Wooden furniture of any sort adds to the ambience and appeal of a room. Good-quality wooden furniture can last you a lifetime and it usually comes in the form of family heirlooms. But, even the best quality of wood is susceptible to wear and tear over time. It is, therefore, very essential to clean wood furniture on a regular basis to keep it from losing sheen. So if you’re confused about how to clean wooden furniture, read on.

What Are the Wooden Furniture Cleaning Supplies That You’ll Need?

What do you need for cleaning wooden furniture?

Here is a list of all the materials you need when you’re brainstorming about how to clean wooden furniture:

  • Microfibre cloths, cotton rags, cotton balls, a medium-sized brush, a feather duster and a vacuum cleaner
  • Baking soda, olive oil, teabags, toothpaste, detergent, white vinegar and dishwashing liquid
  • Furniture oil, wood wax, mineral spirits, lemon oil, varnish and paint

Since safety comes first, keep a dust mask and rubber gloves handy for yourself along with these items. Note that some of these items are optional and you will need them only if you are repolishing or painting your old furniture to save it. Now, let’s begin with our wood furniture cleaning tips.

How to Identify the Existing Treatment on Solid Wood?

How to clean wooden furniture with different surface treatments on them?

There are three major types of surface treatments done on wood. Among them, the easiest one to identify is paint. The other two finishes are the oil finish and varnish/polish.

To check if your wood (with natural sheen) has an oil coating on it, rub some linseed oil with a cotton swab and see if the oil disappears. If it does, then your wood has oil coating on it, and you can use our recommended method (keep on reading) to clean any stain or grime on it.

To check for polish or varnish, rub some wood alcohol or wood spirit on a hidden part of your furniture and leave it for 5 minutes. If the area becomes sticky, then your furniture is polished.

How to Clean Wooden Furniture?

The method you chose for your wooden furniture cleaning depends largely on the condition of the piece in question. But before using any of the following techniques, it is important that you prepare your furniture piece for this purpose. This is a simple step—use a microfibre cloth and feather duster to wipe/dust your furniture or use a vacuum cleaner with a brush nozzle to clean it. For your next steps, here are some of the best solutions for how to clean wooden furniture depending on their condition.

#1: Painted Furniture

How to clean wooden furniture with paint on it?

Once you’ve wiped your painted furniture and removed all the loose dust on it, it is time to clean the stains/grime on the paint. For this, mix two drops of dish soap in water and get two microfibre cloths. Conventionally, carpenters use waterproof paints to paint wooden furniture but you must still check if your paint is compatible with this solution. Take a small cotton ball soaked in this solution and rub it on the paint, wipe the area with a clean microfiber cloth. If the paint stays intact, go on and clean your entire furniture with this solution.

We recommend you use the second cloth to wipe all the excess moisture on your furniture because not all paints are resistant to mould or fungus. Also, it is important that you use a microfibre cloth instead of any other alternative as it is soft and lint-free, and won’t leave any marks or fibres. You’ll get the best results for all the wood furniture cleaning techniques with this cloth.

#2: Oiled Furniture

How to clean wooden furniture with oil coating on it?

How to clean wooden furniture that has polish on it? The best way to clean wood furniture that is coated with polish/varnish is with black tea solution. immerse 4 to 5 black teabags in hot water for 10 minutes and then dampen your wash cloth with this solution. Wipe your polished furniture with this and it will retain its dark polish and lustre. Now let the furniture dry for 2 hours before using it.

#3: Polished Furniture

How to clean wooden furniture with tinted polish on it?

After dusting your woven—rattan or wicker furniture—prepare a mixture with equal parts of olive oil and white vinegar. This magical wood furniture cleaning concoction can rid your furniture of all its stains and grime. As the final step of this wood furniture cleaning method, buff the furniture with a clean lint-free cloth. Allow the furniture to absorb the oil for up to two hours before using it.

#4: Woven Furniture

How to clean wooden furniture made of wicker or rattan?

After dusting your woven—rattan or wicker furniture—prepare a mixture with equal parts of olive oil and white vinegar. This magical wood furniture cleaning concoction can rid your furniture of all its stains and grime. As the final step of this wood furniture cleaning method, buff the furniture with a clean lint-free cloth. Allow the furniture to absorb the oil for up to two hours before using it.

