How to Clean Wood Furniture? | Perfect Cleaning Guide

Almost every home has furniture made from wood. Wood not only adds natural beauty to your home but also comes with great versatility to transform itself with any design or style. It is also highly durable and can last for many years on end.

Although with passaging time, the polish applied to the wood furniture might fade. It happens because of some reasons like if you didn’t clean the furniture regularly or the direct sunlight hits the polish of the furniture.

Also, your wood furniture might get stains or scratches from various things which eventually make it look ugly. Therefore, cleaning the wood furniture can give a new life to it and it can instantly begin to look like a brand new piece of furniture.

Wood requires very little maintenance and can still last for longer time spans, but only if cared for the right way. People often don’t know how to remove staining or any other damage from wood furniture and any misconduct during the maintenance can simply worsen the situation instead of fixing it.

To tackle such a situation, we brought a guide for you on how to clean wood furniture. By following this cleaning guide, you can clean your wood furniture in the most effortless yet most effective manner and can easily make it last longer.

Tools & Materials Required For Cleaning Wood Furniture

You’ll need a couple of tools and materials for cleaning old or worn-out wood furniture properly. Get the following things as your wood furniture cleaner kit:

Material Used For Cleaning Wood Furniture  Tools Required 
Mineral spirits   Cotton balls, rags, or clothes 
Dishwashing detergent Rubber gloves
Cotton Bucket
Teabags  Microfiber cloths
Wood wax  Sponge
Disposable electrostatic dusters 

How To Clean Wood Furniture?

Not cleaning the wood surface can cause it to dull out over time and even get irreversibly damaged at times. There are different ways of cleaning that can give a new life to your furniture.

In this article, we will guide you on how to clean wood furniture perfectly by using different methods. We divide the wood furniture cleaning into 3 different categories:

  1. Routine Cleaning
  2. Deep Cleaning
  3. Removing Stains Properly

1. Routine Cleaning

Routine cleaning

In a routine cleaning process, you need to clean or dust the wooden furniture regularly. This category involves:

a) Dust Regularly

Clean the dust present on the surface of wooden furniture regularly. You can make use of the microfiber cloth or the electrostatic duster for removing the dust regularly. 

You don’t just have to clean the top side regularly but also take care of the legs and arms and other areas of the furniture. Use a soft cotton cloth after dusting to remove the remaining dirt and give shine to the furniture.

b) Clean Spills Immediately

The stains caused by liquid spills and condensation from the drinks are a frequent phenomenon taking place on a daily basis. Clean away these spills as early as possible, otherwise, they would create a permanent mark on the furniture. 

Use a paper towel to blot these liquid spills immediately. If the furniture got some kind of a sticky mess, then dip the cloth in the water and rub it on that place you want to clean. Wipe off the sticky mess and you might as well, need to give it a good scrub to get rid of the stickiness. Once done, instantly use a dry microfiber cloth to clean it and make the wood shine again.

c) Remove Massive Dirt

If the wood furniture has been stored for a long time or does not get cleaned properly, then it will catch heavy dirt on its surface. You can easily clean this massive grime easily by making a solution of one teaspoon of dish wash detergent mixed with 2 quarters of water. 

Then dip a soft cloth or sponges in it and squeeze it until it remains slightly damp. Now wipe away the dust and then use a dry cloth to give the shine back to the wood furniture & you can use this method also for wooden flooring.

2. Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning

The surface of wood furniture becomes cloudy/dark if too much wax or polish is applied to it. There are different ways to clean and protect the wood. You can start at the beginner level and then use pro methods if you really need to do that. Deep cleaning involves the following methods:

a) Use Mineral Spirits 

Mineral spirits are a petroleum distillate used to dilute oil-based paints and remove waxy textures, stains, and varnishes. Don’t forget to wear protective gloves when using this method and must do this work in a ventilated environment.

