How to Clean a Wood Kitchen Table

Got half an hour? Make your wood kitchen table spotless and germ-free.
Painting a Kitchen Island: Clean and Sand Surfaces

Painting a Kitchen Island: Clean and Sand Surfaces

After you have gathered your supplies and removed the hardware, Step 2 in painting a kitchen island is to clean the cabinets. To do this, wipe the cabinetry clean with a soft cloth and then use a sanding pad to lightly sand the surfaces to be painted.

Kitchen tables get dirty. Really dirty. With juice boxes, glue and glitter, these household workhorses are exposed to all sorts of sticky stuff. And while you wipe it down daily, at some point your wooden kitchen table will need a thorough cleaning. So, knowing how to clean a wood kitchen table is key.

Wood Table Designs

See All Photos

Custom Decor: Sculpted Wood Console Table

When choosing console tables for your home, there are three main categories: practical, industrial or decorative/sculptural. For an artisanal touch, stick with hand-carved woods that create extra surface to display items and also serve double duty as sculptural art.

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Eclectic TV Stand in Family Room

A unique television stand is featured in a family room fit for entertaining the whole family. A house plant in a woven basket adds a natural touch to the space.

From: Robin LaMonte

Photo By: Christina Wedge

Stunning Wooden End Table

A gorgeous wooden end table serves as an interesting accent piece that brings a bit of nature indoors.

Photo By: Eric Perry

Breakfast Nook With Wood Table and Gray Cushioned Chairs

Gray cushions adorn the chairs at the circular wooden table featured in this breakfast nook.

  1. breakfast nook

Photo By: Twist Tours

Tablescape With Smiley Cookies

The charming smiles on the cookies bring a happy feel to this close up of a Paris hotel table displaying chocolate treats and fresh fruit.

Photo By: Photo Courtesy: Betty Lou Phillips © 2013 Gibbs Smith, Allure of French & Italian Decor, Betty Lou Phillips

Woven Jute

Consider how underfoot surfaces contribute to a room's decorative qualities. If you have a busy family and a living room known for high traffic, try a woven jute rug to introduce rich, organic texture with durable, forgiving properties.

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Western Entry

Make a bold entryway statement with a warm and welcoming vignette comprised of a mix of classic wooden pieces and unique objects. The carved walnut console table paired with a peacock mirror and a collection of hats adds instant personality with a nice mix of coarse, sleek, rich and rustic texture.

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Contemporary Brown Child's Dining Table

The newly expanded kitchen has enough room for a child's dining table.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

A Touch of Country

Fixer Upper hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines dressed this coffee table with French country-style accessories: books, lanterns and a topiary.

  1. lantern
  2. books

Vintage Nightstand With Hummingbird Picture

This girls bedroom features a vintage darkwood nightstand adorned with a modern lamp.


Here's what you'll need:

  • A half-hour of free time (more, if you plan to oil the table)
  • A scraper that won't mess up the finish (we like plastic pot scrapers—do a quick online search and you'll find them priced from $1.25-$5.00)
  • Two buckets, one for cleaning and one for rinsing
  • Warm water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • White vinegar
  • Soft rags or paper towels
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  • Tung oil or Danish oil

Fill both buckets with hot water. To the water in one bucket, add a cup of vinegar and a few drops of the dish soap. Mix well with your hand—you might want to wear rubber gloves, btw. Because of the vinegar, the soap won't foam as much; don't panic. It's still working.

Bonus: The vinegar has antimicrobial properties, disinfecting even as you clean.

Leave the water in the other bucket alone—this is your rinse bucket. It'll keep you from contaminating your cleaning bucket with dirty water.

Dip your cloth or paper towel into the cleaning mixture and apply an even coat to the table top. Let it sit for a minute to loosen any congealed grime. Run the scraper gently over the top, then rinse the cleaning cloth in the rinse bucket and wipe the table down again.

Continue wiping down the sides and the table legs, working carefully to remove gunk from inlaid designs, carvings or edges. When your rag gets dirty, rinse it in the rinse bucket.

When you've finished one pass, go over the whole table again for good measure. Then dump both buckets and refill one with hot water. Use the hot water to wipe the table down to remove any last traces of soap or grime.

Dry your wooden kitchen table with a clean, dry cloth. You can also allow the table to air dry. If your table has a stained finish, this is a good time to re-oil it.

Re-Oil Your Wood Table

Use a clean cloth to work the oil in the direction of the grain. Let the oil sit 10-15 minutes, then wipe with a second clean cloth.

If you plan on doing more coats (we recommend 2 to 4), let the oil penetrate for 5 to 6 hours between coats.

If the table is marked from crayons or glasses, use steel wool to remove the marks. If it's gouged, use fine-grit sandpaper. Then wipe the table with a damp cloth, let it dry and oil it if that's part of your plan.

This is also a good time to clean and oil table leaves or extenders and to make sure they're functioning properly.

Tip: Re-oil every six months.

Kitchen Cleaning Tips

Related To:
Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Refinish a Kitchen Table

Give an old kitchen table new life in a weekend with these simple steps for refinishing wood furniture.

How to Refinish a Dining Room Table

Easily refinish a dated or worn dining room table to give it a fresh look.

Landscape Design Supplies and Materials

How to choose the best landscape design supplies and materials for your next residential landscaping project

How to Build a Wood and Metal Patio Fence

Wooden posts are combined with metal railings to create a decorative fence for a raised patio.

How to Clean Blinds

Make quick and easy work of it with these 9 tips.

How to Clean Carpet Stains

A good quality carpet could last for many years with proper care and maintenance.

How to Build a Wood Pergola

Pergolas provide some much needed shade from the summer sun. Learn how to build a pergola with these step-by-step instructions.

Wood Decking Materials

Get tips on how to find the right wood materials for your deck.

How to Clean Major Home Dust Collectors

Dusty vents, fan blades, blinds, windowsills and tools? No problem, with these great cleaning tips.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.