How to Remove Scratches From Wood with Vinegar and Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil and white distilled vinegar

Vinegar mixed with olive oil is one of the most effective natural solutions for removing scratches from wood. In this post, you will see exactly how to use this method.

These are the basic steps for how to remove scratches from wood with vinegar and olive oil:

1. Mix two parts of distilled white vinegar and one part of olive oil in a bowl

2. Dip a microfiber cloth into the mixture

3. Wipe the soaked cloth on the scratch

The mixture will seep into the wood and mask the scratch marks.

By staining the scratch marks, they should look faded the color of the scratches should be more aligned with the color of the rest of the wood.

You can repeat this process multiple times to further camouflage the scratch.

Step-by-step visuals of the vinegar and olive oil solution

There was a small table in the living room that had a scratch that needed to be treated. This is what the process of applying the solution looked like. 

Scratch in the wood before the solution was applied: 

Deep scratch in wood

Second view of deep scratch in wood

The mixture of vinegar and olive oil was mixed up in this cup. We used Trader Joe’s extra virgin olive oil and Signature white distilled vinegar. You can find other brands for these products on Amazon

Vinegar and olive oil

The solution was applied with a clean cloth. 

Applying olive oil and vinegar solution

This is what the crack looked like after the solution was applied:

Final result after solution was applied

Related: Bondo vs Wood Filler: When to Use Each

Why vinegar and olive oil is an effective scratch removal solution

White vinegar will help to stain the scratches so that they blend in with the rest of the wood. Olive oil acts as a finish and can protect the wood surface as well. The two components act as a dynamic duo.

This is certainly one of the many natural remedies for scratches in wood, and can be quite effective for shallow scratches. For deep scratches, depending on where the surface is (floor, furniture, etc), you may want to use wood filler.

Although it probably goes without saying, vinegar and olive oil is good for restoring scratches by tainting the stain’s color but it won’t do anything to fill in the scratches themselves.

Tips to keep in mind

If you have multiple scratches to take care of, keep in mind that you may want to just try this solution to one scratch or part of a scratch first just to see how it affects the wood. If the result looks good, then certainly proceed to apply the mixture to other scratches. However, if it turns out a shade of color that you aren’t very happy with, obviously you may want to consider a different method for the rest of the scratch marks.

Variations of this approach

There are a few variations of this approach that are worth considering especially if you don’t have olive oil and/or white vinegar.

Household alternatives to white vinegar include apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinaigrette for restoring dark wood.

Household alternatives to olive oil include vegetable oil and canola oil. Conveniently, most people have at least one type of oil in their kitchen that they can work with.

Final words

Note that while this solution can be great for furniture and wood floors, keep in mind that for tough scratches, a more effective solution could be a scratch remover solution that you can purchase at a hardware store. However, you can certainly try olive oil and vinegar first if it’s already available in your kitchen before purchasing a potentially more effective solution.



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