To clean a raw top on a daily basis, you can wipe with a damp cloth. Then, to remove more stubborn stains, you can scrub the top with a green scouring pad and white Cif cream cleaner. Do not use the yellow Cif, it contains bleach that will damage the timber.
Dilute a small amount (roughly one tablespoon) of Cif cleaner in hot water. Scrub with the grain and don’t worry if the water starts to turn brown. This is the natural tannins coming out of the wood. There is no need to be precious with this cleaning method.
Rinse the top with plenty of water and then wipe off any excess water on the surface.
Please take care if your table sits on top of a rug or carpet. The tannins can stain them.
The first few time you scrub your top, the grain will raise and leave the table feeling rough. This will only occur for the first few scrubbings. After that, the surface will become case hardened and more resilient. If you’d like, you can ‘de-nib’ the surface using fine abrasive paper.
Damp, untreated steel items will react with the timber and leave a dark stain. This can be removed using oxalic acid, available from most chemists. Any scratches can be removed by sanding and dents can be removed by steaming with an iron over a damp tea towel.
Avoid contact with hot objects, use heatproof mats if necessary.