Stains, Mopping, Wiping, Ironing, Cleaning/black wood table cleaner
We have a nice black wooden dining room table, but have a terrible time with its upkeep. Often if things are too hot or cold, they leave marks on the table. I wipe it nightly with a disinfectant wipe, but am fearing that's what is making the table look so bad. You can see fingerprints, residue marks, etc. on it even after having wiped it down.
What is a good daily cleaner we can use without ruining the finish or paint?
A disinfectant wipe is not a cleaner and therefore will usually not clean furniture very well.
I am not sure if your beverages are leaving cloudy or white marks on your table but lets start with basic cleaning:
The key is to start with the gentlest cleansers, working up to stronger solutions as necessary, and to test on discreet areas, such as the inside of a table leg.
First: Dampen a cotton swab with water, add a drop of dish-washing liquid, and test. If the finish survives, (meaning you get no black color transfer to the cotton swab and there is no damage to the wood), make a solution of water and detergent, and clean as needed but don't saturate the wood; keep the sponge barely damp, and rinse often. You can also use mineral spirits, a clean cloth. Test first. Then, be sure to turn the cloth using a clean section frequently because if you don't you will leave streaks. Wood that remains grubby-looking after the mineral-spirits treatment needs some degree of refinishing. and for that I would suggest a professional.
Marks left from water/beverages:
As with most stains, it helps to act quickly. If the stain has been there for only a few days, empty your clothes iron of all the water inside, then bring it into the room with the affected piece of furniture. Plug in the iron, then lay a cotton napkin, towel, or T-shirt over the stain. With the iron set on LOW, apply it briefly to the fabric before lifting the cloth to see if the ring has diminished. Repeat until (we hope) the white stain has disappeared. Alternatively, you can try using a hair dryer to achieve the same effect. Move the dryer back and forth over the area for about 10 minutes until the moisture evaporates. If the stain remains or has been there for awhile, rub a gentle abrasive cleaner over it until you have freed the trapped moisture: Coat a soft, damp cloth with a baking soda–and-water combination or a nonsoapy ammonia will also do the trick) and lightly rub the affected finish in the direction of the wood grain. Repeat the motion for 5 to 10 minutes, until you break through to the condensation that has seeped into the surface. Then dry and clean the area with a soft cloth. Seal the finish with furniture or paste wax.
If you spot a water ring but don’t have any of the cleaners mentioned above, put a bit of nongel toothpaste on a soft cloth and rub the affected area, then buff the area with a clean cloth.
More stubborn spots: Substitute full-fat mayonnaise for the toothpaste and leave it on for at least an hour before wiping clean and buffing with a clean cloth.
Again be sure to test what you use in an inconspicuous area first.