Why I’ll Never Get Rid of My Glass Coffee Table (And How I Keep It Smudge-Free!)

published Dec 6, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

I drove from one end of Washington, D.C. to the other — twice — to get my beloved coffee table. It’s a massive 42-inch square, it didn’t fit in my small car, and I had to recruit a reluctant roommate to accompany me with her SUV in order to bring it home. Shoutout to the seller who was willing to wait for me to come back, albeit with an eye roll and the promise of cash already in her hand. 

She was offloading her parents’ antiques because they weren’t her style, and she’d priced them to move. So for $40, I found the coffee table of my dreams.

I knew I wanted a glass-and-brass table at the time, but the versions I’d seen on Wayfair and Target were far too high for my post-college budget. Then I spotted this one on Craigslist, and was sold by the Greek key detailing. I had no idea the treasure I’d found. 

It turned out to be a vintage 1970s Mastercraft coffee table, and a similar one is selling for $3,000 on Chairish. Not every Craigslist find ends up being a diamond in the rough, but this one certainly was, and I’m not sure I’ll ever top it. 

Over the six moves it’s been through, the table has had only one downside: the glass. Anyone who’s ever owned a glass table knows the struggle of keeping it clean. Every cup or mug leaves a mark. A finger smudge appears out of nowhere. Don’t even get me started on what a charcuterie board can do to its sparkling surface. This isn’t the type of coffee table you eat dinner on, at least without a cleaning plan.

Fortunately, I remembered the answer to this problem, and it’s not paper towels and a harsh chemical solution. The secret came from my mom, a woman who has never hired a cleaning service in her life. She prides herself on just how clean her windows and mirrors always are, and I’ve heard her tout the ease of microfiber cloths for years. When it comes to keeping a glass table clear, this is what she has to say: “All you need is water and a microfiber cloth. Nothing else.”

I never listened. I kept running through paper towels, wondering why glass cleaner didn’t seem to do a thing on my coffee table. Then, one day, I spotted these microfiber cloths. Now was the time to give them a shot. 

As it turns out, they work. The glass cleaner you use matters less than this soft polyester fabric (though I do love this mint one from Method!). It wipes everything away on my glass coffee table and leaves it absolutely smudge free in seconds.

While the glass coffee table was never up for debate, this cleaning trick makes it infinitely more enjoyable. With the wipe of a microfiber cloth, my glass table will continue to be a cornerstone of my life. 

Buy: HOMEXCEL Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, 12 Pack, $6.99 (normally $8.99)