Get rid of wood scratches on your dining table with this clever walnut hack

Festive walnuts can be more than just an appetiser...

Walnuts with a nutcracker on a vintage table
(Image credit: Future PLC/Maxwell Attenborough)

It’s natural that wood develops scratches over time, especially on something so frequently used as a dining table. But when you’re hosting a Christmas dinner, you probably want to make your table look as perfect as possible and luckily it turns out that a popular festive snack is in fact a natural wood scratch remover.

Scratched tabletops are not the ideal Christmas table decoration idea. But it turns out that rubbing the humble walnut can help diminish the appearance of minor wood scratches.

We first came across this clever hack through an Instagram reel, courtesy of @acleanbee. Since it sounded a little too good to be true, we ran it past our experts to confirm whether or not this unconventional wood scratch-removing method is worth a go.

A wooden bowl of walnuts

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

Walnut as a natural wood scratch remover

We love a natural cleaning hack around here, and what could be more natural than using a walnut to get rid of wood scratches?! This clever trick is possible thanks to how the nut’s oils work much like a polish.

‘Rubbing a walnut on wood can diminish the appearance of scratches because the natural oils in walnuts can help mask minor scratches and improve the wood's appearance,’ says Petya Holevich, house cleaning expert from Fantastic Services.

Walnuts with a nutcracker on a vintage table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jeremy Phillips)

Though it should be noted that this will work only on fairly light and minor scratches, rather than deeper ones.

‘It’s worth being aware that this method can sometimes stain light wood, so it’s best not to use it on expensive furniture or cherished heirlooms,' adds Jack Mills, furniture expert at 'You should also steer clear of this trick if any of your family have a nut allergy as it could prove dangerous.’

A dining room with a wooden dining table and banquette seating

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Woolley)

Alternative methods

If you’re not a fan of walnuts, there are other ways you can get rid of wood scratches. Wax wood repair sticks are one option.

‘Wax repair sticks are an alternative DIY fix for hiding minor scratches,' advises Jack. 'These come in various shades, so you can colour-match it to your wood.'

But if you're wanting to stay in the natural lane, there are other equally back-to-basics alternatives to the walnut that you can try. 

‘Some other recommendations I have for diminishing and removing minor scratches on wood include tea bags, olive oil and vinegar,’ says Petya. ‘To use tea bags for this purpose, dampen a tea bag and rub it over the scratch. The tannins in it can help darken the scratch, making it less noticeable.'

'If you opt for olive oil and vinegar, mix equal parts of the two ingredients, apply a small amount to the scratch and let it sit for a while before wiping it clean.’

Dark wood table with walnuts, chestnuts, blackberries and more produce

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If your scratches are on the deeper side, however, there are still things you can do to recover your table. The best being wood filler.

‘For deeper scratches, you'll need to use a wood filler that matches the colour of the wood. Apply, let it dry and sand it down for a smoother surface,’ advises Petya.

We can’t wait to try all of these hacks over the Christmas break!

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.