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Give your wood dining table extra TLC and it will love you back. Wood tables are unlike other tables. You can’t use just any kind of detergent cleaner or countertop cleaner because this may affect the lovely warm stain. You can’t use brushes or just any kind of cleaning tool because this can scratch the sleek surface. So how do you clean a wood table then? Here is a guide to show you how.
Wood table cleaning basics
Cleaning a well-preserved wooden table is not so difficult as long as you have all the right kind of cleaning materials with you. It all begins with choosing the right cleaning aids.
Things you will need
- Warm water
- White vinegar or dish soap
- #000 grit steel wool
- Talcum powder (optional)
- Baking soda
- Cotton fabric
- Wax (optional)
- Wood varnish (optional)
Choose the right wooden table cleaning aids
Countertop cleaners may contain harsh chemicals that can affect the outer finish of your wooden table. There are cleaners that are specially made for wooden tables or is safe for wooden furniture so be sure to read the labels closely. Choose a cleaning product which will not just clean but will disinfect without waxing or providing a protective coating. Usually, waxes will build up over time and therefore will need additional cleaning to thoroughly remove. Sometimes it is also best to just use plain water and a soft cloth to clean a wooden table. You may also use natural products like vinegar or dish soap to clean the table and to remove stubborn stains and marks.
Basic steps to clean a wooden table:
1) Loosen dirt and grime
Place warm water in a large bowl and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and/or a small amount of dish soap. Mix this completely to agitate the dish soap or vinegar and water. Moisten the cloth with the soapy water or vinegar mixture.
Wipe the table with the cloth. Locate the surface or edges with stubborn dirt and grime. This is usually found at the edges of the table where people usually sit and eat. Use a firm circular motion to remove these marks. Rinse the cloth with clean water. Repeat the process until you have completely removed all the dirt. You may add waxes or wood finish if you want to
2) Applying waxes and finishes
Wax provides a hard finish and long-lasting protection. It is more preferred to use compared to sprays or polishes. Use wax or liquid wax made for wooden furniture. Wax finishes may last up to two years but may be less if you frequently use your table.
Put a spoonful of wax on a 100-percent-cotton fabric. Wrap the fabric around the wax and knead it until it becomes soft. Rub the wax in a circular motion on one small area at a time until the entire surface of the table has been covered by wax. If the surface dulls, remove excess wax. Use a clean, soft cotton cloth to wipe away excess way.
Repeat waxing and wiping until the entire piece is waxed. If you notice a streak, wipe the excess wax away. Polish the wood using a soft cloth or lambs-wool pad attached to an electric drill or power buffer. For a deep shine, apply a second coat of wax in the same manner.
3) Deep cleaning a wooden table
Deep cleaning is needed if the wooden table has years and layers of deep grime. Use an oil soap and water. Use a sponge to remove deep-seated dirt and grime. Rinse afterwards. Clean lightly with #0000 steel wool dipped in a cleaning product. To remove ugly smells place the table outside on a warm, dry day but don’t place it directly under the sun. Place talcum powder or baking soda over the surface of the table to remove odor.
4) Dusting your wooden table
Dust your wooden table frequently to prevent airborne particles that can build up on the surface of the table. Use a clean, dry, soft cloth or a feather duster to remove dust. Dampen a cloth slightly to prevent scattering dust particles to the air. Use a soft, nonscratching cloth to pick up and hold dirt and dust. Use a clean cotton T-shirt or diapers to trap and remove dust.
There are a lot of ways to clean a wooden table. You must dust it, wipe it and wax it so that it will last a long time. Never use just any cleaning solution, make sure to use a solution made especially for cleaning wooden furniture.