How to Care For Your Kitchen Table

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The kitchen table is often the center of our home where we share meals with loved ones and gather to create lasting memories. But with busy schedules, it’s easy to let your kitchen table fall into disarray. With each new meal, paper clutter and sticky spots seem to multiply and your table can become worn with scuffs, scratches, and stains. 

Thankfully, it’s easier than you may think to keep the heart of your home clean and help it last for future enjoyable moments. So, here are some tips to maintain your kitchen table and keep it looking great over the years.

Cleaning a Wooden Kitchen Table

When you take care of your home furniture it lasts longer. Unfortunately, wooden tables are especially prone to scratches and stains, which makes proper care important.

Here’s everything you need to know about cleaning and protecting your wood kitchen table:

Quick Clean Your Kitchen Table Daily to Prevent Buildup

You should clean your wooden kitchen table daily to prevent buildup and stains. Either buy a commercial wood cleaner or make a simple solution using:

  • Warm water
  • 1-2 tbsp of white vinegar
  • A few drops of dishwashing soap

Before you begin, make sure you’re usng a soft material, not a paper towel, to clean. Often times a microfiber cloth or an old shirt will work well.

Dampen the cloth with your cleaner and wipe away dirt and residue. Be sure to give extra attention to spots that look dull or have build-up.

With wooden kitchen tables, it’s important to remove moisture immediately. This is because porous tables can become warped or deformed when excessive liquid seeps into the wood. So, it’s important to dry wet areas thoroughly with a fresh, dry cloth immediately after cleaning. 

If your table is unfinished, wipe it down with mineral oil after cleaning; this will make the table more resistant to moisture. 

Remove Deep Stains With a Store-Bought or Homemade Cleanser

Over time, and especially during holiday celebrations, strong stains can build up and start to show on wood tables. To remove deep stains, it’s best to use a wood-friendly cleaner that you let sit a while on the spot before scrubbing. Then, wipe dry with a fresh cloth.

You can also make your own wood-friendly cleaner in four easy steps: 

  1. Mix a paste of one part white vinegar and two parts olive oil 
  2. Rub the paste into the stain with a rag
  3. Let sit for 30 minutes before removing the paste with a warm cloth
  4. Dry with a clean cloth after to remove moisture

Re-Oil Your Dull-Looking Wood Table

If your wooden table is looking dull, apply wood oil with a clean cloth, rubbing it in the direction of the grain. Then, let it sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping away any excess with a second cloth. For best results, wait five to six hours between coats and use a fresh cloth each time.

For damage from pens or water stains, use steel wool to remove marks before oiling. You can also use a fine-grit sandpaper for gouged or grooved areas. Sandpaper that’s 180-220 grit is best for wood kitchen tabletops because it’s finer and less abrasive. This means it won’t leave scratches behind.

Make sure to sand the area smooth and wipe the table with a damp cloth. And remember to always let treated areas on your table completely dry before applying oil. 

Wooden kitchen tables will last longer with an oil cleansing once every six months, adding shine and protection from moisture damage.

How to Clean a Kitchen Table Made From Other Materials

As with wood tables, everyday cleaning helps with long-term care for other types of kitchen tables. Fortunately, glass and stone are easy to clean with a variety of products. But remember: For metal and laminate dining tables, always avoid abrasive cleaners.

Clean a Glass Kitchen Table With General-Purpose Cleaner

To clean a glass kitchen table, use a general purpose cleaner. For glass tables you can also apply Windex directly to the table and use paper towels for easy cleanup. A good last step is to buff it with a soft cloth to ensure no streaks.

Stone Kitchen Tables Need a Soft Cloth for Buffing After Cleaning

Stone kitchen tables are easy to clean with a variety of regular cleaners. Or, you can opt for a specific granite and stone cleaner for additional surface shine. Make sure to use a soft cloth to buff the stone after cleaning.

Never Clean a Metal Kitchen Table With an Abrasive Scrubber

The easiest way to clean a metal kitchen table is with warm and water and a microfiber cloth. If you need a deeper clean, use a mild cleaner all-purpose cleaner

Never use abrasive cleaners or scrubbers on the metal as this could cause scratching, which can lead to rust. Use a soft sponge or scouring pad to buff out any scratches. 

Remember to Dry a Laminate Kitchen Table Well After Cleaning

If you have a laminate table, make sure to use an ammonia-free cleaner like these wipes, as ammonia can damage laminate surfaces.

Laminate is also prone to scratches which can retain moisture and ruin the table, so make sure you use a soft cloth to thoroughly dry after cleaning.

Long-Term Care Tips for Your Kitchen Table

For long-lasting care of your kitchen table, clean it after each use. The easiest way to do this is to wipe away sticky spots and spills quickly with a damp paper towel or sponge. 

Simple daily cleaning will save you time in the long run, and it’s especially important to clean spills immediately to prevent permanent stains on your kitchen table. 

As you can see, by setting a regular cleaning routine, your kitchen table will remain beautiful and inviting for a long time.