Amazing Tips for Cleaning Wooden Furniture

Amazing tips for cleaning wooden furniture. Photo: pexels
Amazing tips for cleaning wooden furniture. Photo: pexels

Common in almost every home, furniture made or with wooden details adds warmth and versatility to nearly every design style.

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Durable and easy to care for, wooden furniture requires proper cleaning to maintain its beautiful appearance.

How often to clean wooden furniture

Some residues, like food and drink, should be cleaned immediately. If in large amounts, it can cause the wood to darken, warp, or make the finish appear cloudy.
Regarding dust, it’s best to remove it weekly so small particles don’t scratch the surface of wooden furniture. And once a month, finish the cleaning with furniture polish to shine and help repair minor cuts or scratches.

If your wooden furniture appears dull or dark, do a deeper cleaning to remove any build-up of furniture polish.


If the wooden furniture is valuable antiques, avoid deep cleaning, just do the weekly dusting. Before polishing or cleaning, consult a professional evaluator to avoid significantly decreasing the furniture’s value.

To clean, you will need:

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Cotton cloths
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Rubber gloves
  • Dusters
  • Detergent
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Tea bags
  • Turpentine

Routine cleaning of wooden furniture

1 – Clean spills

Using a paper towel or soft cloth, immediately dry any liquid spills. For sticky residues, wet a cloth in water, wring it until slightly damp. Clean the residues off the wooden furniture and use a dry microfiber cloth to polish the wood and restore its shine.

2 – Dust off

Use a microfiber cloth or a duster to remove dust. Don’t forget to clean the entire piece, including the smallest parts of the wooden furniture. After that, use a soft cotton cloth to polish the surfaces to remove any potential spots and restore shine.

3 – Removing heavy dirt

If wooden furniture has been stored or forgotten for a long time, it’s likely very dirty and needs heavy cleaning. For this, mix a teaspoon of liquid detergent in two liters of water. Dip a sponge or soft cloth in the solution, wring out the excess, leaving it damp, and clean as usual.

Deep cleaning of wooden furniture

Excessive polish or wax can make wooden furniture surfaces appear dark. There are several methods for cleaning, but it’s recommended to start with the gentlest and proceed only if necessary.

1 – Use black tea

Tannins or tannic acid in tea can remove wax buildup from wooden furniture.
In two cups of hot water, brew two black tea bags. Once cooled, dip a soft cloth in the solution and wring out until damp. Clean following the grain of the wood, gently, starting from the top of the piece.

Rinse the cloth with water and repeat the process. To finish, polish the wooden furniture with a soft cloth to shine.

2 – Clean with turpentine

Turpentine, a petroleum distillate used to thin oil-based paints, removes wax buildup and stains from wooden furniture.
When using this product, clean in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves and other protective gear.

With an old cloth, apply a small amount of turpentine and clean the furniture, following the wood grain. Turn the cloth as you clean, always using the clean side on the wooden furniture.

Finish by polishing the wood with a soft, dry cloth.

Remove tough stains from wooden furniture

1 – Water stains

Water stains or marks left by wet glasses and mugs are common on tables or other wooden surfaces. Ideally, they should be removed as quickly as possible.
If you’ve tried removing the stains and are thinking about repainting the wooden furniture, hold on. There are two methods you’re about to learn that could solve your problem!

  • Rub a little mayonnaise or olive oil on the stained area of the wood. Let it sit for an hour and then polish.
  • Apply a bit of toothpaste on a soft cloth and rub the stain until it disappears. Wipe away the toothpaste residue with a damp cloth and polish the wood surface with a soft, dry cloth.
2 – Paint marks

To remove paint marks from wooden furniture, do the following:
With a soft, damp cloth, gently rub some baking soda on the stained area until the stain disappears. Clean the residues with a clean, damp cloth and dry with a soft cloth.

The baking soda might slightly blur the finish. If so, use some furniture polish to restore the shine.

3 – Glue or sticker marks

To remove glue or sticker residue, start by using the edge of a credit card to gently scrape off the excess. Be careful not to scratch the wood.
Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and rub the stained area gently until the residue disappears. Then, dry and polish the wooden furniture with a soft cloth.

If the sticker leaves a shiny mark, you can remove it with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Apply it to the affected area, leave for a few minutes, and then wipe off. Finish by polishing the wood.

Tips for maintaining wooden furniture

  • Place felt pads under items placed on wooden furniture to avoid scratches.
  • Avoid exposing wooden furniture to direct sunlight or very humid areas, as it may damage the wood or cause it to fade.
  • When moving, always lift the furniture, don’t drag it.
  • Rotate accessories placed on wooden furniture to prevent discoloration or fading in specific areas.
  • Avoid placing hot objects directly on wooden furniture. Use coasters or mats to protect the wood.
  • If you notice a scratch, gently rub a walnut over it to minimize its appearance.
  • Refresh wooden furniture by cleaning with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water, followed by a polish with a soft cloth.

Always test any cleaning method or product in a discreet area before applying it to the entire piece of furniture.

Remember, the main goal is to protect and prolong the life of wooden furniture while preserving its beauty and elegance. The care you give it today will ensure its durability for many years to come.

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