairdryer to heat up the spot and most of it disappeared like magic! (I say ‘most’ because I didn’t get to finish…their hairdryer started sparking and I was afraid it was going to catch on fire.) The hairdryer trick is a great tip for people like me who break everything they touch, especially if you aren’t sure how an iron would work or don’t have one.

  812. Debbie says:

    Holy cow!!! THIS WORKS!!! I bought a beautiful golden oak dining room set second hand and it had A LOT of steam stains but I figured I would just keep it covered with a tablecloth because I got the entire set for such a good price. I used a thin white washcloth just to test one small area and now my table looks brand new!

  813. Gina @ Temporary Nest says:

    WOW! I thought I had ruined our newly refinished kitchen table. I was so disappointed! But not anymore!! I cannot believe this worked!! It’s like magic!! I’m going to tell EVERYONE i know about this! Thank you!!!

  814. Nicky says:

    THANK YOU ,THANK YOU , it worked like a dream …
    I was completely gob smacked …
    Now all I need to know is how do you get Match Burns out of table top , due to lighting candles ?

  815. Elisabeth says:

    I am curious to try this out now! Let’s see what happens.

  816. Elisabeth says:

    It worked! I can’t believe it, it was really a desperate attempt, but here is what I did: place dish towel flat on the table, start steam and hover about 1 inch about the towel for 10 seconds. It is a miracle! Thank you for posting this!

  817. Karen B. says:

    Ok WOW!

    After a solid month of agonizing over having put a heat ring on my boyfriend’s favorite end table, I fixed it in less than five minutes – including warm-up time for the iron and grabbing a towel – with this tip. I put the warm iron on top of the towel and pressed the steam button a couple of times as I moved the iron in a circular motion for about thirty seconds, tops. And voila!

    I keep going back and looking at it, not believing that that was all it took. God bless the internet!

  818. Penny says:

    WORKED!!!!!!! I have a Laura Ashley coffee table, wasnt sure if its solid wood as it has a Sheen to it. As my son said, it was completely wrecked anyway with a huge circular pizza white mark on it as well as small marks on other parts of the table. I tried rubbing polish in it with no difference. I though what the hell! I tried a singular cotton tea towel and had my old steam iron on full heat full of water. I held it as close as I could without touching the table but kept the iron moving in small circular movements until my old steam iron decided to kick out some steam. We then raised the tea towel and dried it quickly. At first it only made a small difference but with trial and error we saw major differences and then went back over the marks that still showed to some degree. Didn’t need to use polish or oil at all, although I had it ready and waiting. If at first you not succeed then keep trying this as it was wonderful…..especially with teenagers around the house, its a godsend!

  819. Joe says:

    We ordered pizza yesterday and when I lifted the box off the table it left a ton of white marks. I thought the table was ruined. I googled white spots on table and it brought me to this link. I can not tell you how HAPPY I am that the iron worked. All I did was take a dry towel and set the iron on it for a minute in each spot and it is gone. Thank you!!!!!!!

  820. Eileen byrd says:

    This is meant to be used on real wood only & you are to put something like a old tee shirt under it !