Start by applying some of the Mineral Spirit on the rag and wipe the wood furniture with it. Use the clean area from the rag when it gets dirty. Do this until the whole furniture is cleaned. Buff the wood with a soft and dry cloth at the end for giving it a proper finish.

This method can also be used as a hard floor cleaner for wiping out the wood flooring that catches various stains easily.

b) Clean With Black Tea

The low pH of tannins present in tea can cut the waxy texture stuck to the wood surface. Brew 2 black tea bags in 2 cups of water. 

When it becomes cold, dip a soft cloth in this solution and rub it on the surface until you get rid of the staining. Now wipe away the furniture gently in the direction of wood grain. Then rinse that cloth into the water to remove dirt. 

Now again, dip the cloth into the solution, rub, and wipe it away. Continue this process until the whole furniture is cleaned properly. After this, use a soft dry cloth for buffing the furniture to shine.

3. Removing Stains Properly

Removing stains properly

Sometimes our wooden furniture gets stains because of different reasons. And removing them might look like a tough task, but it is really easy to do it. You can remove the stains and marks from the furniture easily this way:

a) Remove Ink Marks

Sometimes kids write on the furniture with ballpoints or markers that leave marks on the wood furniture and give it an ugly look. You can easily remove these marks by dipping a moist soft cloth into dry baking soda. 

Then rub this cloth on the area where the ink marks are present. Rub this area until the stains or marks disappear. Now use another clean damp cloth to wipe the baking soda residue from the surface of the furniture. Then wipe up the moisture with a soft and dry cloth.

After this, apply some wood polish to that area because the baking soda may cause the dullness of the furniture’s surface by taking off the polish. The furniture polish for wood can help you give back the shine to wooden furniture.

b) Remove Water Rings

Watermarks or rings can be left on the furniture surface because of placing the wet glass or cups. Wipe these marks immediately whenever you see them so that there is no likelihood of major damage.

You can remove these water rings on wood with two different methods. The first one is to apply some mayonnaise or olive oil to the marked area and rub it. Now leave it for an hour and then buff it away. 

The second method is to get non-gel toothpaste on a soft cloth and rub it on that area until the rings or marks disappear. 

See also: What Is Retro Style Furniture?

c) Remove Glue or Stickers

Many people think that removing the glue or other sticky stuff from the surface of wooden furniture is a tough task, but it’s not the reality. You can easily remove the glue or sticky elements from the wood furniture with a little bit of effort.

You can use a dull knife or the back side of a spoon to loosen up the sticky residue as much as possible. Then put on some olive or mineral oil on a soft cloth. Now rub this cloth on the affected area until it gets expunged. 


This is all about how to clean wood furniture. We discussed all the stains and marks the wood furniture can get and provided the best solutions for removing these stains. And we hope this guide will help you a lot in the cleaning process of wooden furniture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Some of the most effective domestic cleaners that can be used on wooden furniture are water and vinegar solution, water and vinegar mixed with dish detergent, essential oils, plant-based liquid soap, a solution of vegetable oil and vinegar, and lastly the mixture of water, vinegar, lemon juice and your favorite essential oils.

Using pledge on the wooden furniture surface is never a good idea since all it does is build up several layers of Silicone in a waxy texture and ultimately conceal all the actual imperfections and flaws of the wooden furniture. And this isn’t a treatment of wood in any way, so you need to be careful about this aspect, as pledges are most commonly sold as potential furniture polishes.

Start by mixing around ¼ cup of White Vinegar with a cup of Olive Oil to make your DIY furniture polish. Next up, all you need to do is take a soft cloth or rag, dip it in the polish mixture and go over your wooden furniture surface in gentle wiping strokes. Keep buffing until your furniture surface begins to shine, ultimately revived in a smart manner.

For this, you’ll need to make a solution of water and any mild soap or detergent. After this, take a lint-free cloth and saturate it well in the solution. Wring it well and wipe your problematic wooden furniture surface, till you manage to get rid of all the stickiness. Once done, go over the treated area with a dry and clean fabric to clear out all the residue.

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