How to Repair Wood Furniture That Has a White Steam Mark on it

No matter how beautiful or expensive your furniture may be, a single white steam mark can ruin the entire impression it creates. Steam marks occur when something hot is placed on the surface, causing steam to form under and in the varnish.

There are several methods for removing these, but the easiest and perhaps most effective method—using a steam iron—seems completely counterintuitive. With minimal effort, you can restore your wood furniture to its former glory in minutes.

  1. Wash the furniture surfaces thoroughly. Rinse and dry.

  2. Fill the reservoir on the steam iron with distilled water and turn the iron on. Let the iron heat up until the indicator light shows it has reached a sufficient temperature to generate steam.

  3. Fold the thick cotton cloth into a rectangle slightly bigger than the iron sole plate (bottom) and place on the white mark. Place the steam iron on the cloth in steam mode and hold for 45 to 60 seconds.

  4. Lift the cloth and monitor the progress. Repeat the process until the white mark is removed completely.

  5. Polish your furniture as usual.

  6. Tip

    Use hot pads or trivets to protect wood furniture from hot dishes and pots. Be aware that a metal trivet with feet will transfer the heat into the wood, creating white marks and defeating your protective efforts.


    Do not leave the iron in one place more than 45 to 60 seconds at a time. Always use thick, folded, cotton cloth between the iron and furniture surface. Do not leave iron unattended. Unplug iron when not in use.