How to Preserve Dining Table Slides

Some dining-room tables have leaves, or extendable panels, that pull out to create additional seating space. The leaves typically slide in and out on metal runners mounted beneath the table. Without proper maintenance, the slides may get stuck and also make it tough to extend the leaves. A dab of lubricant and normal cleaning maintain the table’s leaves sliding smoothly.

Table Slide Maintenance

High heat and humidity may lead to slip assemblies to swell. To prevent swelling, store your dining table in a dry, climate-controlled atmosphere. Don’t place the table beneath a vent or alongside your furnace. Avoid storing table leaves in your attic or basement. Coat the metal slides with bar soap or candle wax to keep them from sticking, then rub them with super-fine steel wool. Inexpensive lubricants include petroleum jelly, vegetable shortening, corn oil, lip balm, furniture polish and cooking spray. Apply a little bit of lubricant into the slides, then rub it in well. Wipe away any excess with a dry cloth. Reapply lubricant every few months or as needed.

Cleaning and Other Care

Spilled food and drinks can get stuck in table leaves and slides, so cover the table with a tablecloth or place couches before food, and wipe up any spills as soon as they happen. A couple of drops of liquid dish soap and warm water eliminate most stuck-on debris. A vacuum-cleaner wax attachment sucks up hard-to-reach crumbs. For stubborn stains, make a solution of one part acetone and one part rubbing alcohol. Moisten a lint-free brush with the solution, then gently bathe the slides. Dry the area with a lint-free fabric.