Cleaning and Protecting a Wood Table

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated March 2, 2020)

Wooden tables, just like any other wood item in your home, needs to be cleaned and protected in a specific way or you can easily end up damaging the table without realizing it. That being said, cleaning and protecting a wood table isn't difficult, though it does require that you pay attention to what you are doing. That is, you need to pay attention until you really know what you are doing, and the whole process becomes second nature.

  1. Remove all items. It may sound a bit trite, but you can't really clean a table when it has stuff on it. This basically means that when you begin cleaning a wooden table, you will need to remove anything and everything that you may have stored on it. After all, it is the nature of tables to store items. When you get done cleaning your table, you can easily replace all the items that you have removed.
  2. Wipe it down. When you have removed everything from your table, you need to get a clean soft towel or rag, and get it mildly damp. With this damp rag in hand, you can begin wiping down the table. This will allow you to remove most, if not all, of the dirt and grime that has accumulated on the table since the last time you cleaned it. Do not use too much water at this stage, since wood and water don't really go that well together.
  3. Get those cracks. The vast majority of wood tables have some kind of crack or seam located in the surface. These cracks and seams have a tendency to collect dirt, dust, and grime over time and as such will need to be cleaned. The problems is that these cracks can be a little difficult to get into, so you will need to use an old tooth brush or cotton swab to get into the cracks.
  4. Wash it. If your table is particularly dirty, you may want to use some water and a mild soap to clean it. When washing your wood table, you don't want to drench it in water. Instead, get a washcloth damp, and work some soap into it. Wipe this damp, soapy washcloth over the table and work at any particularly sticky residue that you come across. Rinse off the soap on the table by using another damp washcloth. Repeat as necessary until you have gotten your surface clean.
  5. Dry it. Dry the table as quickly as you can after washing it so that the water will not work its way into the wood. The best way to do this is by simply wiping down the table again with a clean dry rag or towel.
  6. Polish it. With the table now clean it is time to protect it. This can be done by simply using a polish (such as Pledge), or citrus oil. Apply this polish to a clean rag, and then work the polish into the wood by moving rag in a circular motion, slowly moving across the table, until the wood gleams. Reapply the polishing agent as necessary until you have finished the job.

Now that you know the basics of cleaning and protecting a wood table, you can ensure that your wooden table doesn't become damaged through daily use. Keep in mind that if you don't regularly clean and protect a wood table like you should, you can find yourself dishing out quite a bit of money to replace it over time.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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