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How to Maintain a Coffee Table?

Date Posted:11 December 2021 

How to Maintain a Coffee Table? main image How to Maintain a Coffee Table? image

If you want to have a clean and aesthetic living and dining space, you must know how to maintain your coffee table. The secret lies in showing your furniture some TLC. Many horror stories of cleaning DIY projects went horribly wrong, resulting in a ruined coffee table.

Cleaning a coffee table is relatively straightforward, but only if you have the right materials and use ideal techniques. The cleaning routine depends on the furniture’s material and the extra time you have besides your busy schedule.

Are you interested in investing in a coffee table but have no idea how to maintain it? Worry no more! This post contains all the information you need to keep your furniture looking fresh and new.


Maintaining a Solid Oak Coffee Table


Unlike other materials, oak has a visible grain that can hide marks, scratches, and stains. However, since it is natural and porous, it can easily get stained. It is not uncommon for a simple mistake like not using a coaster to ruin your precious table.

So, how do you maintain an oak coffee table?


1.  Care for It When It’s New


Before furniture is shipped, it is usually oiled. Always air out your coffee table (with the drawers open) immediately after it is delivered to remove the odor. If the oily smell persists, mix activated charcoal, baking soda, and vinegar in a bowl and place it near the table.

If your coffee table comes with the manufacturer’s instructions, read them and follow them to the letter. Some tables are treated differently and require special care. If the furniture is made of untreated oak, lightly sand it, vacuum the sawdust, and apply wood stain.


2.  Clean It Regularly


The best way to clean oak furniture is the traditional way - using a vinegar and olive oil blend. The oil keeps the oak moisturized while the vinegar removes stains. Plus, the blend is eco-friendly and free of toxins.

  • In a bowl, mix one-part vinegar with two parts olive oil
  • Pour the mixture into a spray bottle
  • Spray the mixture onto the table’s surface and gently wipe with a soft, dry cloth

For stubborn watermarks and stains, dab a substantial amount of mayonnaise. The oil in the mayonnaise removes water stains. Leave it for a few hours or overnight, depending on the damage. Then, apply wax after the marks disappear.

Avoid using chemical oak cleaners on your coffee table. Even though they are meant for solid oak, they might leave an oil build-up that will damage the table over time.


3. Protect the Finish


First of all, never leave your oak coffee table close to heat or under direct sunlight. Save for oak tables that are designed to be used outdoors; never leave your oak furniture outdoors. The heat dries the material and, over time, fades the natural color.

Next, always clean spills immediately after they happen. The longer you leave a spill to sit on your coffee table, the more the material absorbs the stain. Therefore, ensure you always use mats and trivets for hot dishes and coasters for drinks.


Maintaining a Wooden Coffee Table


Everyone loves a wooden coffee table. Besides, it has a great finish and matches with most interior décor designs. Yet, lack of proper maintenance can reduce its lifespan substantially because the material is easily affected by temperature and light.

To prevent pre-mature damage, you should:


Dust, Wash, and Wax


Dust is minute, so it is hard to notice for some people. Accumulated dust gives your coffee table minuscule marks that could stain the surface with time. To avoid losing that wooden gleam, dust your table at least twice a week with a lint-free cloth to keep the surfaces beaming.

If your coffee table has started looking used, solve it with warm water and soap or vinegar. Use a wet cloth to wipe any dirt or stains. Be sure to clean all the nooks and crannies to avoid harboring any dirt. Rinse the cloth and wipe the coffee table down with clean water and dry it off.

Finally, ensure you wax your table every six months or when it starts losing its natural glossy look.


Remove Water Marks Instantly


Watermarks are wooden furniture’s number one enemy. And the best way to deal with them is using coasters 24/7. But when it is too late, use the following home remedies.

  • Use mayonnaise to draw water from the wax hence eliminating the mark
  • Dab naphtha on the mark using a lint-free cloth to remove the finish then use oil soap to remove the stain

For new watermarks, place a thick towel on the mark and press with a low-to-medium heat iron. Press for a few seconds and release until the stain disappears.


Go Nuts on Dents!


Do you have a marks and scratches problem? Use the natural oils found in fresh nuts (walnuts and Brazil). The oils have components that help darken the wood. So, when you notice a dent, crack open a nut, rub the oils onto the surface, and buff with a lint-free cloth. 


More Tips & Hacks


  • Always strip the coffee table before renovating the surface
  • Seal furniture after applying the stain
  • Keep the coffee table moisturized
  • Use rollers and sliders to push or move the table
  • Repair any dents as soon as you notice them
  • Dab when cleaning instead of rubbing
  • Never use harsh cleaning agents and chemicals
  • You can never go wrong with warm soapy water and olive oil




You don’t have to be hesitant about getting a classy coffee table anymore. There are tons of DIY maintenance tips that can help you keep it fresh all year long!

Some coffee tables are quite pricy – others even over a few hundred dollars. And in as much as you would love to keep your table looking lovely, neglecting its maintenance could cost you more. To make sure that your family room always looks exquisite, stick to the guidelines above.

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