Caring for your Top

Care and Maintenance

After the Waterlox Original Tung oil finish has dried and cured for at least 7 days, cleaning may be performed. For countertop or tabletop projects, we recommend using a damp dish rag on the surface as needed.

When a heavier cleaning is required we suggest any of the following methods:

  • Waterlox Original Cleaner Concentrate (following the directions on the label). We do NOT recommend the use of other wood coating manufacturer’s cleaners as these have been proven to damage all types of wood finishes including Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes; or

  • A solution with a maximum mixture of 1 - 2 oz. of white vinegar to 2 gallons of warm water; or

  • Non-abrasive diluted household cleaner (stay away from ammonia and/or bleach products); or

  • Murphy’s Oil Soap® can be used, but will tend to reduce the gloss by leaving a film on the surface.7

Avoid ammonia-based and bleach-based cleaning products like Lysol®, Fantastik®, 409®, Windex® (ammonia and bleach-based products will soften the oil finish if used), and products containing wax or acrylics, and try to prevent water from pooling or standing on the surface for long periods of time.

We believe wax creates time-consuming maintenance issues, scuffs easily, leaves water spots and attracts dirt. Wax also makes it difficult to recoat your wood surface with Waterlox when necessary. Even though waxes are compatible with Waterlox finishes, we don’t recommend using them for the aforementioned reasons.


  • After cleaning any surface finished with Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes, rinse with clear water.

  • Avoid puddling water for long periods of time; wipe up spills immediately.

  • For bathrooms, do not let soap sit directly on the finish; wipe up excess soap immediately.

Re-coat and Maintenance

Another benefit of Waterlox Original Tung oil finishes is that they are tough enough to protect against moisture, hot beverages, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, are easier to maintain than surface finishes and offer less time- consuming maintenance as compared with raw oils. Your finish could last from 5-8 years without needing a re-coat, however areas like sinks or heavy use locations should be inspected on a yearly basis. Our motto at Waterlox is: “Not everything is fixable; but at least with Waterlox you have a chance”. As your surfaces ages, complete the following to freshen it up:

  1. Wash the surface with a neutral cleaner such as TSP (trisodium phosphate) or Spic-n-Span® and water.

  2. Follow with a clear water rinse.

  3. Lightly sand the surface if there is ground-in dirt with 320 grit sandpaper or 0000 steel wool.

  4. Wipe on/feather in an additional even coat of the finish used as the previous topcoat.

  5. Let dry for 48-96 hours before use.

***Only use Waterlox time tested original formulas when refinishing your top as their new VOC compliant formulas are not compatible, final topcoats should be the Waterlox satin finish in their original formulas unless you want a high gloss finish