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Hospitality Care: How to clean different types of table tops.

A waitress using a cloth, cleaning tables, working at the restaurant.

When dining out we are presented with several choices ranging from the food and drink on the menu to the table we would like to sit at. Some people enjoy the process but, others may find themselves in an awkward situation and forced to make a decision quickly.

Luckily, when we are faced with buying products outside of the dining experience we can allow ourselves more time to browse, research and compare. Instead of having to make a rushed decision, we can take our time (sometimes days!) before we make the purchase and still be safe in the knowledge that we can return it within 30 days.

Choices, choices, choices: the same applies to choosing tabletops for restaurants and cafes. There are many tabletop options including the size, shape and materials. Are the table tops suitable for inside and outside use?

We stock several types of table tops with names you may or may not be familiar with Wezalite, Topalit, MFC, laminate, solid wood, compact HPL, and marble the list goes on!

There is, of course, no one-size-fits-all solution for cleaning different types of table tops and in this guide, we will explain the methods required to yield the best results.

We will explain a little more about the different types of tops to give a better understanding of the treatment they should be given and why some cleaning solutions are detrimental to some table tops.

MFC table tops

Our Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC) table tops are extremely strong, sturdy and tough. This type of table top is made with chipboard rather than MDF, as this helps reduce the costs. The technology and materials to make MFC table tops have evolved and advanced since it was first introduced in the 1950s. This material is bonded and sealed providing high levels of protection against wear and tear. The use of MFC is now widespread and is now used as a commercial table top material in the corporate, education, leisure and hospitality sectors.

Our Next Day 25mm MFC TUFF Table Top is one of our most popular table tops due to the different shape sizes, finishes, next-day delivery and cost. These tops are the practical choice for any busy establishment. Durable, easy to clean and maintain, heat resistant to 90°C and edged in high quality 2mm impact ABS edging these table tops are ideal for a wide range of commercial environments.

How to clean MFC table tops

Wipe with a damp cloth soaked with soapy water. For stubborn marks, a careful application of a-non-abrasive cleaning solution can be used, but test a concealed area first if possible.

How to clean MFC table tops - cafe reality

Solid wood table tops

Solid wood tops are the perfect complement to those venues looking for high-quality wooden tops to create a sense of traditional or contemporary warmth. Solid wood tops are often used in pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels and are of durable construction. Solid wood tops are also future-proofed, so over time the tops can be sanded down and refurbished. The TUFF MTO Solid wood top is one of our popular tops made from Ash and is available in a wide choice of sizes and thicknesses. These tops can be polished to a different wood finish and can be colour-matched to existing furniture or design.

How to clean solid wood table tops

The number one cause of damage or marks to solid wood tops in hospitality is the use of harsh cleaning chemicals, including the popular D10, or more recently sanitiser spray.

Our wooden tops (unless specified or raw tops are bought) have a lacquer coating.

The lacquer can be dissolved using solvents, alcohol sanitiser, and stronger chemical cleaners. Soft or compromised lacquer can then peel or mark easier, this includes ring marks from hot drinks or prolonged exposure to wet glasses.  So, the best way to clean a solid wood top is to use a warm, damp, and slightly soapy cloth to wipe over and leave to dry, that is it!

How to clean solid wood table tops

Werzalit table tops

The Werzalit brand has been established for over 90 years and is one of the top choices for outdoor commercial table tops. Werzalit tops are extremely resilient and are Weatherproof, UV-resistant, heatproof, scratchproof, and easy to clean and wipe. Werzalit tops feature a 100% recycled core and are TSC certified, meaning the wood used in the product and the manufacturer that made them.  Additionally, Werzalit tops have a 5-year warranty of peace of mind.

How to clean Werzalit table tops

Simply use water with a little washing-up liquid for cleaning. Alcohol-based cleaning agents are also harmless.

Avoid abrasives or scouring agents. They cause surfaces to lose their shine.

Use bright decors if your tables are permanently exposed to the blazing sun.

How to clean Werzalit table tops

Marble table tops

Marble stone is extremely durable and resistant making it an ultimate statement piece for venues looking to exude luxury and class. The Real Carrara white marble top is one of our popular choices for cafés, bistro's and restaurants. It is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, heat resistant and 20mm thick, keeping these tops functional whilst adding a touch of elegance and decadence to any dining experience.

How to clean Marble table tops

To clean a marble table top, you'll want to use a gentle approach to avoid damaging the surface. Start by wiping the table with a soft, damp cloth to remove any surface dirt or dust.

Then, mix a small amount of mild dish soap with warm water and use a soft cloth to gently clean the table. Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the marble. After cleaning, dry the table with a clean, dry cloth to prevent water spots.

For any stubborn stains, you can try using a specialised marble cleaner or a paste made of baking soda and water. Remember to always test any cleaning method on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn't damage the marble.

How to clean marble table tops

HPL (High Pressure Laminate) Table Tops

HPL is the abbreviation for High Pressure Laminate. HPL is made up of several layers that are compressed (laminated) under very high pressure. This creates a very dense, hard and form-retaining sheet (HPL).

HPL is a composite material that was originally used for outdoor furniture and due to the hard dense top layers it’s often used in hygienic environments, such as laboratories and operating theatres. HPL is also widely used in the food industry and in the machine-building industry because the material does not hold dirt and is easy to clean.

HPL is extremely hard wearing and has a high level of impact resistance than LPL products, making it great for high traffic areas.

How to clean HPL (High Pressure Laminate) Table Tops

Because of the resilient nature of HPL there is no cleaning or maintenance that goes beyond the normal methods. The compact and non-porous surface of the HPL can easily cleaned with hot water and all types of common detergents and disinfectants for domestic use.

How to clean marble table tops

Tips for All Table Types

  • Spill Management: Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains and damage.
  • .Regular Cleaning: Establish a routine for regular cleaning to maintain hygiene and appearance
  • Inspection: Regularly inspect for any damage or wear and address promptly

By following these guidelines, you can keep your café tables clean, attractive, and welcoming for customers.

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