How to Clean a Retro Dinette

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If you own a retro dinette set, chances are the table has a laminate surface and chrome or aluminum legs. The chairs are probably upholstered in vinyl and the legs, like the table legs, are chrome plated or aluminum. All of these materials are very easy to clean. Some retro dinette sets may have some wood surfaces too, but the general cleaning method will be the same.


Vinyl and laminate hold up to most household cleaning products. Be careful about what you use on the chrome or aluminum table legs and chair legs. Do not use baking soda or bleach on these metal parts or they may become discolored.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish towel
  • Microfiber wash cloths
  • Liquid Dish Detergent
  • Water
  • Nonabrasive sponges
  • Nylon scouring pads
  • Aluminum and/or chrome cleaner and polish
  • Microfiber polishing cloth
  • Dust crumbs and dirt from all surfaces, on the table and the chairs, with a dish towel.

  • Fill the kitchen sink with hot water and add ltwo or three tbsp. Wet a clean sponge in the water. Put another sponge in to soak at this time, if you have a spare sponge, to use if the fitst one gets dirty.

  • Wipe down the surface of the table. If food is stuck to it, try loosening the food by pouring a little soap directly on it and scrubbing. If that doesn't work, use a nylon scrubber. Be careful not to scrub too hard and scratch the table's finish.

  • Rinse off the table with a wet dish towel. Dry the table surface with a dry towel to prevent water spots from forming.

  • Wipe down each table leg with a wet soapy sponge and then rinse and dry them well. Apply metal polish to a clean microfiber polishing cloth. Rub the polish into a the table legs until the table legs sparkle.

  • Clean vinyl upholstery on the chairs with a warm soapy sponge. Dried-on food particles will require the nylon scrubber. When the chair upholstery is clean, rinse it off very well with a wet towel and dry it with a towel. Or let the chairs air dry as you clean and polish the legs. Clean and polish the chair legs just as you did the table.

Tips & Warnings

  • Microfiber cloths have different weaves. Some are better for washing and some are better for polishing. If you can't find both kinds, generic microfiber cloths will work fine for this cleaning and polishing job. Use an old toothbrush to remove food stuck in chair seams or other furniture crevices. If vinyl upholstery has ripped, you can purchase vinyl repair kits at many large home improvement stores (or look for the kits online).
  • Steel wool can leave tiny scratches in many retro dinette finishes; if you need to use an abrasive pad, use nylon scrubbers only.

References

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