Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

cleaning tables

(46 Posts)
Gill2008 Mon 07-Dec-15 14:30:44

As I am now suffering more pain in my hands I am considering not using tablecloths anymore so that I don't have to iron them.

Doe anyone know what cleaners to use on wooden tables to clean them. I don't know what restaurants use or even whether you can buy it.

Any ideas please.

rosequartz Mon 07-Dec-15 14:33:13

Well, ours has a sort of lacquer finish and I know I'm not supposed to use Pledge or Mr Sheen or similar on it (but I do). It is supposed to dull it but it looks fine to me and it's about 25 years old.

suzied Mon 07-Dec-15 14:34:35

Why don't you have a pvc tablecloth which you can wipe down for everyday. John Lewis have some lovely pvc fabric which you buy by the metre.

tanith Mon 07-Dec-15 14:41:14

On my pine table I just use a damp cloth with a tiny bit of flash its 20yrs old and it looks fine (apart from where an anonymous grandchild drew very hard with biro on a piece of paper and made a dent) if I'm feeling generous I give it a quick rub with a dry microfibre cloth have hardly ever used a cloth on it.

soontobe Mon 07-Dec-15 15:14:33

Same sort and age table as rosequartz by the sounds of it. I just use a little fairy l and ocasional dettox spray.

Coolgran65 Mon 07-Dec-15 15:16:54

I have a wooden table which is used regularly and I keep it decent by covering it with the heatproof stuff that you buy off the roll in Dunelm.

Then on top I have a vinyl/pcv tablecloth. It's brilliant, never have to worry about hot plates or dgc leaning too heavily when doing their homework.

When it's just adults I will sometimes cover it all with a polyester lace cloth which machine washes and tumbles dry - no ironing.

If the dgc are not to be with us for a few days I might take off the heatproof/vinyl cloths and enjoy our nice table but the vinyl does come in nice patterns that can be chosen to fit in with existing decor.

Honestly Gill2008 I'd forget about how to keep your table clean and get a PCV tablecloth. My last one was bought on line, possibly from Amazon.

rosequartz Mon 07-Dec-15 15:56:42

Yes, I have one of those heatproof covers (2 in two different sizes for when it is normal and extended). I am supposed to be writing Christmas cards on there today, saves any dents etc.

I bought a tablecloth in cotton/polyester from Lidl which fits it when it is out full, washes just fine and never needs ironing. It cost £6.99 - but that was about a year ago.

Ana Mon 07-Dec-15 16:01:56

Mine has that sort of lacquered finish as well and I just used Dettol wipes on it - failing which a dash of washing-up liquid or flash on a damp cloth. Even felt-tip pen marks come off easily.

I have a couple of lovely tablecloths somewhere, but since I stopped ironing I don't use them!

rosequartz Mon 07-Dec-15 16:06:09

Dare I try Dettol wipes -ooh

If I just keep it covered up it will only need a quick dust, won't it?

Nelliemoser Mon 07-Dec-15 16:28:13

Buy a PVC one with a table top heat protector underneath.
(As does Coolgran65)

Greyduster Mon 07-Dec-15 16:46:52

I have a couple of pvc table cloths which i bought from Aldi and i use those everyday with a protector underneath. Just wipe them clean with a soapy cloth or a Dettol wipe. I use a damask cloth for special occasions, or a polyester cloth from Dunelm, which needs very little ironing. Most of the time, it's just the pvc one (which i should have left on on Saturday when DS came to lunch and managed to spill gravy all over the place). We bought our dining table because of its beautiful top. It never sees the light of day! We only used it without a cloth once and i was like a cat on hot bricks in case it got damaged!

Anya Mon 07-Dec-15 16:47:50

My 'dining room table' is an old colonial one, handed down through several generations. It is scratched and marked beyond repair. I roll out pastry on it, scrub it down with whatever comes to hand and the GC paint and glue on it. If I'm entertaining posh people, I throw a table cloth over it, which covers a multitude of sins.

It recently suffered smoke damage (when the kitchen caught fire!) and has been taken away to be professionally cleaned. I was wondering if it was worth it, until the insurers told me it had been valued at £999 ... my flabber was truly gasted!

