Spilled some oily salad dressing on a wood table that was not varnished or sealed in any way. Not sure the type of wood - it almost looks like teak, but I don't believe it is.

We used water on the spill right away, but some of the oil seeped into the wood and has now stained it. This table is already stained with other food spills, but this salad dressing spill is the largest.

What would be the best way to get this stain out, aside from refinishing the table.

I did read somewhere about using an iron with a tea towel, but I believe that's only for water damage.

3 Answers 3


I think there's something in between getting the stain out and "refinishing" the table, and that's applying a food-safe oil finish to the entire table. You could wipe on (and back off) some linseed oil, tung oil, or even more salad dressing for that matter. This would be a lot less effort than any kind of refinishing and should do a lot to make the stains look less obvious.

Note that I'm assuming that, since the wood table has no current finish it's not a museum piece or anything and is meant to look a little rustic.


I have used Mineral Spirits before to remove oil stains. You do have to let it soak in and use something like a paper towel, kitty litter, or stay dry to soak up the oil as it comes out of the wood. Just be careful and not make it worse by spreading the stain.


I actually found light sanding worked to get out most of the stains. Used 150 grit sandpaper.

You could see the area that had been sanded, but we ended up giving the whole top a light sanding and will likely oil it to balance out the finish.

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