How Do I Remove Stains from a Dining Table?

Most people use their dining room tables for much more than eating. Children often sit at the table to do their homework, the table can serve as a buffet if you're having a party or you may use the table for hobbies such as sewing or scrapbooking. A dining table sees a lot of action in most homes, and stains are inevitable on any well-used table. How you remove the stain from your dining table depends on the type and severity of the stain.

Place a thick, clean cloth directly on top of the water stain.

Press a warm, dry iron gently onto the cloth.

Repeat the process if the stain remains.

Wash the stain with warm water and a mild detergent. Rinse with clean water and dry the table thoroughly with a towel.

Soak a clean cloth in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe the stain.

Apply a commercial wood cleaner to your dining room table using a clean rag. Wipe the cleaner into the grain of the wood. Remove any excess cleaner using paper towels.

Mop up as much grease as possible from your table using paper towels.

Put some ice cubes directly on the spill to cause the grease to congeal.

Or, as an alternative, pour salt onto the grease stain and leave the salt to absorb the grease.

Gently scrape the congealed grease off the dining table using a dull knife.

Or, for the salt procedure, remove the salt from the stain and repeat the process if the grease stain remains.

Blot the oil from the table as soon as possible after the spill. Use paper towels or newspaper to make sure you absorb as much oil as you can from the table.

Soak a clean rag in wood-cleaning solvent and place the rag directly onto the stain.

Let the rag sit on the stain for approximately five minutes, then wipe away. Clean the area with a multipurpose cleaner.

Squeeze some toothpaste directly onto the crayon stain.

Gently rub the toothpaste into the stain using a clean rag.

Wipe the toothpaste off the table with a second clean rag and dry the table thoroughly with a towel.


Work quickly to avoid new stains from setting. Test an inconspicuous area of the dining table with your chosen cleaning product before attending to the stain. Some products can discolour the wood and make the table look patchy. To protect your table from future spills, give the wood a coat of polish or wax after the stain is gone. This can also liven up your table if it appears dull after cleaning.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean cloths
  • Iron
  • Mild detergent
  • Towel
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Commercial wood cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Ice
  • Salt
  • Dull knife
  • Newspaper
  • Wood-cleaning solvent
  • Multipurpose cleaner
  • Toothpaste
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About the Author

Writing since 2009, Catherine Hiles is a British writer currently living Stateside. Her articles appear on websites covering topics in animal health and training, lifestyle and more. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Chester in the United Kingdom.