How to Get Marks Off of a Wood Table

Written by jaimie zinski
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A wood dining table or end table can add beauty and function to any room of a house. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and these tables can become stained and marked from water rings, soda spills and cigarette burns. When left alone, these stains can cause permanent damage to the potentially expensive wood piece. Removing any of these marks can be accomplished at home without the need for expensive cleaning products.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Feather duster
  • Cloths
  • 1 tbsp toothpaste
  • Cotton swabs
  • Ammonia
  • Paste wax
  • Boiled linseed oil
  • Rottenstone
  • Small bowl

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    Water Marks

  1. 1

    Remove any dirt or debris from the wood table with a soft cloth or feather duster.

  2. 2

    Place 1 tbsp toothpaste, not gel, onto the corner of a damp cloth.

  3. 3

    Rub the toothpaste into the water mark in a circular motion.

  4. 4

    Remove the toothpaste with a damp cloth.

    Soda and Alcohol Marks

  1. 1

    Dip a cotton swab into ammonia.

  2. 2

    Work the ammonia into the stains. This will remove some of the stickiness that is associated with soda spills.

  3. 3

    Wipe the ammonia away with a damp cloth.

  4. 4

    Work paste wax into the area with your fingers or a piece of paper towel.

  5. 5

    Wipe the wood piece clean with a damp cloth.

    Cigarette Burn Marks

  1. 1

    Combine 1-part boiled linseed oil and 1-part rottenstone, a type of powdered limestone used for polishing, in a small bowl.

  2. 2

    Dip a cotton swab into the mixture and work it into the burn mark. Move in the direction of the wood's grain.

  3. 3

    Rub the mixture away with a damp cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Offer family members and guests coasters for their drinks. This will prevent water marks from forming.

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