Using sanitisers may sound like a very good idea to clean dirty tables, but this is not the case. Sanitisers that people use on tables like D 10 will eventually damage your restaurant tables.
D 10 and other sanitisers can cause problems with softening or dissolving the tables top layer and making it easier for damage to table top from everyday use by customers. Sanitizers that staff use on tables actually are designed to be used in kitchen spaces and preparation areas, not in dining areas.
Most wooden tables table tops have a lacquer finish that gives it a slight shine and also adds a protective layer. This protective layer is made out of Nitrocellulose, plasticises, and pigments which then create a protective layer that goes over the table. Sanitisers have chemicals that over time slowly dissolve the chemicals inside of the lacquer making it more susceptible, we have all sat at a table and seen those water marks.
Staff often incorrectly assume that they need to sanitise restaurant tables because of legislation that applies to food handling. The legislation of General hygiene practices states in Annex 2 chapter 1 “Food premises are kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition.” Although it this does say that needs to be maintained and kept in good condition it does not say how this needs to be done or that it needs to be done with these sanitisers. The main distinction is that only kitchen and food preparation areas must be disinfected with sanitisers. The food standards agency gives a couple of steps for advice where food is prepared number one use a cleaning product to remove visible dirt from surfaces and rinse number to disinfect the surfaces using the correct dilution and contact time for the disinfectant and then rinse with fresh and clean water if required. The problem is that D 10 and the other sanitisers are they have a highly concentrated detergent disinfectant and causes things that are not kitchen areas and food preparation areas to deteriorate over time.
D 10 is designed for food preparation areas in commercial kitchens which would be normally manufactured with stainless steel. Other sanitisers contain ammonia bleach spirit and other aggressive chemicals and you can tell that these have been used when table tops start looking milky or cloudy, scratch easily or water marks. The best way to avoid this is by using a warm soapy cloth during service for a quick wipe down and after service using a furniture polish to finish off the surface ready for the next service.
Although you shouldn’t use these sanitisers on various wooden tables, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them at all. Sanitizers should be used for their intended purpose in the kitchen. Properly training serving staff to maintain restaurant tables and service stations is in your long term financial interests.
Check with the supplier / manufacturer for their recommended cleaning materials and if in doubt use a warm soapy cloth, never a sanitiser.