How to Clean an Oak Dining Table

How to clean an oak dining table

Cleaning an oak dining table is relatively simple and can be done with basic household cleaning supplies. Ideally, it’s better to prevent having to clean in the first place so be sure to use coasters, placemats or a tablecloth. 

Stained oak dining table

The longer you leave a stain on oak furniture, the deeper the stain gets and the harder it is to clean. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean an oak dining table:

Use a dry cloth to wipe the surface

Begin by dusting the table to remove any loose dirt or debris. Use a soft, microfiber cloth or a feather duster to gently wipe the surface of the table. Most cleaning products aren’t suited to clean oak furniture so be sure to avoid these to avoid damaging your table.

Gently wipe the surface with a soapy cloth

Next, mix a small amount of mild dish soap with warm water in a bucket. Dip a soft, clean cloth into the soapy water and wring it out. Gently wipe the surface of the table with the soapy cloth, paying extra attention to any stubborn stains or spots. Avoid using excessive water, as this can damage the wood.

For deeper stains or water damage there’s a few household hacks to try:

  1. One of the most effective ways to remove water rings, stains, and other water damage on wood is with mayonnaise. It might sound a little funny but this little tip could save you from disaster! The oils in mayonnaise should help to displace the water. Rub a small amount of mayonnaise into the stain and leave it to sit for 40 minutes. Leave overnight for deeper stains. After you’ve let it sit for a while, wipe up the mayonnaise with a cloth. If it’s looking a bit better, then reapply a little wax or polish to get the surface looking back at its best.
  2. A mixture of vinegar and olive oil is an alternative, traditional way to clean your oak furniture. Mix two parts olive oil with one part vinegar, and if you have one, apply it thinly from a spray bottle. Use a soft, clean cloth to rub it gently into the surface. The olive oil will moisturise the surface, while the vinegar has gentle cleaning properties. Cleaning wood furniture with vinegar is a great, environmentally-friendly way to clean without using toxic cleaning products that harm the environment and shorten the life of your furniture.
  3. For tougher stains, apply a little toothpaste to a damp cloth and gently rub the stain. Most toothpastes contain a mild abrasive that can help to remove the stain. If toothpaste alone doesn’t work, you can step things up a little by adding some baking soda to the toothpaste. This will make a solution that’s slightly more abrasive, and also has some water-absorbing qualities. Try rubbing a little harder if required.

Once the table is clean, rinse it with a damp cloth to remove any soap residue. Be sure to wring out the cloth well to avoid leaving excess water on the table. Dry the table thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth.

For deeper, darker stains

For the deepest, darkest stains the above household products might not be able to fix your table and you might need to use a fine (don't use a coarse one) sandpaper to remove the stain. Afterwards, make sure to finish the table with wax or oils to keep protecting it.

If your table has any scratches or nicks, you can use a wood filler to repair them. Simply follow the instructions on the wood filler product to fill in the damaged area and sand it smooth.

To protect the wood and keep it looking its best, consider applying a wood conditioner or wax. This will help to moisturise the wood and prevent it from drying out or becoming damaged.

It's a good idea to clean and maintain your oak dining table regularly to keep it looking its best. With proper care, an oak dining table can last for a lifetime and become a beloved piece of furniture in your home. Shop our range of beautiful dining tables and find dining chairs to match!


Back to blog