how to clean wood furniture

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Curious about how to clean wood furniture?

Professionals use a few simple tricks to give wood furniture that gleaming shine. It’s a simple procedure that even the clumsiest of cleaners can manage. We won’t keep you in suspense.

When you’re ready to give your wood furniture the professional shine you’ve always wanted, read on.

How to Clean Wood Furniture 101

Whether you’re cleaning your bathtub, deck, or the kitchen table, it all starts with choosing the right tools. For cleaning wood furniture, those tools include the following:

  • Microfiber hand towel
  • Dish soap
  • Cotton ball
  • Warm water
  • Mineral spirits
  • Mayonnaise
  • Wood polish or wax

If you have wood furniture that has a few spots that lost their color, mayonnaise is a lifesaver. Simply put a teaspoon of mayonnaise on a clean dry cloth and rub it into the spot. Then let it dry, and the color will seep back in.

1. Wipe off Dust

Before you do anything else, check to see whether you’re working with real wood or a laminate. Laminates are synthetic plastic coatings that are often applied to shelves, cupboards, and floors. They’re usually found on cheap furniture.

If you’re working with laminate, only do steps 1 and 2. If you perform steps 3 and 4, you may inadvertently peel the laminate off the wood. Also, avoid multi-surface cleaners for the same reason.

Take a damp microfiber cloth and wipe down the furniture to remove any dust or grime. Do your best to get in all the cracks and crevices. You may use a butter knife to push the cloth into those hard to reach places.

2. Remove Sticky Spots

Sometimes a damp cloth isn’t enough, especially for sticky spots. If you run into any areas that need more cleaning, try this next step before you do anything else.

Apply 3 drops of dish soap to a cup full of warm water. Stir it around to ensure it dissolves properly. Then grab a cotton ball and dip it a quarter way into the water.

You can also clean with apple cider vinegar, vinegar and olive oil, or other safe and natural alternatives. We like dish soap because it’s ubiquitous, and it can handle any stain. It’s the easiest and best way to clean wood furniture.

Next, find a spot on your furniture that nobody can see. Some good options are the underside of the furniture, or on the inside of a leg. Rub the wet part of the cotton ball on the furniture and let it dry.

So long as no discoloring occurred, the soap is safe to use on the rest of the wood. Apply your soapy solution to a clean microfiber hand towel. Clean off any sticky or greasy spots on the wood.

3. Remove Excess Wax

If your wood is showing wax buildup, you can apply mineral spirits next. They’re a petroleum-based product safe for wood.

Start with an inconspicuous spot, like the ones mentioned in step 2. Apply the spirits to a microfiber cloth and rub onto the wood. Wait a half an hour.

If it didn’t damage your wood or polish, wipe down your entire piece of furniture with spirits. Let it dry.

4. Apply New Coat of Wax

Alright, you’re ready for a coat of wax or polish. You know the routine. Check the polish in an inconspicuous spot, such as the underside of the furniture. Then wait to make certain it doesn’t discolor your wood.

Now you can grab a microfiber cloth, add the polish to the cloth, and rub down all the wood. Then give it time to dry. Voilà, just like new.

What’s Next?

Now that you know how to clean wood furniture, use that momentum to clean other neglected areas in your house. Two of the most common are the shower and under the kitchen sink. If you’d like help, pop over to our library full of other house cleaning tips and tricks.

So long and good luck!