How do I get rid of brown spots/stains on white furniture?
July 21, 2010 6:41 PM   Subscribe

How do you get brown spots out of white furniture? We have white dresser drawers that we just bought my daughter. They are high end wood dressers from a company called Pulaski. There is some kind of laminate on it because it is very smooth. We put a CD player on top of it and on the bottom of the CD Player there are little rubber like pads on it so that it will not scratch furniture. It is a common, regular CD player and the pads look common enough. Our own clock radio in our bedroom has the same kind of rubbery pads on the bottom. So anyway, it has been very humid, and within a week of buying this expensive set, I saw brown stains in the shape of the round rubbery pads on the dresser. How do I get them out?

I tried water, rubbing, wet ones, magic eraser, and even bleach (the little tube kind you have with laundry items). Nothing does anything to it. And it looks terrible against the white. I called the furniture store. They just told me I should have bought the wood repair warranty. But I told them...I didn't intend on dropping a pepsi on it....all I did was put a CD player on it with pads on it. I did nothing that was out of the ordinary. I also tried to call the phone number on Pulaski's flyer....the phone is disconnected. Do any of you have ideas on how to get these brown spots out? I suspect they are a type of rust stain because there was moisture in the air, and maybe the spongy pads collected the moisture and then mixed with the laminate. Still, this should not have happened, and all I want is to get these brown spots out of my daughter's furniture....which is a week old. Any ideas???

Thank you. :)
posted by lynnie-the-pooh to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Sometimes you have to experiment with these things. Most stains dissolve in water, or in soapy water, but some things dissolve better in alcohol, some dissolve better in turpentine, some dissolve in other types of solvents. Paint remover is a very powerful solvent which may remove the white finish on the wood along with the stain. If all else fails, you can do that, then use white paint to refinish that section. I would also feel the mark to see how thick it is. If it is thick rubber residue you might want to physically scrape it off with a knife or a razor blade (carefully, of course, since that can also cut into the wood). Without personally examining this resistant stain I can't know exactly what approach is needed - but experiment.
posted by grizzled at 7:11 PM on July 21, 2010

Response by poster: There is no residue of any kind on the surface. It feels just as smooth as the laminate, it's just different in that there are brown spots.
posted by lynnie-the-pooh at 8:45 PM on July 21, 2010

At the very least I would try a baking soda paste to see if it absorbs the stain. Shouldn't harm the wood at all.
posted by patrad at 1:04 AM on July 22, 2010

Frankly, I think the furniture store treated you very poorly. You just bought an expensive item from them and used it in a manner it was intended (putting a simple, common cd player on the dresser should not result in it becoming discolored from the rubber protectors) and all they have to say is "you should have bought the wood repair warranty"? Terrible!

You need to go higher up the food chain and forcefully (but politely) express your displeasure with this defective piece of furniture. They should, at the very least, offer to repair it for you free of charge. If they refuse to help you, consider returning the entire set -- tell your credit card company that the product was defective -- and re-purchase the items elsewhere.

A book I use and recommend all the time for disputes such as this is Ron Burley's Unscrewed: The Consumer's Guide To Getting What You Paid For. Good luck!
posted by LuckySeven~ at 7:28 AM on July 22, 2010

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