How To Clean Wood Table: Furniture Preservation Made Easy

How to clean a wood table is something you should know. A clean wooden table ensures long lasting performance. Each piece of furniture should be cleaned a specific way. When cleaning a wooden table, there are factors to consider.

how to clean wood table

The condition of your wooden table is important. Is the table an antique? You need to consider the type of wood you have and the condition of its surface.

If you want to learn more, keep reading. We’ll show you the best ways to remove sticky spots and clean grime from a wood surface.

To help you understand, we’ll outline the steps necessary to preserve wood finishes, for example. However, before we get into that, let’s look at a few important maintenance issues.

Preservation is key because damaged wood furniture is expensive to repair. 

DIY Cleaning Tips For A Wood Table

DIY Cleaning Tips For A Wood Table

Here are the most important things you can do to preserve your wood furniture.

Remove Dust

Dust may not seem like a threat, but when it builds up, it can damage wood surfaces. It doesn’t take much to remove dust, but it does require a small amount of effort on your part.  

You should dust every week. Dusting doesn’t require special tools other than a piece of lint free dry cloth or feather dusters. You don’t need spray products, as the chemicals could accumulate on wood surfaces.

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 exposed to sunlight looks nice, but it’s not the best thing for wood surfaces. Textiles fade when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, and wood furniture 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

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Similar to temperatures, extreme levels of humidity can damage wood furniture too – and not just your table, but any wood piece. Too much humidity in the air can warp wood furniture.  

Low indoor humidity can cause wood furniture to crack. The humidity level inside your home should be 40 to 45 percent. This might require an air conditioner or humidifier, depending on the season.

Tools To Clean Wood Furniture

Tools To Clean Wood Furniture

Develop daily habits that will help protect your wood furniture and surfaces.

  • 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.
  • Felt pads or silicone bumpers on the bottom of vases or other centerpieces to avoid scratching a table’s surface.
  • Clean spills immediately to prevent moisture damage.
  • Wipe down your table after each meal or whenever you use it.
  • Clean up grease spots with mild dish soap and water.

How To Clean A Wood Table

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Even with daily care, you need to clean a wood table in a more thorough way a couple of times a year to keep it in the best shape. When you’re ready to do this, gather up the supplies and tools first. 

Organic Cleaners

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

  • Baking Soda
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Mineral Spirits
  • White Vinegar
  • 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
  • Plastic scraper 
  • Semi-solid or carnauba wax

Wood Furniture Cleaning Solution

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First, combine warm water with a mild dish soap, or water with white vinegar. About three tablespoons of vinegar mixed with a cup of water will be sufficient. When using dish soap to clean wood furniture, a drop is all you need.

Pre-Cleaning Steps

Wipe dust from your wood furniture table and chairs with a lint free cloth or any soft cloth will due. Next, use a damp microfiber cloth dipped in your cleaning solution, and wring out excess water.

Working in sections, wipe the wood surface. Don’t use too much water as it would soak the wood. Next, use a dry cloth to wipe away excess water.

Dirt Removal Cleaning Method

If there’s still food or a mark left on the table after you’ve cleaned it. You’ll need to do a little extra work. In this case, what not to do is important as what you should do when cleaning wood furniture.

Never use abrasive products on wood furniture or rub using an abrasive sponge or scrubber. This will mar the surface of the wood. For stuck-on food or other types of build-up, use a plastic kitchen scraper or even the edge of a credit card to remove it.

If you’re still left with sticky spots, marks, or other problems in the finish, you’ll need to consult with a professional and ultimately may have to consider refinishing the table, depending on the extent of the problem.

Removing Water Stains From Wood Furniture

Not everyone is good about always using a coaster, so it’s not uncommon to find a water stain or ring on your wood table. The good news is that it’s not the wood, but the surface finish that’s affected.

There are many ways to remove the stains from your finish. Two popular remedies are:

  • 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.
  • This works because of the oil in the recipe. Use it the way you would use the vinegar and oil.

Protect And Restore Finish

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Now that your table is clean and dry, it’s time to break out the wax to protect the table and bring back the original warm glow of the wood. This will take a little time and some elbow grease.

Cleaning one section at a time, use a microfiber cloth or soft cloth. Apply the semi-solid or carnauba wax to the wood table. Next, buff the wax into the wood in a circular motion until the surface has a luster.

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

Common Types Of Wood Furniture

If you have a dining room table, it’s probably made of walnut. This is the most common type of wood used for tables.

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, use a clean lint free cloth and wipe the surface clean. You want to remove dust particles from the wooden surface.

Test the cleaning solution on a stain that’s in an out of sight section of the table. After adding the smallest amount of soap possible and testing on a hidden spot, dip a soft cloth in your solution and wring it dry. Wipe the affected area in a circular motion and go from there. 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.

Wood Table Cleaning: Conclusion

Wooden furniture isn’t hard to clean if you know what you’re doing. When you clean wood furniture, before you begin, use the right cleaning product or you’ll risk creating surface scratches. 

Small particles can impact the wood grain regardless of the table’s location. You’ll need to stay on top of dust issues so it won’t damage your table. When choosing a location for a wood table, make sure it’s in a well-ventilated spot. A well-ventilated area will ensure longevity. 

Another thing you can do is dust wood furniture. Regular dusting will preserve your wood table. If the table is in your kitchen, you should be on the lookout for watermark rings.