How to get rid of heat marks on tables

Something as simple as a hot cup of coffee or a warm plate can leave unsightly heat marks on tables. Excessive heat causes the table to warm, which in turn changes its colour and leaves a cloudy, white discolouration. Even though heat marks do not affect the functionality of the table, they will cause the table to appear dull and dingy. Fortunately, common and inexpensive items can remove the heat marks and restore the look of the table.

Squeeze a generous dollop of white, non-gel toothpaste in a bowl. Add 1 tsp of baking soda at a time until a thick paste forms.

Dip the corner of a damp cloth in the paste and begin rubbing the heat marks for several minutes. Continue rubbing until the marks begin to warm.

Wipe the table clean with a clean cloth dampened with water. Repeat the process until you have removed the heat marks off the table.

Pour 1/2 cup of lemon juice into a bowl. Add a 3 to 4 tsp of cigarette ashes to the juice and stir with a spoon.

Dip a damp sponge in the mixture and begin rubbing the discolourations. Continue rubbing until the heat marks are no longer visible.

Wipe the mixture off the table with damp paper towels.

Rub the heat rings with a fine piece of 000-grade steel wool. Rub with the wood's grain for several passes.

Examine the heat stains and every pass you make with the steel wool. Repeat the process until the discolouration is no longer visible.

Buff wood polish and wax on the table as you normally would.

Things You'll Need

  • White, non-gel toothpaste
  • Bowl
  • Baking soda
  • Cloths
  • Lemon juice
  • Cigarette ash
  • Paper towel
  • Fine 000-grade steel wool
  • Wood polish
  • Wood wax
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About the Author

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.