Wood is a top choice among furniture materials because it is timeless and versatile. Natural solid wood furniture can elevate a simple room into a classic elegant beauty. While wood is beautiful, it also has disadvantages—it is prone to staining and damage.
One of the most common causes of wood surface damage is heat stain. It is a light discoloration on the surface of any wooden furniture due to heat and moisture. This is the result when hot items like hot dishes, hot coffee, and even a pizza box, sit on the surface of wooden furniture for an extended period.
Heat stains can be troublesome to many furniture owners and at times, difficult to remove. Luckily, there are also a number of home remedies that help remove these white spots.
Heat Stains vs. Heat
You may think it is counterintuitive, but one of the effective ways of removing heat marks from wood is to apply more heat to heat stains. To do this, you can pick either of these common items at home, a hairdryer or an iron.
If you’re using a hairdryer, simply point it over the white spot until it disappears. Make sure you have set your hairdryer at its lowest heat setting and slowly pan it evenly over the stain.
For the iron method, make sure to have a piece of cloth at your disposal. It does not matter whether it is a small towel or an old T-shirt so long as it can completely cover the heat stain. Set your iron on low heat and run it over the cloth for a few minutes. Check every now and then to see if the stain has disappeared. Repeat this process if the heat marks on the wood are still visible.
Heat Stains vs. Toothpaste
Toothpaste could also remove heat marks on wooden furniture. It is because toothpaste is alkaline, and heat stains react to it uniquely.
If you have white, non-gel toothpaste, apply it directly to the affected area. Make sure that you have prepped the area with heat stains by wiping it clean and dry. Let the toothpaste sit on the heat mark for 10 minutes before wiping it away with a clean cloth. Don’t apply too much pressure as you wipe.
Heat Stains vs. Baking Soda Paste
If the toothpaste method does not work and the stain persists, then it is probably time for a tougher solution. Mixing baking soda with toothpaste creates a more powerful paste that will yield better results.
Mix your toothpaste with baking soda in a bowl until it forms a thick paste. Depending on the toothpaste brand, a small amount of water might be needed in the mixing process. Lather the paste on the heat mark then leave it for 10 minutes. Wipe the area with a clean cloth.
Ditching the toothpaste and simply mixing baking soda and water is another alternative. Same as the earlier solutions, rub the paste into the heat mark, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it clean.
Heat Stain vs. Oil-Based Product
Some oil-based products may help you remove heat marks on your wooden furniture. Products like petroleum jelly and mayonnaise, while unpopular and unconventional options, can work wonders and bring out your desired outcome.
To do this, get an ample amount of your oil-based product to cover the heat mark. Apply it to the affected area and leave it overnight. Wipe it with a clean cloth the next day.
Heat Stain vs. Lemon Oil
A number of people would also swear by lemon oil as an alternative to removing heat stains. With the help of fine-grade steel wool, apply a few drops of lemon oil and rub it back and forth against the wood, following the grain of the wood. If you think that fine-grade steel wool might cause you another problem, here's an assurance: it will not damage the finish of your wooden furniture.
Heat Stain vs. Salt
Salt is known to be a cleaning agent and is also a powerful ingredient in removing heat marks on wooden surfaces.
Removing heat stains using salt comes in with a couple of options. You can use it as a substitute ingredient in making a baking soda paste or you can use it with olive oil to form another kind of paste.
If you opt for a salt-olive oil paste, just apply it to the heat mark and allow it to sit for an hour. Use a clean wet towel to wipe it clean afterward.
Heat Stain vs. Wood Restoration
We provided six quick, DIY home remedies to remove heat marks on wood furniture. However, there are heat stains that could be more stubborn and much tougher than other stains. For that, an overall wood restoration is the option to go to treat deep heat marks requiring extensive treatment.
To do this, you need to sand down the affected area enough to get the stain off the wood. In this process, the wood finish will be inevitably removed. So, make sure to reapply a wood finish after sanding.
Heat Stain Prevention
As an old adage goes: "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure." Heat stains—and all the remedies you need to do to get rid of them—can be avoided if to make sure you do not subject the wood to heat and moisture.
Constant use of coasters, placemats, heat mats and other similar items is a good practice to prevent heat stains from appearing.