How to Clean Wood Coffee Table?

Wood coffee tables are a staple in many living rooms and dens. Their warm, natural look instantly makes a space feel cozy and inviting. However, keeping a wood coffee table looking its best requires regular …

a person cleaning wood coffee table

Wood coffee tables are a staple in many living rooms and dens. Their warm, natural look instantly makes a space feel cozy and inviting. However, keeping a wood coffee table looking its best requires regular cleaning and care.

Dust, dirt, spills, and fingerprints can accumulate quickly on wood surfaces, making them appear dull, dirty, and worn if not cleaned properly. Don’t worry?, with the right techniques and products, you can easily clean your wood coffee table and keep it looking like new!

Supplies You’ll Need

Before getting started, assemble all the supplies you’ll need. Having everything ready makes the cleaning process quicker and more efficient.

Clear Away Surface Clutter

First, remove everything from the top of the coffee table – books, coasters, remotes, and decorative items. This allows you to access the entire surface of the table.

Put items aside in a safe place where they won’t get dusty or dirty. Clearing clutter makes dusting much easier.

Dust the Entire Surface

Use a microfiber cloth, soft brush, or lint-free cloth to dust the entire surface of the coffee table. Pay attention to detail by dusting legs, corners, edges, and undersides.

If needed, use the brush or vacuum crevice tool to dislodge dust from grooves, carvings, and other intricate detail work. Dusting removes debris that can scratch the wood if left to accumulate.

Mix a Gentle Wood Cleaner

For a regular top-to-bottom clean, mix an all-natural wood cleaning solution. Good options are:

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar with 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dish soap with 1 cup warm water
  • Commercial gentle wood cleaner diluted per instructions

Avoid using harsh cleaners or chemicals on wood furniture. They can strip finishes and damage surfaces.

Wipe Down the Table Top

Dip a clean microfiber cloth in the wood cleaner solution. Wring out excess liquid so the cloth is damp but not dripping.

Gently wipe down the entire surface of the coffee table top. Scrub lightly with the grain if needed to remove stuck-on dirt or stains.

Take caution not to soak the wood. Too much moisture can warp boards or discolor finishes.

Clean Undersides and Legs

Don’t forget to clean the underside and legs too for a complete clean!

Use a slightly damp microfiber cloth to wipe away dust bunnies, dirt, and grime from these areas. Pay special attention to the bottom of the legs and stretchers to remove ground-in gunk.

Rinse and Dry Immediately

As soon as you’ve finished wiping down all wood surfaces, take a fresh dry cloth and buff dry. This prevents streaking or water marks.

Go with the wood grain as you dry for best results. Persistent spots can be gently re-cleaned and dried.

Apply Protective Polish or Oil (Optional)

For extra protection and sheen, apply a thin coat of polish or conditioning oil specially formulated for wood furniture. Options include:

Rub the polish gently into the wood following the grain. Let it soak in for 5-10 minutes, then thoroughly buff off any excess. This nourishes wood and adds a protective coating.

Maintain Regular Dusting

Get into a routine of quick dusting your coffee table every couple of days using a microfiber cloth or dusting wand. Frequent dust removal prevents buildup and keeps surfaces clear.

Spot clean spills right away to prevent stains. Every 1-2 months, do a full cleaning and reapply protective polish or oil if desired. Proper care keeps wood coffee tables looking like new!

“My trick for cleaning wood furniture is using a little olive or coconut oil on a soft rag – it really revives and brightens the natural wood beautifully!” – Marissa B., Interior Designer

Key Takeaways for Cleaning Wood Coffee Tables

  • Dust frequently using a microfiber cloth or soft brush
  • Mix a mild wood cleaner like vinegar and water
  • Wipe down surfaces gently following the grain
  • Dry immediately to prevent streaks and spots
  • Consider using polish or oil for added protection
  • Maintain with regular quick dusting and occasional deep cleaning

Following these tips will keep your beloved wood coffee table looking its absolute best for years to come!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to clean wood furniture?

Use a soft, slightly damp microfiber cloth to wipe wood furniture down with a mild cleaner like diluted dish soap, vinegar water, or an all-natural wood cleaner. Avoid harsh chemicals. Always dry immediately.

How do you clean old, dried wood stains?

For old stains, try rubbing gently with a damp cloth and a few drops of olive oil. Baking soda or gentle scrubbing powder can also help lift stains. Avoid abrasive scouring pads.

What is a homemade wood polish recipe?

An easy homemade wood polish combines 2 parts olive oil or almond oil with 1 part lemon juice. Apply a thin coat and let soak in 5 minutes before buffing off excess. The oil nourishes wood while the acid brightens.

What are the best products for cleaning and protecting wood?

Great options include wood soap, vinegar water, olive/coconut/almond oils, beeswax polish, Feed-N-Wax, lemon oil, tung oil, and mineral oil. Avoid Murphy’s oil and harsh cleaners.

How can you refresh wood furniture scratches and scuffs?

Use a wood marker in a matching tone for minor touch-ups. Rubbing gently with oil can also help minimize the appearance of light scuffs. Be very careful not to scrub hard and damage the surrounding finish.


Cleaning and caring for a treasured wood coffee table doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. By using gentle cleaners and techniques designed specifically for wood furniture, you can safely clean away dirt, stains, and dust without damaging the finish. Your coffee table will look beautiful while the wood is nourished and protected.

Be sure to dust frequently, wipe spills quickly, and do occasional deep cleanings to keep your wood furniture looking its absolute best. With some simple care, your wood coffee table will last for many years to come!

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