Why wouldn’t (or should we say wood) you go for a wood table? They are hard-wearing, durable, and look amazing. In addition, they are extremely easy to maintain for anyone who may have a busy lifestyle that involves lots of mess, or as we like to call it, children.

If you need to know how to clean a wood table, then we can help. From general maintenance to removing water rings, our handy guide can clean your wood furniture.


A lot of over the counter cleaners can contain harsh chemicals and while many may be fine, some may damage your table depending on the wood and finish. They can also dull the surface if used over a long period of time.

You need a cleaning product for wood that does not leave a finish or wax on the table. Also make sure it is specifically for cleaning wood. In addition, you will need some warm water, detergent, vinegar, and a soft cloth.

How to Clean a Wood Table

Begin by filling a bowl with the water. Add a large tablespoon of vinegar (ideally a strong white vinegar) then add a small quantify of the dish detergent. Mix well, then dip the cloth into the water and wring it out so the cloth is wet without being soaked.

Wipe the whole table with the cloth and allow the water mix to soak into any stains. They may need a little more of a polish to remove. When finished, rinse the cloth with clean water and rub it down once more.

After this, dry the table with a clean, dry cloth. Make sure you remove all the moisture, as if it is allowed to seep into crack and wood it may buckle and warp later down the line.

Furniture Cleaners

There are a number of furniture cleaners and finishes available, but none of them are as popular as wax. A wax both protects and shines and has been the common finish for wood furniture for a long time.

Beeswax does both of this whilst cleaning the wood. It will come in a number of shades, including clear, so purchase one that is best for you. Then apply it with the grain using a soft cloth.

Paste wax is another option. It is most commonly used on antiques and adds an extra layer of protection to beeswax. However, its application is a little more physically demanding than beeswax.

One final, easier option is the purchase of treated cloth for wood furniture. Some of it can even help remove water damage and grease stains.

Removing Grease

Grease is an extremely stubborn substance, and it can be hard to clean from wood without damaging the furniture itself. However, it is possible. You will need cloth, linseed oil, turpentine, and white household vinegar to remove the stain.

Wipe any excess grease off using the cloth. Using an equal mix of vinegar, linseed oil, and turpentine, gently wipe the grease with a little of the mixture on a cloth. Do not scrub hard as this may damage the wood and table itself.

Allow the area to dry and repeat if necessary. When you finish, buff with a clean cloth.

What Not to Do

Avoid the use of any abrasive wipes and scrubbing pads on a wooden table. You will either damage the wood, in which case you will have to fix it. Also, you could damage the finish, in which the table will have to be stripped down.

You should only use wood furniture outdoors if it has been correctly treated with wood stain and protector. Never purchase an indoor wood table for outdoor use, unless it is a tropical hardwood such as teak.

Removing Water Rings

If you have been putting glasses on your table without coasters, you may have developed some unsightly water rings. These will not damage the table, but may not look that good. To remove them, mix equal parts of household white vinegar to olive oil.

Apply the mix using a soft cloth. Work with the grain of the wood, until the water starts to face. Use another soft cloth on the water ring, and repeat if necessary until the whole stain has gone.

Beware of Heat and Humidity

Depending on the wood your table is made from, heat and humidity can cause lots of trouble with your furniture. If it is made from tropical woods, such as teak, the wood will already be used to wet and warm conditions and will probably be fine anywhere. However, if your wood is from more temperate climates, such as oaks and pines, then heat can be a real enemy.

Keep the table away from any heat, like a radiator or boiler. The sudden changes can cause bending and bowing in the table. You may find your furniture begins to warp in a short space of time.

For the same reasons, humidity in your home should be around 40 to 45%. If the table is in a basement, garage, attic, or outhouse, you should also watch out for any moisture and temperature extremes.

Finally, set your AC at the right level in the summer heat and run a humidifier in winter. This should prevent any damage to the table due to heat and humidity.

Start Cleaning

Now you know how to clean a wood table, then get to it. With just a few items and some hard work, you will have the table looking as good as new in no time.

Of course, if you don’t fancy the hard work or just simply don’t have the time, you could always hire a professional cleaning service. Primavera has a team of excellent cleaning staff who will come to your home or office. To get your property looking tidy and clean, then contact us for a quote today.