How to Clean a White Office Desk?

Cleaning white desk (Source: Unsplash)

A clean white office desk adds a modern look to your office. However, they tend to look dirtier if you do not maintain them appropriately.

You might notice the white desk gradually turning yellow.

I used to have a beautiful white wooden desk in my home office. It looked ragged after using it for more than five years. So, I gave it away.

If I had previously known ways to maintain it, I could have kept my favorite desk for longer.

To clean a white office desk, use a microfiber cloth and household products like baking soda, toothpaste, dish soap, etc. To begin cleaning, remove the dust with a dry cloth or brush, then remove the stain with dish soap and a microfiber cloth.

Home office with white desk
A white office desk makes your home office look elegant and chic.

This article will guide the products and methods to clean white desks made of different materials.

Is White Desk Hard to Keep Clean?

Light colors are explicitly challenging to keep clean. Moreover, white is the most difficult one to keep the original color.

Like every white piece of furniture, white desks are tedious to keep clean.

Accidents happen in the workplace, especially if you eat or drink from the table. Any spillage will leave a noticeable stain on your desk when using a white desk.

Moreover, white desks can turn into a faded yellowish color over time.

Also, unlike any darker-colored desks, you will need to clean your white desk more as dust and dirt are more noticeable on the white desk.

Read about; Are White Colored Desks Good For Home Office?

How to Clean White Office Desk?

You must use specific products and methods to clean white office desks made of different materials, such as wood or plastic.

Start by removing the dust and debris from the white desk. You can then clean the white office desk with stain removal and deep cleaning.

1. Easy Steps to Clean White Wooden Office Desks

Wooden furniture requires special care to keep them in good condition. The color white makes the care process even more intensive.

However, if you use the correct products and equipment, you can maintain the classic and chic look of the white desk even for years.

Step 1: Cleaning off the Dust

It is necessary to use dry cleaning methods like wiping off dirt and debris before using wet or routine cleaning methods. Also, you need to dust off your white desk more often.

You need to clean your white office desk at least once a week. Else, the layer of dust will be visible on the desk.

Clean white wooden desk
White wooden desk is harder to keep clean. (Source: Amazon)

Using a dry cloth or a cleaning brush, you must wipe off any debris on your desk, like food crumbs, hairs, stationary debris like eraser dust, pencil shavings, etc.

Remember to use a lint-free cloth. It is even better to use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the wooden surface.

Step 2: Stain Removal

You might stain your desk through accidental spillage or drop food items on it.

However, you cannot scrub and rinse it away with a hose like other furniture. Wood requires special stain removal techniques because it can rot when wet and lose its color.

Let us learn about the stain removal process in detail.

Removing Oil and Grease Stains Off White Desk

Oil stains are mainly transferred from food stains. You must only use clear soap because the dyes used in soaps can transfer to the white surface of the wooden desk.

Follow the steps for stain removal below.

  • Use a dry cloth to blot up the grease or oil from the desk.
  • Fill up a mug with water and add dish soap or neutral soap to the water to make a solution.
  • Take a microfiber cloth and dip it in the solution.
  • Wipe the stained area using a circular motion.
  • Take a dry cloth and wipe the area dry.

There are other ways of removing oil and grease stains on a white wooden desk. Refer to the table below for more ideas.

Oil and Grease stain removersSteps for stain removal
Blotting Paper1. Absorb the excess oil using absorbent towel.
2. Dab the stained area using the blotting paper.
3. Use two to three papers if the stain is large.
4. Cover the stain with talcum powder and wipe it away using clean cloth.
Baking Powder1. Mix 1 tablespoon baking soda with water to form a paste.
2. Apply over the oil stain.
3. Let it sit for a few minutes.
4. Wipe using a wet cloth and let it air dry.
Detergent1. Mix detergent in a bucket of water.
2. Wet a microfiber cloth in the mixture and wipe the area.
3. Clean using a wet clean cloth and let it air dry.
Removing Marker and Ink Stains Off White Desk

Whether you are scribbling on your notes or have a toddler around your workspace, accidentally leaving marker stains on your desk is possible.

Follow the steps below to remove the ink stain from the white wooden desk.

  • Soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. Rub the stain gently. Let it air dry.
  • Take a dab of toothpaste and rub it on the ink stain. Leave it for five minutes.
  • Wet the cloth with water and wipe it off and let the area air dry.
  • You can also use acetone-based nail polish remover to remove marker stains.
Marker stains
You can remove the marker stain from the white desk with rubbing alcohol.
Removing Mold Stains Off White Desk

Mold stains can be green or brown and visible on a white desk. Molds are mainly formed due to dampness in wooden furniture.

Follow the step below to remove the mold stain from a white desk.

