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Dining Table Pad and Furniture Maintenance tips

Table Pad – Proper Use And Care

  1. The vinyl top can be washed with a damp cloth and some mild soap (no abrasives).
  2. The suede bottom can be wiped clean with a soft bristled brush. Never use liquid cleaners on the bottom surface.
  3. If you need to leave the pads on the surface for extended periods, we recommend that you remove them for a day, every couple weeks, so that your finish can breathe, and moisture doesn’t build up.
  4. When not in use, store your pads lying flat if possible. If you need to store them on edge, keep them as vertical as possible, preferably on the longer edge.
  5. Pads should be stored in the shipping box or in a pad storage bag.
  6. If possible store pads where temperature and humidity are stable.
  7. Keep in mind that while your pad will protect your table from extreme heat and other accidental damage, very hot items can still burn a table cloth or melt the pad’s vinyl top. That is why we recommend using hot mats or trivets under serving pieces that come directly from the oven.

Furniture Care And Maintenance

First, some words about common furniture myths…

Polishes and waxes serve a purpose, but they do not feed the wood (it’s sealed) nor the finish.

There are several reasons why a finish may appear streaky, smeary, or cloudy. While it may look like the finish itself is damaged, it can usually be resolved with a deep thorough cleaning.

Build-up can come from improper use of paste wax, oily polishes, frequent exposure to cooking and body oils, and neglect to deep clean on occasion.

Water damage will not occur from dusting with a damp cloth, but rather from standing water, moisture trapped by a glass, plant, or any other moist object left on the surface.

About Maintenance

Regular Cleaning

Most of the time, all you need to use is a slightly damp cloth as you dust. You can also follow with a dry soft cloth. Occasionally, depending on how much the furniture is handled and the environment it’s in, you can use products such as Murphy’s Oil Soap or Guardsman to remove grease, wax, fingerprints, cooking oils and body oils to prevent unwanted build-up. They are designed to clean different types of dirt, so it’s good to have both on hand. I don’t recommend Pledge because it contains silicone, which can cause problems over time. Many other polishes also contain silicone, though it’s not stated on the label. Since this is a known concern, some products will state clearly that they do not use silicone.

Paste wax is another option that produces good results but it is harder to apply. It is not recommended on matte finishes unless you want to increase the sheen. If you choose paste wax, never use an oily liquid polish over it. It will soften the wax and caused an uneven appearance. If you want to switch to a liquid polish, remove the wax with mineral spirits first.

Deep Cleaning

If you already have severe build-up, you might need to use solvents such as mineral spirits or naptha. Apply liberally with a cloth rubbing with the grain, then wipe dry with a clean dry cloth.

Refold cloth as it becomes soiled and repeat until no more soil appears on the dry cloth.

Here are some causes of damages that might surprise you…

  • Candles (especially red) can bleed color directly into a finish, even when they’re not lit.
  • Rubber feet on phones and answering machines can stain many finishes.
  • Various scent diffusers contain alchohol and/or other chemicals that will harm most finishes.
  • Chemicals in potpourri can damage many finishes.

An accumulation of body and food oils can soften a finish and cause it to wear away prematurely.

  • This is commonly seen around door knobs, chair arms, and headboards.
  • Fallen nectar and pollen from flowers can leaves permanent stains.
  • Colored plastic wrap (like what’s used on holiday cookie trays) can bleed color directly into a finish.