7 Natural Ways to Remove Scratches From Wood

Interested in removing scratches from wood without using harsh solutions? Fortunately, there are a few natural ways to remove scratches from wood without damaging the furniture in the process. 

Better yet, chances are that most of these solutions can be found around your house. Let’s dive in.


Walnuts can actually be used to remove scratches from wood. It’s a super easy way to treat scratches and walnuts are conveniently a household item for many.

Simply crack a walnut open and rub it along the scratch. The idea is to make sure the nut’s natural oil soaks into the crack. Rub it along the crack in all directions for a few minutes to make sure it really seeps in.

Inspect the wood after a few minutes. Once you are done you can wipe away the excess oil with a rag.

Olive Oil and White Vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil and white distilled vinegar

Using olive oil and vinegar for scratches in wood is one of the most common methods for naturally removing scratches, likely because it’s so effective.

Fill a cup with 1:1 mixture of olive oil and white vinegar. You likely don’t need much of each unless you have numerous scratches on your furniture. Just a few spoonfuls of each should get the job done.

Dip a rag into the solution lightly dab it along the scratch, and make sure the solution really seeps into the problem area. Wipe the excess oil and vinegar solution off with a clean rag or towel.

Repeat this process for as long as needed. For darker wood, you may need to repeat this process a few times to ensure the scratch turns dark enough to match the rest of the wood.

Related: 5 Ways to Cover Damaged Dresser Top

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds

Similar to the walnut solution, the natural oil in coffee beans can help to restore scratches in wood. Given that coffee grounds are extremely dark, this solution is good for dark wood.

First, brew some coffee and let the wet used coffee grounds cool. While the coffee grounds are still wet, take a small spoon and scoop some of the coffee grounds along the scratch. You don’t need to be excessive; the coffee grounds just need to cover the scratch.

Let the coffee grounds sit for about 10 minutes before wiping them off with a rag or towel. Inspect the furniture and reapply the coffee grounds if the crack hasn’t been tainted dark enough from the first go-around.

Black tea

Black tea

Black tea is another natural solution for removing scratches from furniture.

To use this solution, you first need to make a small cup of tea. Heat water on the stove until it’s boiling or microwave a cup of water. Then add your tea bag and let it steep for a few minutes.

Note that you don’t necessarily need a full cup of tea if you’re treating just one or two scratches. Additionally, the more concentrated the tea is, the more effective it will be at tainting the scratch. 

Dip a cloth into the tea and dab it along the scratch. Wipe the excess tea around the scratch so that it doesn’t stain the surrounding wood. You may need to repeat a few times to make sure the tea has completely seeped into the crack. As you dab the wood you should see a color change instantly.



Like many other natural solutions for removing scratches from wood, mayonnaise contains oils that can help restore small scratches. It might sound like an unlikely solution for fixing scratches on furniture but nevertheless, when applied the right way, mayo can make a big difference.

Simply take a paper towel or spoon and wipe a glob of mayonnaise on it. Wipe the mayonnaise along the scratch and make sure the mayo completely fills the scratch. Let the solution sit for at least a few hours to a day before wiping it off.

Lemon juice and olive oil 

Extra virgin olive oil and lemon

Lemon juice and olive oil is another popular household approach to removing scratches from wood. This is a convenient solution for many given that lemons and olive oil are such common kitchen items.

Simply mix a 1:1 solution of lemon juice and olive oil together. Dip in a rag and rub the soaked rag along the scratched-up area. Make sure the solution seeps into the scratches as much as possible. With the dry end of the rag, wipe away any excess solution from around the crack.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter

It’s no secret that peanut butter is a food that is rich in natural oils. Peanut butter often contains palm oil and of course, the natural oil from peanuts themselves which can be great for treating scuffs and scratches. However, depending on the type of peanut you purchase, the ingredients may vary.

Regardless, to use peanut butter on scratches, simply spread a bit on the affected area of furniture. Let the solution sit for about an hour. Take a rag, run it under some water, rinse it out, and use the damp rag to remove the excess peanut butter.

Which solution is most effective?

I conducted a small experiment to see which of the scratch-removing home remedies is most effective. To do so I created scratches in the wood of a broken chair that needed to be thrown out. 

I applied the solutions in the following order from left to right: Walnut, black tea, coffee grounds, olive oil + vinegar, peanut butter, lemon + olive oil, and mayonnaise. 

Olive oil + vinegar, and peanut butter seem to be the top-performing solutions. Peanut butter in particular did quite well at staining its respective scratch. The oil from the peanut butter brought the scratch much closer to to color of the rest of the chair. 

Final words

Over the years, furniture can get pretty banged up. Whether it be dog scratches on wood furniture or markings from simply moving furniture around your house or apartment, there are numerous ways that furniture can get damaged.

As you can tell, there are many natural ways to restore furniture and you likely have many of the ingredients at your disposal already.

However, keep in mind that this is not a complete list of natural solutions. There are other natural remedies such as mineral oil and pumice, and iodine that can be quite effective.

Additionally, it is important to note that while these solutions are great for scratches, please note that none of these remedies will actually “fill in” the scratches. These solutions will merely change the color of the scratches so that you can’t see them to begin with. If you have deep scratches in your furniture that you want filled in, you may want to look into using wood filler.







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