desk maintenance guide: how to take care of different desk tops

When you get your new desk setup and ready to go, you feel like you're on top of the world. Nothing beats that brand-spanking-new feeling that makes you more motivated and eager to spend time at your desk. Such an investment, however, also requires some care. Knowing how to properly maintain your desk will help you enjoy it in pristine condition for years to come.

The type of material your desk is made out of, as well as your general habits, will help you decide on the best strategies for care. This helpful guide is full of cleaning and maintenance tips to help you care for all types of desks, including plenty of general care suggestions that will prevent damage and wear and tear.

How Do You Take Care of a Desk?

There are some essential dos and don'ts that everyone should follow. Practicing these will keep your desk in tip-top shape at all times.

Dos of Desk Care and Maintenance

These tips apply for all our desks but especially our hardwood desks, softwood desks and bamboo desks. Make sure you always use a coaster for beverages, hot plates and bowls. Avoid eating at your desk whenever possible to prevent crumbs and liquid spills from entering your keyboard as well. If you do have any drips or if you spill water, make sure you dry your desk immediately. You can keep your desktop clean with a soft towel that is absorbent but non-abrasive when it comes to regular cleaning.

When you dust, use a dry cloth. If you need to clean light stains, then use warm water and gentle soap. Avoid any harsh cleaners with abrasive chemicals that can strip your desktop's wood finish.

desky ergo edge white bamboo

Speaking of the desk's surface, make sure that you avoid writing or drawing directly on it. Place any paper on top of a book, writing pad or use a notepad. You should also use a durable mousepad that helps diminish the risk of any scratches.

When using a solid wood desk, do place your desk in a shaded spot and avoid placing your desk in direct sunlight to prevent variation in the wood's colour. Natural sun exposure changes wood and, if severe, can even cause warping. To preserve its finish, you can treat your wooden desk with lemon oil or a light polish. Desks in Australia can be more susceptible to sun damage due to our extreme weather!

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Don'ts of Desk Care and Maintenance

Never allow any liquids to puddle or leave hot items resting on the surface of your desk. You may even want to place any candles on a coaster or dish to avoid direct heat contact as well as avoid long periods of direct sunlight.

You should never use harsh chemicals to clean your desk, whether that be rubbing alcohol, bleach, acetone or household cleaners like Windex or Lysol. The best way to clean a desk is with a damp cloth. Rinse thoroughly, but avoid applying too much water to the surface. Always dry with a clean, dry cloth.

desky ergo matte black bamboo

Do not use your mouse directly on the surface of your desk, and avoid placing sharp objects on the surface. When writing, you should use something beneath your writing surface to avoid scratching your desk by accident like a desk pad.

You should also not apply any wood veneer, paint, stain or lacquer to your desk unless it is specifically suited for the type of material your desk is made from.

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How Do You Clean Your Desk?

Cleaning any desk is a lot easier than you may think. Once you've done the hard yards and figured out how to organise the cords and cables under your desk, you should clean your desk at least once a month (or as needed when spills occur) to remove any dirt or bacteria.

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If you notice any stubborn stains or a white ring, as a coffee mug can leave stains by accident, you can use a soft bristle brush and microfiber cloth to gently lift them. It may take some elbow grease and a circular motion, but be patient. Rather than applying an excessive amount of pressure, be persistent and work in more water or soap as needed.

desky dual ergo bamboo

Cleaning chemicals are not suitable for any desk type as it stripes the natural finish off the surface. While they may quickly remove dirt, they also leave your desk more vulnerable. Opt for lemon oil, which is a good cleaning agent with a pleasant scent, instead of household cleaners. Do not ever use nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol or other abrasive chemicals to remove marks or stains from the desk top. Avoid products such as steel wool as well, no matter how stubborn the stain.

How Often Should You Clean Your Desktop?

Once or twice a month should be enough to keep your desk nice and clean. Take this opportunity to check your desk is setup for maximum productivity. You should also be mindful of any additional reasons for sanitation, such as the flu season or potential exposure to the coronavirus. Always disinfect high-touch surfaces, including your desk drawer handle, keyboard and mouse.

How To Care For Wooden and Timber Desks

Wood desk tops can be cleaned using a damp cloth and gentle soap. Warm water and soap are also suitable for timber desk tops but a simple damp cloth is the best option for a quick clean. The most important factor in this instance is choosing the right cleaning product and materials. A damp cloth can easily capture dirt and dust, but it should only be applied once with the cleaning solution. To dry, you will need a clean, absorbent towel or soft cloth to ensure no moisture seeps into wood or timber table tops' porous surfaces.

desky hardwood walnut desk

Although it may not be the typical type of wood, a bamboo desktop also requires special care. Bamboo is a highly durable, sustainable option for desk materials. It requires minimal upkeep, but follow these maintenance tips when you clean your bamboo desk.

  1. Thoroughly dust the surface with a feather duster or microfiber cloth before you apply any water or cleaning products.
  2. Use a mild, warm solution of soap and water to gently rinse the surface of the desk.
  3. Use a gentle brush without hard bristles to apply the solution into gaps and crevices.
  4. Dry with a new microfiber cloth or towel, careful to make sure there is no water or soap left behind.

How Do You Clean A Wooden Desk?

Caring for wood desks takes a bit more technique than other materials, but you can maintain yours with the right routine. Follow these cleaning methods to keep your wood desk clean and free of any damages. These methods can be applied to hardwood timber desks and softwood timber desks.

  1. Using a soft brush and a weak solution of soap in liquid form can help to remove stains, but do not apply any harsh chemicals.
  2. Dust weekly or as needed with a cloth or feather duster.
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How To Care For Melamine and Laminate Desks

Melamine desktops and laminate are also excellent desk materials because they are so easy to maintain. They can withstand plenty of use, and they're suitable for a wide range of activities. Many parents choose melamine and laminate for their children's furniture because they're so easy to clean.

Although it can look just as polished as wood veneer or a wooden desk, laminate comes at a much more affordable cost. It is also much more eco-friendly and one of the most sustainable materials in modern furniture.

desky white melamine desk

Because it's naturally scratch-resistant, you likely won't have many problems with the table top of your laminate desk. However, when it's time to clean, simply follow these tips.

  1. Wash with a gentle cleaning solution that is half warm water and half mild soap. Avoid any harsh detergents or desk cleaners.
  2. Move a clean cloth along the natural path of the laminate's grain to capture any dirt and dust; remove more difficult marks with a lemon oil or mild soap and soft bristled brush or soft cloth.
  3. Never use any ammonia-based products, like bleach, as this can damage the surface of the laminate and cause it to take on a dull, cloudy appearance.
  4. Mix some white vinegar, liquid dish detergent and water to produce a natural cleaning solution that easily lifts grime and leaves your surface clean and sanitized.
  5. Thoroughly dry to ensure no puddles or moisture remains.
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Clean Desk, Happy Mind

Keeping your desk clean allows you to work and play with a clearer head space. These suggestions will help you easily maintain your desk, no matter what it's made from or how long you've had it. We hope that this guide has been helpful, and that you'll continue to follow us for more tips and tricks on getting the most out of your desk.

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