Q:

How do you care for a wood table?

A:

Quick Answer

To care for a wood table, avoid heat and humidity extremes, clean the table with a soft cloth, and protect the surface from dings and scratches with tablecloths and pads. To polish the table, use a paste wax, and avoid products containing silicone.

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Full Answer

Wood tables are sensitive to excessive heat, so avoid placing them in direct sunlight and next to heat sources, such as fireplaces and heating vents. Sunlight can cause the wood to fade, and high heat can cause the table to dry out and crack. Wood tables are sensitive to both low and high humidity levels. If the humidity drops too low, the dry air can cause the table to crack, while excessive air moisture can cause the wood to swell. If possible, maintain a humidity level around 40 to 45 percent.

Clean the table with a soft damp cloth to prevent rubbing dust across the surface and causing tiny scratches that dull the finish. For a more thorough cleaning, use warm water and a mild soap solution, and dry the table immediately to avoid water damage. After cleaning, polish the table with a thin coat of paste wax, and buff it with a soft brush or cloth. Avoid polishes with silicone, as they can soak into the wood and cause permanent damage to the wood grain.

Protect the surface of the table by using drink coasters, place mats or a tablecloth to prevent water rings, dings and scratches.

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