DIY Guide To Keeping Your Office In Top Nick

Your home office is the one place in your home that needs to be kept clean, tidy and in good condition. When it is subject to the wear and tear of daily work and home life though, keeping on top of the cleaning and repair work may seem like a little too much hassle – especially if you aren’t sure how to handle certain challenges.

To help you get on top of the cleaning and upkeep of your home office, we have compiled this guide to offer top tips on common furniture issues.

Read on to find out more about how to keep your home office in top condition.


Fingerprints on glass

Glass is a wonderful material to use if you want to create a contemporary feel in your office and our glass-topped home office desks are ideal, whatever your décor or needs. Unfortunately, glass is one of the more challenging materials to keep clean, especially when it is in daily use and subject to a barrage of tea, coffee and markers. You will no doubt find yourself haunted by shiny, grimy fingerprints that just won’t go away. If you wipe them, you are left with a streak instead of a polka dot pattern and even this relief is only temporary before the next batch of oily fingerprints makes its appearance.  

Luckily, there are ways to combat the curse of the oily prints, whether you need to tidy up your desktop or your computer screen. Some solutions include:

  • Baby Wipes or Microfiber Cloths – baby wipes cut through grime, but they don’t leave streaks while microfiber cloths make for a streak-free clean.

  • Cloth and Lens Cleaner – a cloth dabbed with lens cleaner (or even a spectacles cleaner) can bring glass up nicely.

  • Scotch Tape – for smaller screens scotch tape can be used to remove the grime and fingerprints. Press a length of scotch tape onto the screen, peel it off and repeat the process until all of the fingerprints are lifted.

  • Methylated Spirits – methylated spirits and glass cleaners can be used with a clean, soft cloth. Paper towels can be used, but they leave lint behind which is why lint-free microfiber cloths are best.  

Glass tops should be cleaned at least once a week to stop fingerprints, dust and grime from building up.  


Watermarks on wood

Wooden office furniture is a great choice because it is versatile, practical and attractive. A desk in a nice wood finish, with a matching bookcase, cupboard and chair can really top off the appearance of your office. As sturdy as wood can be though, a wooden desk does have one natural predator: the watermark. Sitting at your desk for hours on end means that your desk is subject to endless amounts of tea, coffee and cold drinks and if you don’t use a coaster then you are likely to end up dotting your desk with stubborn white rings. This is no good for the condition or the appearance of your desk, so you should do your best to prevent these marks by using a coaster and taking extra care. If you already have watermarks to deal with, take note of the suggestions below for removing and reducing watermarks:

  • Mayonnaise – Rub mayonnaise into the watermark with a clean, damp paper towel and continue rubbing until the mark disappears.

  • Toothpaste – Using traditional (not gel-based) toothpaste on watermarks can work wonders. Gently rub the toothpaste into the watermark with your finger until it disappears.

  • Baking Soda – Using a damp cloth, apply baking soda to the watermark until it lifts

  • Iron, Wax Paper and a Soft Cloth – Lay the wax paper over the watermark, put the cloth on top of it then use the iron on a low heat for a short time to avoid causing heat damage; this will lift the stain.

For fresh watermarks, you can prevent staining altogether by drying the area quickly with a hair dryer. Just make sure you keep the hair dryer moving, so you don’t overheat the varnish.


Nicks, Scratches and Scuffs

No matter how careful you are in your home office, at some point you will end up scratching or scuffing your furniture. Sometimes these marks are barely noticeable and other times they can become a bit of an eyesore. Now, depending on the severity of such marks, it can seem impossible to get your furniture back in the condition it was but there are a few remedies and quick fixes to try:

  • Lemon Juice and Oil – mix lemon juice and either olive or vegetable oil in equal parts then apply to minor scratches with a cloth until the scratch disappears.

  • Nut Meat – use the meat of nuts like Brazil, pecan, walnut and almond to hide scratches; try and match the colour of the nut as close as you can to the colour of the wood.

  • DIY Dyes – you can dye the exposed layer of wood to make it blend better by using things like coffee grounds, tea bags, iodine, crayons and even shoe polish.

  • Three Step Scuff Removal – remove a scuff by rubbing a tennis ball over it, the mark should transfer onto the ball. Repeat this process until the scuff is gone or until you can’t remove anymore. Then rub an eraser over the scuff mark to remove any residue (though this may not work on dark or aged stains). Finally, spray an all-purpose cleaner onto a terry cloth and work away the scuff.


These are just a few of the ways to keep your home office desk and furniture in good condition, by either removing or disguising blemishes and imperfections. If you have a serious issue or if you do not feel confident about DIY repair, you should always seek the advice and expertise of furniture professionals. For the little jobs though, all you need is this guide and some elbow grease.


16th September 2014

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