Posted by Ivan Lim

Wood gives your coffee table a beautiful finish, which is probably why it’s been a favourite in the lounge room for eons.


But as beautiful as it looks, there are downsides to the natural material. Wood is easily damaged by changes in temperature, light and moisture. It’s easy to scratch and stain.


But that shouldn’t stop you from having a gorgeous wooden centrepiece in your room. As easy as wood can be to damage, it’s even easier to make right again.



So here up some simple wood care tips and tricks to keep your coffee table looking fresh:

Keep your wood done and dusted


Dust may be minuscule, but it can still create microscopic scratches which can dull your table’s gleam over time.


It’s really important you dust regularly – at least weekly – with a lint-free cloth.

Wash it off


When your coffee table starts to look a bit used and abused, it can look fresh again in no time with a simple washing regime.


No need for potent chemicals here – just fill a bowl with warm water and ½ or 1 cup of vinegar, or a bit of soap.


Mix it, wet a soft cloth, and wipe your table down. Include tricky areas, such as the edges or intricate designs, which could capture dirt.


Rinse your cloth and wipe the table down again with fresh water.


Finally wipe the table down one last time with a dry cloth to remove any residual moisture.

Wax on, wax off


The best thing about wood is its refreshing, natural gloss. But with use, the finish dulls. The coffee table starts to look tired.


It’s best to polish your coffee table about twice a year.


You could go out and purchase a fancy coffee table polish…


… But there are some easy home remedies that are just as effective – if not more, since they don’t contain any nasty chemicals which could in fact damage your table.


Hard carnauba wax is an easy solution. You just wipe the wax on with one cloth and polish with the other.


Or you can combine one part lemon juice to three parts olive oil. Dab a little bit onto a soft lint-free cloth and rub the mixture into the wood, going with the grain.

Go nuts on scuffs and scratches


Wood is susceptible to dents and scratches. But that doesn’t mean you need to bubble-wrap it for its own protection.


The solution is simple:


Nuts. The natural oils in fresh walnuts or Brazil nuts help darken wood.



Simply crack open a nut, rub its meat over the scratch (keeping with the grain), then buff the area with a clean cloth.


Keep it up until the scratch has blended with the rest of the wood.

Eliminate water rings


The best way to eliminate water rings is to prevent their creation – make sure there are plenty of coasters and trays available for your guests to balance their mugs and glasses on.


But if you have collected a few water rings, don’t worry. It’s no big deal.


In fact, there are plenty of unbelievably easy homemade solutions to help you obliterate those cursed stains:


  1. Rub mayonnaise over the mark. If the stain is in the wax, mayonnaise helps draw it out.


  1. Dab a clean, lint-free cloth with naptha and rub it over the mark. That removes the finish. Massage in oil soap or petroleum jelly to remove the stain.


  1. This solution is too good to be true and there's no need for salad dressings or soap!


With a relatively new stain, throw a clean, thick towel over the mark and press a dry low-to-medium temperature iron over the top.


Make sure the iron doesn’t touch the wood directly, or you could create a harder problem to rectify!


The heat warms the finish and releases the watermark moisture into the towel.


Remove the iron after a few seconds. Then keep it up until the stain is gone.


Finally, polish it up to make it look good as new.

Prevention is key


Of course, you only have to remove blemishes if you haven’t done everything in your power to prevent them in the first place.


Here are a few simple on-going prevention tips:

  • Keep coasters and trays handy
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a paper towel or clean cloth. Check under objects for pooled water
  • Don’t slide things across your coffee table surface
  • Keep the table away from heating vents or radiators to prevent cracking and splitting
  • Keep the table clear of direct sunlight (or rotate the table and table top items regularly)



If you love these simply coffee table cleaning hacks, check out more of our interior design and furniture tips and tricks on the blog. Or browse through our own designer range of coffee tables to spice up your lounge room today.