Magically Remove Hazy White Stains on a Wood Table
I MUST share what I learned this weekend with you. It was absolutely amazing!! No joke!
I learned how to easily remove the hazy white stains on my dining table. No really….they are gone!
I inherited my Nana’s dining room table years ago. And with it, all of the scratches and stains it had acquired over the years. I don’t know if the table has any monetary value, but there is a lot of sentimental value. So I want to keep it in good condition.
The hazy white stains have really bothered me over the years. They really make the table look horrible. I feel I need to hide them, so I cover them using tablecloths, placemats, and table runners. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love table linens, but sometimes I would like to just have a bare, wood table.
So, I researched ways to remove hazy white stains on dining tables and decided on a method that uses an iron. It seemed to go against anything I thought would work. I mean – I would literally be ironing a wood table – crazy!
But guess what – it worked!!!
Before I get ahead of myself… hazy white stains are caused by moisture trapped between the finish on your table, and the wood itself. They are caused by water or condensation sitting directly on the wood. For example, condensation dripping off ice-cold water glasses, or hot food plates resting on the table. This is why using coasters, hot pads, and other coverings is very important on wood tables.
Here is the low-down on what I did…
How to remove hazy white stains
*Disclaimer – this worked for me, it is not a guarantee that you will have the same results
First, clean the surface of your table. You want to make sure that it is free of dirt and food particles.
What you will need: clean white cotton cloth and an iron.
If you have multiple hazy white stains (like I did), start with the most inconspicuous one.
Empty your iron of any water. You don’t want to accidently use the steam setting. You will just be using the heat setting on the iron.
Heat your iron to medium, or the cotton/poly setting. (Depending on your iron, you might need to increase the heat to the cotton setting, but work your way hotter, if you don’t see the results at the medium setting.)
Once your iron is hot – cover the stain with your clean cloth. *I recommend starting with your cloth folded in half, so there were two layers of fabric. You want to be cautious, as you won’t know how the stain or your table will react until you start. You can always unfold it if you aren’t seeing results.
Next, iron on the cloth, directly over the white stain. Be sure to constantly move the iron. *VERY IMPORTANT – DON’T let the iron rest or sit in one place. You don’t want to accidentally damage the table’s finish.
Do this for about 10 seconds. Move the iron and cloth off the table to see if there has been any change. Really this is to make sure that your cloth isn’t sticking to the finish and that you start to feel comfortable with the process.
Repeat: cover the stain with the cloth, iron for 10 seconds, and take a look. If nothing is happening and the cloth isn’t sticking to the table, increase the ironing to 15 seconds. *Remember to constantly move the iron, don’t let it sit or stop.
You want to take your time with this process and not rush it.
Continue to repeat this process for one to two minutes. You should start to see the stain shrink. If you don’t, either unfold the cloth to just one layer of fabric or increase the heat setting on your iron. Don’t do both at the same time. See how making one change affects the stain removal process.
Your table will get very hot using this method, so feel free to take a short break, if you think it is getting too hot, or if the finish starts to feel tacky at all.
As my stain was beginning to disappear, I unfolded my cloth and just used one layer of fabric as I felt that it needed more heat to remove the moisture. When I did this, I constantly checked my progress and didn’t iron for longer than 10 seconds at a time.
It probably took me 10 – 15 minutes to remove my first hazy white stain. I didn’t want to work too quickly and damage the table even more than it was, and I wanted to make sure that I had the process down.
As you can see by my pictures, there were a lot of hazy white stains on this table! And they had been there for years – they weren’t new stains.
Once I had all the stains removed, I polished the table. WOW! It looks amazing compared to when I started!! My family couldn’t believe the difference. Just a little elbow grease and less than an hour of work to transform this old table.
Good luck with your hazy white stains. I hope this method works for you too!