#5: How to Get Rid of Grime, Fungus or Mould From Your Wooden Furniture

How to clean wooden furniture that has mould or fungus growing on it? First, use the medium-sized brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush nozzle to remove all the loose mould or fungus. Next, spray the dish soap or mild detergent solution on the affected area and let it sit for a minute. Observe how the solution is reacting with the surface, and then finally, wipe it away with a cloth. If you notice any loss in lustre and shine, re-wax, re-oil or re-polish the surface again.

How to Make Sure Your Furniture Looks as Good as New

When you choose wooden furniture designs for our home, you want to make sure they are durable and easy to maintain. But the real trick of actually making your furniture last long, lies in cleaning it frequently. Here are a few routines to follow so that your wooden furniture stays looking like new for a long time.

Also Read: Arrange Furniture In 6 Foolproof Ways

#1: Dust Frequently

How important is dusting your furniture regularly?

Sunlight, heat and other environmental conditions can wreak havoc on your wooden furniture and the last thing you want to see is layers of dust forming on it. Frequent dusting can help you keep your furniture looking clean at all times. Make sure you use a soft cloth like t-shirts and microfibre. Dusters will help you clean those carvings that are difficult to reach.

#2: Deep-Clean Once in a While

What are the benefits of deep-cleaning your wooden furniture?

While regular dusting and wiping is essential, you should not forget the importance of deep-cleaning once in a while. Deep-cleaning will ensure that your wooden furniture lasts longer and maintains its lustre. Remember, an all-purpose cleaner is not an answer to how to clean wooden furniture. However, stubborn stains can be removed by using a mild mixture of soap and water. Do not forget to follow it up with a damp cloth.

#3: Use Baking Soda for Stains

How to clean wooden furniture using baking soda?

We often forget the importance of coasters on tables and here’s why you should invest in some. Heat rings and water stains usually caused by glasses and bottles can make your wooden table look worn out. But how to clean wooden furniture with tough stains? You can get rid of these stains by rubbing some non-gel-based toothpaste on the stain and rub it gently with a washcloth. Stronger stains can be dealt with the help of baking soda and water.

#4: Throw in Coffee Beans to Fight Odour

How does coffee help in keeping your wooden furniture fresh?

So you have furniture with a lot of drawers and cabinets in wood. Have you ever noticed a distinct odour when you open these shelves? Odour is something you cannot avoid, because of environmental conditions and moisture. But you can eradicate odour by simply placing some coffee beans or a bowl of bleach inside. You will be surprised at how fast the odour vanishes.

#5: Re-Oil and Re-Wax to Restore Shine

How to restore your wooden furniture by re-oiling or re-waxing it?

Wondering how to clean old wood furniture? If your wooden furniture has become dry over time and you want to restore its shine, all you need to do is re-oil it. Start with cleaning the surface with a washcloth and then apply furniture oil or lemon oil liberally. Let the furniture soak all the oil up for at least 15 minutes. If your furniture has a wax-protective coating, you might need to re-wax it. Apply the hard wax and spread it with the help of a scrub pad. Make sure you follow the grains for smoother application.

#6: Paint It

Why choose to save old wood furniture by painting it?

Even with the best care and maintenance, wooden furniture tends to sustain injuries. Minor nicks and abrasions can be hidden by using liquid polish. However, if the damage caused to your furniture is extensive, then you can consider coating it with fresh paint. Painting a piece of wooden furniture can really transform it. And, this time you can choose the paint according to the colours of the room you have placed it in.

Also Read: Arrange Furniture In 6 Foolproof Ways

General Things to Keep in Mind

  • Always use warm water to clean wooden furniture.
  • Keep your wooden furniture away from the sun. Direct sunlight can cause irreversible damage to it.
  • Prevention is better than cure. Protect wooden furniture surfaces with tablecloths and coasters.
  • Use black tea to remove excess old polish from wooden furniture.
  • Keep sharp objects away to avoid scratches and marks.

Now that you know how to clean wooden furniture, do you want to know more about wood? Take a look at this: Popular Types of Wood and Where to Use.

How Can Livspace Help You? 

We hope you found our ideas useful! If you want beautiful interiors for your home, then look no further. Book an online consultation with Livspace today.

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