Furniture First Aid

spilled wine

As much as we’d like to keep our home decor clean and pristine, common day-to-day activities make that quite the task! You’re bound to encounter spills from a tipped coffee to stains from fallen food to scratches while entertaining. Accidents happen. Here are some tips on fixing some furniture misadventures:



White stains on wood indicate that moisture is trapped beneath the finish – perhaps from a previous spill or wet glass. To draw the moisture out, immediately place a mound of salt over the area, cover with a towel, and apply a warm iron or hair dryer upon it until the ring disappears.


Find a shoe polish that matches the shade of the wood. Apply it onto the area and buff with a soft cloth. If you’re in a pinch, you can also use wax crayons!


For wax-based spills, allow it to cool until it hardens. Freeze the wax by applying ice within a plastic bag over the area. Gently scrape off the wax with a butter knife or rubber spatula. For alcohol-based spills, a little speed is necessary as the alcohol may harm the wood finish. Blot (don’t rub) the area with a cloth as much as possible. Apply a bit of ammonia to any damaged areas.



For alcohol stains, cover the area with salt and let sit until the wine has been absorbed. Scoop up the salt (preferably with a vacuum) and repeat the process until the stain has been lifted. Blot the area with a cloth dampened with water and dish soap. For oil-based stains, cover the area with baking soda and wait for the oil to be wicked up. Remove the baking soda and repeat as necessary. Blot the area with rubbing alcohol or dry-cleaning solvent.


For the common drink-spill, use a white cloth and repeatedly blot the area until the liquid has been lifted. The white cloth will prevent any dye transfer between the two fabrics.

For a wax-based spill, freeze the wax using the method mentioned above and remove it carefully with tweezers. If the wax leaves behind a stain, blot the area with dry-cleaning solvent or rubbing alcohol.



Leather upholstery usually comes with a stain-resistant coating. However, this can wear out over time leaving the leather vulnerable to discoloration. If you find yourself with a pesky leather stain, try rubbing the area with an all-purpose household cleaner. To prevent fading, make sure the cleaner contains no bleach.


A scratch on leather is difficult to rid of completely. However,  you can apply saddle soap on the area to help the scratch blend in. The wax within the soap will help mask the damaged area.

First Aid Kit

  • Baking soda
  • Butter knife
  • Clear all-purpose household cleaner (without bleach)
  • Clear dish-soap
  • Clear, unscented ammonia
  • Paste shoe polish
  • Paste wax
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Saddle soap
  • Soft white cloths
  • Table salt
  • Wax crayons


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