How to Clean Rust Stains From White Wooden Tables

Old wooden tables are frequently painted white to cover imperfections or disguise an otherwise unattractive furniture style. The table can be slightly distressed or coated in satin paint or lacquer. The wood itself won't rust, of course, but if a rusty item is placed on top of the table, it can stain the paint. You'll need to clean off the rust stains without stripping the finish.

White Vinegar

Rust stains can mar an otherwise pristine white surface.

Step 1

Pour 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of water into a spray bottle. 

Step 2

Spray the mixture on the stain and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. 

Step 3

Scrub the surface lightly with a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush.  Keep spritzing the area to keep it moist.

Step 4

Wipe any vinegar residue from the table with clean water and a rag. 

Borax or Washing Soda

Step 1

Apply a layer of Borax or washing soda to the stain. 

Step 2

Spray water or white vinegar on top and allow it to sit for five minutes. 

Step 3

Scrub the stain with a soft-bristled brush until the rust fades.  Repeat the process if the stain persists.

Step 4

Soak a clean rag in plain water and wipe away all residue from the surface. 

Things You Will Need

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubber gloves
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Rag
  • Borax or washing soda

About the Author

Alec Preble began writing professionally in 2007. He began blogging in 2006, writing media reviews for the "Post-Standard" from 2007-2008. Preble received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Empire State College in 2005.

Photo Credits

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