How to Fix Heat Burns on a Dining Room Table

A hot dish or pan placed directly on a wood table may leave white marks, or heat burns.

Method One

Protect wood tables with trivets and tablecloths.Protect wood tables with trivets and tablecloths.
These burns can be repaired in a couple of different ways with simple household items -- and can be avoided altogether by using trivets and table protector pads. Spilled water also can cause white spots on furniture, and the treatment for removing them is the same. Test cleaning products on an inconspicuous area before treating valuable or antique furniture.

Mix rottenstone and boiled linseed oil in a bowl to create a paste the consistency of peanut butter. Rottenstone is a mildly abrasive powder used in furniture refinishing and household cleaning. Boiled linseed oil is made from flax extracts and solvents. It moisturizes and protects wood and dries slowly, preventing abrasion damage from the rottenstone. Find both at hardware stores that carry wood finishing products.

Apply a dime-size amount of paste to the stain and rub gently with a piece of 3/0 steel wool.

Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Method 2

Moisten a clean cloth with household ammonia. Ammonia's corrosive and abrasive action removes the stain without leaving a residue.

Wipe the cloth quickly across the heat burn.

Wipe again with a damp cloth and then dry with a clean cloth.

Things You Will Need

  • Rottenstone
  • Boiled linseed oil
  • 3/0 steel wool
  • Soft clean cloths
  • Ammonia


  • Repair cigarette burns or deep burns by scraping off the burnt area, sanding and refinishing the wood.

About the Author

Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."