DeeDee
DeeDee
  • Hometalker
  • Decatur, TX

Removing White Heat Marks From Your Table Top

3 Materials
$0
5 Minutes
Easy

Our solid wood table is old and has been very well used, it was like that when we bought it on Craigslist about 7 years ago. When we bought it, we had the intention of refinishing it. It's seven years later and I still have not done that. I'm going to try and get it done soon because this trick I use to remove these white heat marks is starting not to work as well as they have been in the past.

Here's another table I refinished and I'm thinking this one will get just about the same treatment.

removing white heat marks from your table top
The table actually had white marks when we got it.  The lady we bought it from said that was why she was selling it.  I didn't mind because I was already planning on refinishing it anyway.  We got the table and chairs for $125. Bargain!

The white marks you see here have arrived over a long period of time.  I get to the point where I hate looking at them and then I do the magic trick!  I found this idea way back when on Pinterest and it has worked each time.
removing white heat marks from your table top
That big circle mark there is what pushed me to making the spots disappear this time and I thought I'd document it and share it with you in case you needed to know how to magically remove white heat spots from your table.  To repair these white marks, all you will need is an iron that has a steam setting and a smooth kitchen towel.

These pots are created by sitting hot items on the table.  Yes, I do use pot holders, but sometimes if the item is hot enough and sits there long enough, it makes the mark due to the steamy condensation that builds up in the top layer of finish that is old and breaking down on our table.  The finish on our table is wearing very thin from all the use and the heat marks happen more often now.  Ironically enough, you also use hot, moist heat to fix them!
removing white heat marks from your table top
You want to use a towel that is pretty much smooth so you don't give the top layer of your finish any texture while trying to repair your white marks.  The towel I'm using has been washed to death and is going on thread bare and I now use it for things like this.  I've read that you can also use an old t-shirt or wax paper but this old towel is what works best for me each time.

  • Step 1 - Fill your iron with distilled water and set to a medium setting.

  • Step 2 - Lay the towel over the white mark and "iron" using slow continuous motions, don't just hold the iron still over the spot, keep moving.  It will take just a few minutes to work, so keep checking often to see if the spot has disappeared.
removing white heat marks from your table top
Totally gone now!  The very first time I tried this, I was amazed it actually worked.  It's magical!
removing white heat marks from your table top
You can still see some very light spots on there but like I said, the finish on the table is wearing thin and it really needs to be refinished.  For now, this method works for me one more time until it warms up enough to be out in the shop!

I've recently read that you can also use a hair dryer to remove the marks too, I might try that next time to see if it will work.

Have you ever removed white heat marks from your table before?  What is your method?  Let me know! :)

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DeeDee

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 14 questions
  • Gail Hill
    on Dec 5, 2018

    How do you remove a black circle off a white stressed table?

    • DeeDee
      on Dec 6, 2018

      Hi Gail! I'm not really sure. I guess it would depend on what the black circle is. It would be best to go out and post your question in the "ask a question area" to get a better response. :)

  • Janet
    on Feb 10, 2019

    I have a white ring on my coffee table, not sure if it's from a hot coffee cup or a water mark. Will this work on it?

    • DeeDee
      on Feb 11, 2019

      Hi Janet! I'm not sure, but it would be worth the try just to see if it would. Good luck! :)

  • Julie
    17 hours ago

    I did exactly how your instructions state and now I have a white spot in the iron shape! UGGGG

    • DeeDee
      31 minutes ago

      Hi Julie! I'm so sorry about that! You must keep the iron moving around, you shouldn't just hold it there. :(



      • Step 1 - Fill your iron with distilled water and set to a medium setting.


      • Step 2 - Lay the towel over the white mark and "iron" using slow continuous motions, don't just hold the iron still over the spot, keep moving. It will take just a few minutes to work, so keep checking often to see if the spot has disappeared.


Join the conversation

4 of 62 comments
  • Kris Tea
    on Jul 10, 2018

    I just noticed an old desk in the living room had large white circles on it. Thought it was some kind of stain from spilt coffee. I tried to scrap it off and probably ruined the top. Then a few days later I notice another area on the table top doing it. I had left a sweatshirt on top of the desk. After I removed the shirt the stain magically went away after a day and some air! But after reading this article I finally know what these white stains are called! Thank you!

  • Bonnie
    on Dec 31, 2018

    I have a coffee table I want to sell so yes I am looking forward to trying this

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