  •  Mix equal parts vinegar and warm water.
  • Dip a clean microfibre cloth in the solution and wipe the stain. Leave it to air dry.
Removing Water Ring Stains Off White Desk

Water ring stains can form on unpainted white wooden desks if you place a glass of water on it or spill water.

Follow the steps below for water stain removal.

  • Apply a layer of petroleum jelly to the stain and let it sit overnight. Wipe away the petroleum jelly.
  • Take a soft cloth and rub the toothpaste into the stain.
  • Move with the grain while applying toothpaste.
  • Wipe it away with a wet cloth and dry the area.
  • Put a few drops of lemon oil and rub it with fine-grade steel wool.
Removing Off Yellow Stains Off White Desk

White wooden desks can become yellow over time. Follow these steps to keep your white desk as shiny as new.

  • Mix one-fourth of Trisodium phosphate in one gallon of water.
  • Wipe the area with a cloth soaked in the solution. Wipe again with a clean cloth.
  • Leave it for 24 hours to air dry.

Step 3: Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning involves cleaning your white wooden desk thoroughly.

Use a soft-bristled brush to clean out the inner corners of the desk. You can clean your entire desk with soap and water or use vinegar mixed in water to clean the desk.

Step 4: Drying the Desk

Use a lint-free dry cloth to wipe the desk. The desk will dry in about 24 hours. Please do not leave your desk wet, as it can cause molding.

2. Easy Steps to Clean White Plastic Office Desks

White plastic desks can get dirty quickly. So, you need to clean them frequently. However, be careful not to use abrasive material as plastics are easy to scratch.

Step 1: Cleaning Off the Dust

Brush your white plastic desk using a soft brush like a feather brush to remove layers of dust or debris.

Avoid scrubbing hard when cleaning off the dust, as scratch marks are easily visible on a plastic desk.

Clean plastic white desk
Avoid using a hard brush to clean your White Plastic Office Desk. (Source: Amazon)

Step 2: Stain Removal

A magic eraser removes stains like coffee stains, mold stains, etc. Since the eraser is white, there is no chance of color transfer. So, it is safe to use on white plastic desks.

  • Wet the desk using a garden hose.
  • Wet the Magic Eraser and scrub the desk using circular motions.
  • Wipe the desk with a dry cloth and let it air dry.

You can also remove stains on a white desk using rubbing alcohol. They work well for grease and ink stains.

  • Take a cotton ball and soak it in rubbing alcohol.
  • Rub the cotton ball over any stain in a circular motion.
  • Wipe the area with a wet cloth and let it air dry.

Step 3: Deep Cleaning

Plastic chairs need to be deep cleaned once every two to three months to keep them clean.

Deep Cleaning Using Dish Soap
  • Wet the plastic desks using a garden hose or a wet rag. Mix dish soap in water.
  • Dip a nonabrasive scrubber in the mixture and scrub the desk.
  • Rinse the soap off with the hose.
  • Wipe the desk dry with a soft clean cloth. Let the desk air dry.
Dish soap cleaning
You can deep clean the white Plastic desk using dish soap and a scrubber.
Deep Cleaning Using Vinegar
  • Mix one-fourth cup of vinegar in a bucket with warm water. Wet the desk with the mixture.
  • Scrub the desk using a soft-bristled brush.
  • Wipe the desk with a clean cloth and allow it to dry.

Step 4: Drying the Desk

It would be best to allow the white plastic desk to air dry in a well-ventilated room.

Leaving the plastic desk to dry under the sun can damage its finish. In addition, using blow dryers to dry the desk can also damage the desk.

Plastics melt at around 200 degrees Celsius, while the heater can emit heat up to 140 degrees. So, it can make the plastic legs bend or weak.

Additional Tips for Cleaning a White Plastic Desk

  • Avoid using chemicals like bleach and those which contain ammonia, as they can fade the color of your desk and affect the finish.
  • Use dabbing motion while cleaning and avoid rubbing to protect the painted layers.
  • Clean any spills or stains quickly on the plastic desk to avoid staining.

3. Easy Steps to Clean White Metal Office Desks

Metal desks are usually painted white, making them sensitive to rough cleaning methods and chemicals.

The lacquer coating of the painted desk can be easily wiped out if harshly cleaned. Therefore, avoid using any harsh chemicals or equipment.

Follow the steps to clean the white metal office desk.

  • Use a clean cloth or sponge to clean white metal office desks.
  • Only use non-detergent soap-like dish soap to clean your desk.
  • Use window cleaners or multipurpose cleaners for ingrained dirt.
  • Vinegar and water can remove oxidation from aluminum desks.
  • Do not use alkaline cleaners, as they can cause oxidation.

4. Easy Steps to Clean White Marble Office Desk

Desks with marble tops are rarely used. However, they are classy and also easy to clean.

