Cleaning marks off wooden shelves

I have two columns of four shelves of Hutter Racktime. About to demo an integrated which, if it satisfies, will remove me completely from the Naim ecosystem after twenty years. It will also mean that two of my remaining three boxes will be less than full width.

I’ve realised this exposes lots of dirty brown circles on the Hutter shelves caused by that twenty years of Naim full and half width boxes. It doesn’t look great.

All advice on reducing or removing the impact of said marks appreciated. Is it even possible?

Hi Mike,

Not too familiar with Hutter but do the side panels remove from the shelf itself?
If so, could you not flip the shelf over so the marks are on the underside and not visible?
Apologies if this is not possible.

It’ll never come completely off but your best approach is to use a non oil based wood cleanser like Milsek. For cleansing wood, you apply it, leave it for 2 hours, then remove it. Both times with a soft cloth or rag.

But to manage expectations, the leeching of rubber oil from feet into the wood varnish layer is not likely to ever come up looking new.

An alkaline based household spray cleanser will be more aggressive in removing the rings (alkaline dissolves oil) but it’s also hard on the wood. You can probably use one a few times without hurting the wood stain but you’d not want to do so regularly. I used one to get the rings off a Quadraspire shelf but their varnish coat is pretty hard and sealed so not a problem.

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Thanks both. I can see I have some work to do.

I suspect the sides could be separated and flipped but not without brute force and a lot of skill so almost certainly not a job all contemplate. Elbow grease it is.

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I had the same issue but not with a Hutter rack. You will not totally get rid of the marks but for me I used Bar Keepers Friend with a lot of caution, which removed the marks but lightened the area where the marks were. Linseed oil darkened these areas so it is not very noticeable. A very ligh application of Linssed oil was all it took as it is eay to over darken the area. If you do want to try this procced with caution as it worked for me but I could not guarantee it will work for you. Whatever you try you could make things worse so you need to weigh up the risks.

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If the suggestions so far don’t work, you could try very fine wire wool (ultra fine, or 0000 grade) with a suitable solvent. I assume that the finish on these shelves is not French polish (if it were, then a little meths would probably do the job, probably without the need for the wire wool), so probably polyurethane. White spirit with wire wool might work. Alternatively very fine wet-or-dry sandpaper (1000 grit or finer e.g. 2000) might do the job. But in any case you need to go carefully to try to avoid going through the finish that is on there. Once you have done as much as you can, you can touch up with polyurethane varnish, applied with a paper kitchen towel.


This is all terrifically useful. Thank you.

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