So Gill you shouldn't worry too much, just set about it with a Brillo pad hmm

Ana Mon 07-Dec-15 16:56:51


ninathenana Mon 07-Dec-15 17:06:23

Another vote for protector and pvc cloth. Visitors get treated to the lace cloth that was mum's, not sure what it's made of but doesn't need ironing.

granjura Mon 07-Dec-15 17:23:27

Agree with lovely pvc cloth for everyday. A friend still likes a 'proper' tablecloth when she has visitors, but takes them to the drycleaners to be laundered and ironed.

rosequartz Mon 07-Dec-15 17:28:38

So Gill you shouldn't worry too much, just set about it with a Brillo pad
I have 'scrubbed' some of my furniture with fine steel wool (finer than a Brillo pad) and special cleaner then polished it with special polish, can't remember the name but could go and find it, but haven't done the table because it is usually protected with that pad, unlike the rest of the furniture which is used for writing on/'cooking' pretend meals/spilling drinks etc etc by DGD.

Maranta Mon 07-Dec-15 18:11:15

My dining table is an inherited antique mahogany one and I protect it with a heatproof protector and a PVC cloth, as others do.

Gill2008 Tue 08-Dec-15 15:44:50

Thanks for all the tips. DH is the messy one and spills something on every clean cloth as soon as I put one on the table.

It isn't an expensive table, bought it from Ikea to be wide and high enough to fit round DS wheelchair so that he could eat at the table.

I don't think a pvc cloth would go down very well with either DH (fussy) or DS (might make him think I'm looking at him as 'disabled') so I'm going to cut up a couple of my large cloths and make them into fabric placemats that can be washed and ironed easily but will try the damp cloth and fairy liquid to clean up spills and give it the odd polish.

Thanks for the ideas. Gill smile

Alea Tue 08-Dec-15 16:13:34

My kitchen/dining table has a red "gingham" checked pvc tablecloth so that we can eat at it/prep food at it/do crosswords at it/read the newspaper at it /unpack shopping etc with impunity.
I love its cheerful look. DD has a similar tasteful taupe spotted pvc one so that the entire family can eat at it /DGSs do painting and craft work, etc. We both have a heatproof slightly padded underlay and clips at the corners.

JessM Tue 08-Dec-15 16:38:28

My tip is: don't let miscellaneous stuff accumulate.
Looking over the top of the lap top I see...
Kitchen roll (a roll plus a bit i used earlier as a napkin)
2 charity coasters sent to try to extort (another) donation
a screwdriver
a scarf
some xmas wrapping tissue
an OU giveaway set of postcards entitled BBC World Changing Women
a (clean, washed) comb
some junk mail about Shell points of some such
an emery board
3 washed (and folded) tea towels
a sheet of paper with various things typed and written on it. (draft of Welsh homework, todo list, my sisters new phone number)
a short story that someone pressed into my hands last night in the writers group party. Xmas apocalypse 2020 theme.
a red pen i was using to make comments on a friend's Phd.
Several items have been there for over a week. it is not a big table.
Oh, and an Apple iBook.
If I tidied up a bit I could give it a wipe....

Alea Tue 08-Dec-15 16:44:58

I was going to post a pic of our table, but you can barely see the cloth for assorted papers, "filing", shopping still to be put away , oh we've got Shell vouchers too, Christmas cards, and "bits".
Take my word for it, PVC is OK, JL have some great colours and spots or checks or flowers whatever floats your boat!

loopylou Tue 08-Dec-15 16:51:47

My table's a 'utility' one (ex MIL's) and I long to change it. It's got cross bars which makes it bl...y impossible very difficult to push the chairs under (and they're my GM's and getting very rickety) and the top has infuriating grooves that collect goodness what gibbons.
I vacuum it when DH clears it of all his very important paperwork (aka junk), chuck a tablecloth on if anyone visits. It never gets polished or anything else really!

loopylou Tue 08-Dec-15 16:53:50

Gibbons! Possibly....gubbins

J52 Tue 08-Dec-15 17:57:46

We seem to gather tables in different types and sizes, bought according to need or size of room, when moving house.

Breakfast room table, dining room table, 2 residing in the garage ( about to go to charity shop!) and one in second home! There are of course heards of chairs to match!


rubysong Tue 08-Dec-15 18:45:44

My dining table is a vintage G Plan bought at auction for £7, yes, £7 (which included 4 matching chairs). It has an extending leaf and has had ten people around it. The top is a bit ropey and the person who was going to resurface it for me has emigrated to Canada. It is always covered with a heat proof cover and a chenille cloth. It is usually covered with craft projects but sometimes I clear it, put a cloth on it and we actually sit and eat at it.