Cleaning White Marble Office Desks

You can clean the white marble top desks using the same methods to clean a marble floor. Here are the steps to clean your white marble desk.

  • Wet a microfiber cloth and wipe the marble top. Mix baking soda and water.
  • Apply the mixture over the desk. Allow the mixture to sit for a few hours and wipe it with a wet cloth.
  • Take a clean, dry cloth and wipe it until the desk is dry.
  • Crush chalk and sprinkle it over the desk.
  • Use a shammy cloth to rub the chalk and bring out the shine in your white marble desk.

Do not let marble desk tops air dry as water stains are visible on marbles. Wipe the desk dry until it’s completely dry.

Removing Stains on a White Marble Desk

If you have ever used or seen an old white marbled floor, you may notice that it is never white and shiny after prolonged use.

Your desk can look the same if you do not remove stains on the desk on time. See the table below for more information on removing stains from a white marble desk.

Types of stainStain remover and proportionSteps for stain removal
Oil based stains12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia1. Mix 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia.
2. Dip the edge of a clean cloth in the mixture and rub the stain.
3. Wipe with a wet cloth.
4. Let it air dry.
Water spotsScrub with dry Steel woolTake a steel wool and rub the water stain using circular motions.
Rust stainsRust Stain Remover1. Spray on the rust stain.
2. Let it sit for a while.
3. Wipe the area using a cloth.
Paint stains
Lacquer thinner1. Rub the lacquer into the paint stain.
2. Wipe the stain using a clean water.
3. Let it air dry.
Mold stiansStone and tile cleaner1. Mix the cleaner with water.
2. Rub on the mold stain.
3. Wipe with a wet cloth and let it air dry.

How to Whiten a White Desk?

Most wooden and metal desks are painted white to give them a bright shiny white coloration. Most oil-based or alkyd paints can turn yellow if your desk is away from the sunlight.

In addition, some types of urethane-based varnish can become yellow over time due to moisture.

Here is how you can whiten white desks made of different materials.

1. Whitening a White Plastic Desk

  • Mix dish soap and baking soda to form a paste. Wet the desk with water.
  • Dip a sponge in the paste and rub in circular motions.
  • Wash the desk with soap and water and dry it using a towel.

2. Whitening a White Wooden Desk

If you have painted your yellowed wooden desk with oil-based paint, you can restore its brightness by leaving it in the sunlight for a day.

You can whiten a white wooden desk using vinegar as it removes dirt and makes the wood appear whiter.

  • Mix with equal parts with a 50:50 mix of white vinegar and water.
  • Take a clean microfiber cloth and dip it in the mixture.
  • Rub the table with the cloth and wipe it. Let the desk air dry.
Home Office wall decorated with floating shelves
Whiten your white wooden desk using the solution of vinegar and water.

Note: Never use chlorine bleach on your wooden desk as it can break wood fibres.

You can also use an all-purpose cleaner with vinegar for extra whiteness.

  • Mix half a cup of all-purpose cleaner, a cup of white vinegar, and half a cup of distilled water.
  • Apply the mixture all over the desk and let the desk air dry.

3. Whitening a White Metal Desk

White metal desks are also coated with a layer of paint. So, it can turn yellow over time.

You can use Melamine sponges that are gentle abrasive to whiten the white metal desks.

  • Wet the melamine sponges and wipe using circular motions.
  • Let the metal desk air dry.

You can also mix a concoction of household cleaners like salt, vinegar, and all-purpose flour to whiten the white metal desks.

  • Mix half a cup (120 mL) of vinegar, one teaspoon (5.7 g) of salt, and about one-fourth a cup of all-purpose flour.
  • Dip a clean cloth in the mixture and wipe the desk. Let it dry naturally in a well-ventilated room.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning White Desk

How Often should you Clean the White Desk?

You need to clean your white desks once every two weeks. However, since white desks require more cleaning, you should often clean them.

Dust your white desks every day or every alternate day, and deep clean the white desks once every week to keep them spotless.

Can I Use Hand Sanitizer to Sanitize the White Desk?

Hand sanitizer can leave a cloudy stain on wooden desks. So, it is not recommended to use hand sanitizer on white wooden furniture.

While the sanitizer won’t stain plastic surfaces, hand sanitizer is not the proper way to sanitize furniture.

You can use soap and water or a disinfecting wipe to sanitize your white desk.

Also, watch the video for more tips,

Final Verdict

White office desks are high maintenance. However, they are worth keeping for a classy office setup.

It is believed that you would not get the money’s worth choosing a white office desk as it would discolor quickly.

However, white desks can last for years with good maintenance and gentle products. You can have it repainted white if you have issues with fading.

Read about; How to Clean White Office Chairs?

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