Have you heard of the flat surface rule? It says that a flat surface like a floor, a table or countertop should always be cleared of anything that is not a permanent fixture. This sounds like a great rule but my dining room table constantly challenges that flat surface rule. My table attracts mail, paperwork, bills and even clothing. I’ve put a new rule in place that says that the dining room table must be cleared of all clutter by dinner time. Much more doable! If there are items left on the table, they are placed in a laundry basket and given 24 hours to be dealt with. After 24 hours they will be discarded. This new rule seems to be working and has left my table top free from clutter. I’ve found that my next challenge is keeping the tabletop clean and dust free. Here are a few tips I’ve learned:

Cleaning

Start by washing the table with warm water and a touch of dish detergent.  Whether you have a wood, glass or plastic dining room table, they can all be cleaned with a damp cloth and a touch of dish detergent. Start with a bucket of warm water and a drop or two of a gentle dish soap. Use a large looped microfiber cloth wrung out until it’s slightly damp. Go over the entire table including the legs and chairs. Rinse the table with warm water and then use a fine woven microfiber cloth to dry it completely.

Conditioning

Once the furniture is completely clean and dry, apply liquid beeswax to seal in the moisture and condition the wood. A favorite product of mine is Howard’s Feed-N-Wax, which is a polisher and conditioner. This product combines beeswax, carnauba wax and orange oil to enhance the natural beauty of the grain in both finished and unfinished wood. It also seals the wood and prevents it from drying out. This product is something you’ll want to use on your dining room table once a month.

Dusting

You’ll want to dust your dining room table to keep it clean on a weekly basis. I suggest using a dry large-looped microfiber cloth to remove dust easily and gently. The microscopic fingers in the microfiber pick up the dust and hold onto it until you place the cloth in the laundry. This makes dusting extremely easy. Because microfiber is so efficient you don’t have to use a dusting polish which cuts your cleaning time in half.

Environmental Conditions

Wood furniture reacts to the environment so you’ll want to keep the temperature and the humidity at constant levels. The room temperature should be between 60 and 80 degrees all year long. The humidity should be in the 35 to 45 percent range to keep the wood from becoming too dry. You’ll also want to keep your furniture out of direct sunlight. The sun can bleach the wood and can damage the piece. Avoid storing wood furniture in attics and basements as they are not stable environments for wood furniture.

Maintenance

You want to pay close attention to your wood furniture. Cleaning, dusting, and conditioning will keep it from deteriorating. Some people think that it doesn’t matter how often you dust a wood piece of furniture. But dust can build up and combine with moisture in the air which will permanently damage the finish. Maintaining a schedule of cleaning, dusting and conditioning your wood dining room table will keep it looking its best for generations. It will be something special to hand down to your children or even your children’s children.  Remember a dining room table is where family memories are made.

For more information on how you can clean and protect your home safely & efficiently, visit Leslie’s website!