How to Clean a Wooden Table

Cleaning wood tables reveals the beauty of the wood and protects the surface from day-to-day use.

Select products made for cleaning wood, rather than multi-purpose products, for the best results. Make sure that the products you choose are alcohol-free to protect the finish. .

Choose a wood soap that's oil-based to thoroughly clean the table. If your wood tables have been stored for any length of time, you may need to wash it with an oil-based cleanser several times to remove the accumulated grime.

Scrub the wood oil soap with a cotton cloth like a cloth diaper.

Fill any dents or scratches using shoe polish that's similar in color to the finish on your wood tables.

Polish your wood tables frequently with a polish made from lemon oil. For most wood tables, you can polish weekly; for tables that see high use, like dining tables and coffee tables, you'll need to polish more often.

Hire a professional to buff and polish your wood tables annually.


  • Make your own wood soap by diluting hand soap with water.
  • Create your own furniture polish by mixing 3 parts olive oil to 1 part lemon oil. Apply an even coat to your wood tables.


  • Don't use any products that contain alcohol or ammonia on your wood furniture. Both ingredients will damage the wood and the finish, shortening the life of your wood pieces.