Have you ever damaged a household item because you didn’t know what you were doing? You can do so much damage when you use the wrong cleaning supplies!

We know chores can be such a hassle. When you’re not sure what you’re doing, it can be hard to find the motivation to start.

We can help with that!

We’ve developed a wood table cleaning guide to help keep your table looking the best it possibly can. Read on to learn how to clean a wooden table!

Daily Cleaning

The best idea is to clean a wooden table after every use to avoid stains and warping. Try to wipe up any spills as quickly as you can.

For daily cleanings, you can use a damp lint-free cloth after meals. This helps prevent spills during dinner from turning into set-in stains that require refinishing.

Along with daily cleanings, implement some preventative measures. For instance, have your family and guests use placements under their plates and coasters under their drinks.

Be sure that the bottoms of the placemats and coasters are made of cork to avoid any scratches. Also, never put hot dishes directly onto your wood table.

If you do, you’ll most likely end up with a cloudy, white stain on your table. This kind of discoloration is difficult to remove!

Thorough Cleaning

It’s a good idea to give your wood table a more thorough cleaning 2 to 3 times a year. The tools you’ll need to do this are the following:

You don’t need too much water because you don’t want to over-saturate the wood. This is a good time to mention that your wood table shouldn’t be in too humid or moist of an environment.

If you’re looking for an exact number, the humidity level of your home shouldn’t be over 50%. Wood furniture warps in high humidity.

You may need to add a dehumidifier to your home if you live in a humid environment. The same could be said if you have a wood table in your basement.

How to Clean a Wooden Table: Instructions

  1. Add a drop of dish detergent to a cup of warm water
  2. You can also add 3 tablespoons of white vinegar
  3. Mix it well
  4. Use a lint-free cloth to remove any dust or debris from the table first
  5. Then, dip a microfiber cloth into your solution and wring it out well
  6. Use the damp cloth to clean sections on your table
  7. Wipe it dry with another lint-free cloth
  8. Protect the finish

What Not to Do

There are a few no-nos that you need to avoid when cleaning a wooden table to keep it looking great. You must keep in mind that it’s a natural product and needs to be treated as such. So, follow these wood table cleaning tips to avoid problems!

Don’t Use Harsh Products

For this reason, never use abrasive cleaning products. It’s not necessary to use harsh chemicals on your wood table.

This even applies to one of the tools we suggested, vinegar. It should be diluted before ever reaching the wood’s surface.

Cleaners that have alcohol or ammonia as a base strip the finishes off of wood. You’ll know because a bubble or mark appears on the surface.

If you’re unsure of a product, either don’t use it or do a test first. Pick a very inconspicuous area to see how the table reacts.

Don’t Scrub the Table

Never use scrubbing pads on your wood table. Again, this can mar your table’s finish and make the surface look scratched.

If you have sticky spots or crusted food that isn’t coming off with normal cleaning, use a plastic scraper. You could also use the edge of a credit card.

Don’t Use Too Much Water

Wring that towel out as much as you can before wiping down your table. Wood is extremely sensitive to water and moisture.

It is porous and too much water causes the wood to swell. This is why when you leave a drink on your table the condensation leaves a ring.

How to Remove Stains

Some stains are too difficult to remove from wood, but there are some home remedies you can try. In the end, it may need to be refinished but try these first.


Full-fat mayonnaise can cover a multitude of sins. For water rings or heat stains, try applying mayo and leaving it for 15 minutes before wiping it away.

Oil & Vinegar

You could also try a mixture of vinegar and oil to remove stains. Combine equal parts and apply to the stain with a lint-free cloth. Work in the direction of the grain.

This is also a good combination to apply when you do your thorough table cleaning. Oil and vinegar mixed this way are good protectants.

Baking Soda

If a rogue child takes a marker or paints to your wooden table, give baking soda a whirl. Use enough water to make a paste with the baking soda and rub in the direction of the grain with a microfiber cloth.

Protect and Refinish

Once you’ve cleaned and dried your table, it’s time to finish it off with a protectant layer. You can use the oil and vinegar solution mentioned above or you can opt for a wax solution instead.

Use your microfiber cloth with a semi-solid wax and work around your table in sections. Buff the wax in a circular motion as you go, and your table will have a warm glow like when it was new!

Final Thoughts

The best way to take care of your table is to take the preventative steps that we talked about. However, now you know how to clean a wooden table.

When spills and stains do come, you’ve learned how to handle them. Save this wood table cleaning advice and keep coming back when it’s time to clean again.

If you’re looking for a home cleaning service, we can help. Check out our house cleaning services and request a quote today!