Table protectors are also called table pads and are installed underneath a tablecloth on wooden tables. The pads are made from a variety of materials, but typically consist of soft felt and a waterproof plastic top, such as vinyl. The cloth protects the wooden table surface from burns caused by hot pots, scratches from dishes and utensils, and water damage due to spills. Putting on a table protector takes no more time that putting on a tablecloth.
Hold a soft dish rag under a running faucet until it is saturated. Wring out as much water as possible from the rag and then wipe the table surface thoroughly to remove all dust, crumbs and food debris. Wait two to three minutes until the table is dry, or wipe it with a clean cloth to remove excess moisture.
Open up a table protector and turn it so that the felt side faces downward and the plastic side faces upward.
Center the protector on top of the table so that an equal amount hangs off all sides of the table. If desired, you can trim the table protector with a pair of scissors so that it only covers the top of the table and does not hang over the sides.
Place a tablecloth on top of the table protector to disguise it. Center the tablecloth on top of the table so that it hangs equally off all sides and covers the sides of the table protector if you chose not to trim the protector with scissors.
Some table protectors are made of cork and other more durable materials.