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How to Remove Scratches from Wood with Vinegar, Lemon or Toothpaste

Wood is used in making furniture, walls, and floors making it vulnerable to scratches, dents, marks, and gouges. You can’t avoid this especially when wood is found in high traffic areas in a home. But for shallow scratches and marks, there is an everyday home item that you can use. This is no other than vinegar. This guide will show you how to remove common scratches, marks, and stains on wood using common items especially vinegar.

Vinegar, the wonder household cleaner

Vinegar is acetic acid and is known for its ability to zest up dishes. It is also a popular household item for cleaning, deodorizing, stain removal and marks removal. When you have wooden furniture, floors or walls with small scratches and marks, vinegar can help.

Things you’ll need

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Steel wool
  • Lemon oil
  • Toothpaste


Using vinegar for scratch removal

Source: https://www.amazon.com/Heinz-25664-Distilled-White-Vinegar/dp/B001QD5XHK

Vinegar’s acidic nature allows it to naturally remove marks, dull spots and dirt. When marks are very shallow and have dirt and grime on them, you can apply vinegar directly on the area. You don’t need to worry about damaging nearby wood because acetic acid is so mild.

Use white vinegar or apple cider. You may use a soft cloth; use a small amount of vinegar and apply this on the scratches. Rub the vinegar gently; work towards the grain. You may repeat the steps if the stain persists. Use a soft cloth damp with water and rinse the area.

Remove scratches with baking soda and vinegar

Another equally effective stain removal household item is baking soda. You may have leftover ingredients for a cake or bread; you can use this for scratches and stain removal. Baking soda may be combined with water to create a thick paste or with vinegar for an equally-effective solution for marks and scratches.

Step 1

Combine part baking soda and part vinegar in a bowl and mix well to make a paste.

Source: https://www.thegfcflady.com/2009/04/26/epsom-salt-lotion/

Step 2

Take a small amount of paste and place this on a soft dry cloth. Rub the cloth on the surface of the wood to remove the scratches. Inspect the scratches; repeat the steps as necessary.

Source: https://www.hirerush.com/blog/how-to-remove-water-stains-from-wood/

Step 3

Use a clean dry cloth to remove the baking soda and vinegar paste. Use another cloth to buff the surface to make it shiny.

Source: https://www.hirerush.com/blog/how-to-remove-water-stains-from-wood/

Remove scratches and marks with toothpaste

Aside from vinegar, toothpaste also makes a good household item for removing marks and scratches. The gel-like consistency of toothpaste and its baking soda content makes a good cleaner and scratch remover. Just apply a small amount on the spot.

Step 1

Use your fingers to rub toothpaste to the stains and marks on wood. Work in the same direction as the grain.

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Source: https://www.hirerush.com/blog/how-to-remove-water-stains-from-wood/

Step 2

Gently rub the toothpaste. Remove it with a moistened cloth to rinse the paste from the surface of the wood.

Source: https://somedayilllearn.com/remove-water-stains/

Step 3

Wipe this with a clean and dry cloth or towel. Check the stain if it has been removed. Repeat the steps if needed.

Source: https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/cleaning/how-to-clean-wood-furniture

Using lemon oil for scratches on wood

Lemon oil is a great household item that can be used to deal with scratches and stains on wood furniture. This can also remove dirt and grime which is why its common in detergent and dishwashing liquid products. You can use lemon oil on its own or you may add a few drops to your dishwashing liquid for removing stains and marks.

Step 1

Put lemon oil on the affected area using steel wool available.

Source: https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/cost-savers/7-homemade-hardwood-floor-cleaners/

Step 2

Use this to rub in the direction of the wood grain. Never rub briskly or roughly because this may damage the finish of the wooden piece you are working on.

Source: https://blog.helpling.it/consigli-per-pulire/olio-cocco-un-grande-alleato-pulizie-eco-friendly/

Step 3

Use a clean cloth to remove the oil from the surface of the wood. If the stain remains, repeat the application. Continue until you have effectively removed the marks.

Source: https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/cleaning/how-to-clean-wood-furniture


Scratches on wooden furniture, walls, and flooring are very predictable. Which is why most pieces are stained and finished with lacquer or varnish. But if scratches persist, you must treat these right away to avoid making scratches and marks worse.

  • December 29, 2018
  • DIY