Wood Care Guide

Care of Wood Dining Tables

Wood dining tables required more attention than dusting or conditioning the once in a while. Since they're often a major furniture investment, taking care of them makes financial sense. Proper care can also keep them looking their best. Whether you use your table for everyday dining or exclusively for special occasions, your wood dining table needs special care, both preventive and ongoing.


Extreme room temperatures and humidity levels can wreak havoc on wooden dining tables. Situate your table away from incoming direct sunlight, which can cause the wood to fade and crack. Keep your table away from other heat sources, such as radiators and fireplaces, that can also cause the wood to split or warp. Maintain your home's humidity levels between 40 and 45 percent in the 60-80 degree to provide optimal moisture content in the air surrounding your wood table. Humidity levels under 40 percent may cause the wood to crack, whereas humidity levels greater than 45 percent can cause the wood to swell. Run a humidifier to raise low humidity levels and an air conditioner or dehumidifier to reduce air moisture.

Dusting, Cleaning and Polishing

Rubbing a dry cloth over a dusty, wood dining table can cause damaging surface scratches. Instead, use a soft, clean cloth, such as an old baby diaper, T-shirt or cheesecloth dampened with water to wipe away dust particles. Rub your table lightly in the direction of the wood grain, rotating your dusting cloth frequently. Make dusting a weekly task and more often if needed. Avoid using furniture polishes that contain silicones, as they can soak into your dining table's wood grain, damaging it permanently. Clean your table gently with a non alkaline soap and water solution to remove grime or grease. Dry the wood immediately with a soft, dry cloth to avoid water damage. Polish or wax your dining table annually to maintain a shiny appearance.

Surface Protection

Avoid setting hot pans or dishes directly on top of your dining table, as they can leave burn marks on the wood. Cover your table with a tablecloth to protect its top surface from harmful ultraviolet rays. Place a felt tabletop pad underneath your tablecloth to help prevent dings, scratches and marks. Some table pads are also liquid-proof to supply a barrier against spills. Hot pads, table runners, drink coasters and place mats deliver additional protection for your wood tabletop. You can also acquire a custom-fit glass piece to cover the top of your dining table to protect the surface while allowing you to enjoy its natural wood grain.


Preventing damage is the best method to care for wood dining tables. Wipe up liquid and food spills as soon as they occur. If you find your wood table stained with unsightly water rings from sweating glasses, rub the area with mayonnaise or moisturizing oil. Because the water rings are often in the wax and not the wood, the mayonnaise often removes them.Cover ugly scratches with a furniture touch-up marker or crayon in a matching wood shade.