How to Remove Bite Marks on a Nursery Crib

A wooden crib in a neutral baby room.
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
Tack cloth
Wet cloth
Matching stain
Clean cloth
Plastic rail guard
Dust mask

A nursery crib can turn into a family heirloom as it is passed down through the generations. There is a lot of history and sentimentality when it comes to the nursery crib, especially if it belonged to a firstborn or only child. It can go through many different homes and rooms in its life, and because of this, there may be some damage that needs to be repaired. One such blemish that might be in need of attention is bite marks in the railing from the crib's previous teething inhabitants. However, removing these indentations is an easy process with the right steps.

Sand Railing to Remove Gloss

As the baby bites into the wood, there are going to be small impressions left on the surface all over the rail. These can easily be smoothed away with a light sanding. However, since wooden cribs usually have some sort of protective finish on the surface, you will need to have to remove that first. Keep a light touch on the sandpaper throughout the process; you are only want to take off the finish and smooth out the marks, not create a depression in the wood. Clean up any dust left behind with a tack cloth before moving on.

Iron the Area

Since most woods swell when they are heated and moistened, you can remove the bite marks using this natural property. Wet a washcloth and place it over the bite marks. Then, place a hot iron on top of the cloth. Make sure the iron is on the highest setting without any steam on.

As the iron rests on the wet cloth, it will create its own steam that will cause the wood on the railing to swell and fill in the small bite marks. Do not keep the iron on the cloth for an extended period of time - wait only about 30 seconds before removing the iron.

Continue Steaming

This method will work to fit in the bite marks naturally. However, it may take some time to get the wood to the original level. Continue with the steaming process along the length of the railing until the bite marks are removed.

Re-stain Railing

Most of the time, it is very easy to find the right color stain to blend in with the rest of the crib. Once you have located the right color, rub a small amount into the area where the repair has been made. You do not need a lot since you are only trying to match the area to the rest of the railing.

Install Plastic Guard

Since prevention is the best form of maintenance, purchase a plastic rail guard to install over the wood itself. This will not only protect the wood from the baby but also the baby from the wood. Sometimes, toxins or bits of wood can cause severe reactions in the baby if they are using the railing as a teething toy, so do yourself a favor and stop it before it starts.