How To Clean Wood Table: Furniture Preservation Made Easy

Knowing how to clean a wood table can keep your piece in great condition for decades. But if you use the wrong cleaners, you can strip the surface, leading to mildew and decay.

How To Clean Wood Table

You only need simple supplies to keep your table clean. Here’s what you should know.


DIY Cleaning Tips For A Wood Table

DIY Cleaning Tips For A Wood TableView in gallery

Removing dust, keeping your table out of direct sunlight, and controlling humidity levels are the three most important factors for keeping wood in good condition.

Remove Dust

Dust may not seem like a threat, but when it builds up, it can act like sandpaper, damaging your wood table. 

Dust every week. You don’t need special tools or spray products. All you need is a lint-free cloth or feather duster.

You can also clean wood surfaces with a damp or dry microfiber cloth by wiping the affected area in a circular motion.

Table Placement

A breakfast nook in the window looks nice, but it’s not the best for wood surfaces. Textiles fade when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, and wood is no exception.

Don’t place your table next to a radiator or heat source. Choose a climate-controlled area of your home. Hot temperatures will cause your furniture to warp or split. 

Humidity Control

Similar to temperatures, extreme levels of humidity can warp wood furniture – and not just your table, but any wood piece. 

At the opposite end of the spectrum, low indoor humidity can cause wood furniture to crack. The humidity level inside your home should be 40 to 45 percent.  Keeping humidity levels in check might require a dehumidifier or humidifier, depending on the season.


Tips to Keep Wood Furniture in the Best Condition

These daily habits will help protect your wood furniture:

  • Use coasters under beverages to prevent watermark rings.
  • Use placemats under tableware to protect the wood surface.
  • Hot platters and dishes should be placed on trivets.
  • Place felt pads or silicone bumpers on the bottom of vases and centerpieces to avoid scratches.
  • Clean spills immediately to prevent moisture damage.
  • Wipe your table after each meal or whenever you use it.
  • Clean up grease spots with mild dish soap and water.

Cleaners You Can Use on a Wood Table

Aside from dusting, you can give your wood table a deep clean with one of these products.


Organic Cleaners

Here is a list of organic substances you can use to clean wood surfaces.

  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar (sparingly)
  • Olive Oil
  • Dish Soap
  • Dishwashing liquid

When applying any of the aforementioned DIY substances, you can use the following tools:

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Damp cloth
  • Bowl or small container

How to Clean a Wood Table

First, combine warm water with mild dish soap or white vinegar.  You can use 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar mixed with a cup of water. Be wary of using vinegar at high strength since it can weaken the table’s top coat.

Dish soap is the best substance for cleaning wood. Add one drop to a cup of water and mix.

Pre-Cleaning Steps

Wipe dust from your wood table with a lint-free cloth. Next, use a damp microfiber cloth dipped in your cleaning solution, and wring out excess water.

Working in sections, wipe the wood surface. Then, dry the table with a towel.

Dirt Removal Cleaning Method

If there’s food or a mark left on the table after you’ve cleaned it, you’ll need to put in extra work. 

Never use abrasive products on wood furniture, including abrasive sponges and scrubbers. Doing so will mar the surface. For stuck-on food or other types of build-up, use a plastic kitchen scraper or the edge of a credit card to remove it. You can also create a baking soda paste with baking soda and water and use it to scrub off the grime.

If you’re still left with sticky spots, marks, or other problems in the finish, you may have to refinish the table, depending on the extent of the problem.

Removing Water Stains From Wood Furniture

It’s not uncommon to find a water stain or ring on your wood table – it’s not the wood but the surface finish that’s affected.

There are many ways to remove the stains from your finish. Here’s a popular remedy:

  • Vinegar and cooking oil. Mix equal parts and use a soft cloth to rub the ring spot, working in the direction of the grain. Buff with a soft cloth.

Protect And Restore Finish (Optional)

Protect And Restore FinishView in gallery

Now that your table is clean and dry, you can add a layer of wax if needed. 

The method of application depends on the type of wax you choose. You can apply most carnauba waxes with a microfiber cloth and then buff the wax using a circular motion.

If you want a different option, there are plenty of DIY solutions. For example, you can mix a tablespoon of vinegar with three tablespoons of olive oil. Apply the mixture to the table and wipe the surface in a circular motion with a dry cloth.

How To Clean A Walnut Table

When removing a small spot from a walnut table, use a mixture of diluted dishwashing liquid and water. Before you apply the mixture to your table’s surface, dust it with a lint-free cloth.

Afterward, dip a soft cloth in your solution and wring it dry. Wipe the affected area in a circular motion and then clean the rest of the table. When you’re done, wipe the entire table with a dry cloth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How Do You Clean Wood Furniture Without Damaging Its Finish?

A simple solution of half a cup of distilled white vinegar, half a cup of warm water, and a teaspoon of mild dish detergent will also do the trick. Be sure to test the mixture first in a hidden area of the wood to make sure it does not damage the finish.

Can I Clean My Wood Table With Vinegar?

Vinegar is great for cleaning wood. It will not damage your table’s protective coating. The organic substance is an effective wood cleaning solution because it won’t harm the finish or warp the surface.

White vinegar is just as effective. It removes dirt and dust while maintaining the wood polish. It’s also a reliable stain remover.

Is Dishwashing Liquid Good For Cleaning Wood Tables?

Dishwashing liquid is an effective wood table cleaner. All you need is a few drops of liquid dish soap on a cotton ball. Dip the cotton ball in warm water, and then apply it to a small out of sight section or inconspicuous area.

If effective, mix a few drops of dishwashing soap in a cup of water and use a damp cloth to wipe your wood furniture. 

How Do You Clean A Wooden Kitchen Table Daily?

A diluted solution of warm water with mild dish soap. Or for an even gentler clean, opt for white vinegar – a good ratio to work with one cup of water to three tablespoons of vinegar. Next, clean any dust off the table and chairs by wiping it down with a cloth.

How Do I Regain A Lost Shine On A Wood Table?

If your wood table has lost its shine, don’t worry, you can get it back. Create a mixture by adding ½ a cup of vinegar and ½ a cup of olive oil to a bowl. Mix well and rub gently wipe over the entire piece of your wood table with a cotton cloth for about 15 minutes. For rougher surfaces, don’t hesitate to use a stronger solution.