How to Remove Rubber Feet Stains from Wood

Patty asked: How do I get a stain from the rubber feet on a clock radio off of a light maple bedside table? A cheap clock radio’s protective feet left black circles on my son’s light maple bedside table. Is there any way to remove these stains without completely refinishing the table? I also have these stains on a maple kitchen cabinet.

When rubber transfers to the surface of wooden furniture, it is best to treat it like a scuff mark. There are a couple of different items that can be used to remove the rubber from the surface. Follow these steps for a quick and easy fix.

Lemon Oil Method

You Will Need:

  • Lemon oil
  • Super fine steel wool (#0000)
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Rubber Spots:


  1. Start by testing the lemon oil on a hidden area. Although it’s a common wood polishing oil, it may react differently with each surface. If there are no color changes or undesirable effects, it is safe to proceed to the stained area.
  2. Use the soft cloth to apply a liberal amount of lemon oil to the surface. The oil will protect the surface during the stain removal process.
  3. Use the super fine steel wool to gently rub the rubber stain away. Do not apply too much pressure or you will risk damaging and scratching the finish on the surface.
  4. Once the rubber is removed, wipe the area clean with a soft cloth.
  5. Use another clean, soft cloth moistened with water to remove any remaining residue.

Using Commercial Products for Stain Removal

You Will Need:

Steps to Remove the Rubber Spots:

  1. Begin by moistening the Magic Eraser with clean water.
  2. Gently rub the sponge over the marks. Do not apply too much pressure or you may remove some of the protective coating, causing a more permanent mark.
  3. Once the rubber marks are removed, polish the area with a quality furniture polish.
  4. If the Magic Eraser is not available, or you would like another option, WD-40 can be used as well. The lubricant in the WD-40 will help the rubber to release from the surface.
  5. To use this, apply a small amount of WD-40 to the soft cloth.
  6. Gently rub it over the surface.
  7. The WD-40 will remove the scuff marks and polish the wood at the same time.
  8. Wipe away any residue with a clean portion of the cloth.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Depending on the amount of rubber left behind, some have found tennis balls work well to rub away the stains.
  • These same methods can be used for removing rubber scuff marks from wood floors, baseboards and doors as well.
  • The lemon oil method is also useful for removing rubber scuff marks and stains from furniture feet on linoleum flooring. Again, test a hidden area to ensure there are no unwanted effects from the oil application.


  1. Chuck says:

    Take a piece of cotton cloth, spray WD-40 on it and lightly rub the rubber foot marks. This will probably take several applications. Do not scrape! Patience will give excellent results.

  2. Robert says:

    I have a similar stain problem: a black USB cable is leaving purple stains on different surfaces. The glossy paper bookmark was no big loss, but it’s also stained multiple lines on the back of my Kindle Touch. Any suggestions?

  3. Ken says:

    I tried the WD-40 method on some heavy rubber stains on some wood furniture. The rubber was melted onto the wood surface. Instead of a cloth, I used a square of paper towel.

    I sprayed it and let it sit for a bit, then rubbed the spots, which came out. The paper towel got coated quick, so I had to keep turning it. And, using my fingernails helped as the spots were really thick. But they all came out with a little elbow grease.

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