How to Clean Wood Furniture to Look Like New Again

Should you dust, clean, or wax your wood furniture? Read my cleaning blog post so that your wood surfaces sparkle like new!

Wooden furniture never goes out of style. The natural beauty of wood is timeless – and it complements any room scheme from traditional to very modern.  Whether you own an old family heirloom or piece picked up at an flea market, it’s important to know how to clean and maintain your wood furniture properly – so it looks as good as clean Amish furniture.

Should you dust, clean, or wax your wood furniture? Read my cleaning blog post so that your wood surfaces sparkle like new!

In collaboration with Amish Furniture Factory.

To keep wood furniture looking tip top, you’ll need to dust, clean, wax, and polish regularly. Which of these cleaning technique you’ll want to use will depend highly on the finish of your piece.

Keep reading to learn how to clean your wood furniture plus my care tips to keep your surfaces looking their best.

READ: THIS HANDY TOOL WILL HELP YOU PICK THE PERFECT FLOORING

Should you dust, clean, or wax your wood furniture? Read my cleaning blog post so that your wood surfaces sparkle like new!

How to Dust Wood Furniture

Your first step should be to frequent dust your wooden furniture.  Dust is an airborne deposit that leaves a filmy layer on your furniture. It can also cause scratches so you’ll want rid. For older pieces picked up at junk shops, like solid wood tables, chairs, cocktail cabinets or shelving units, dusting is a good place start!

To properly dust wooden furniture, you need to capture and remove dust rather than spreading it around the surface. Avoid scattering dust back into the air (where it will slowly land back on your furniture) by lightly dampening your cloth before wiping down.  Always remove moisture on your wooden furniture afterwards with paper kitchen towel or a soft dry cloth.

Should you dust, clean, or wax your wood furniture? Read my cleaning blog post so that your wood surfaces sparkle like new!

Best Dusting Tools

When buying dusting tools for wood furniture, choose something that dust will cling to.

  • Classic feather duster: This will remove dust from easily damaged, delicate surfaces.
  • Treated cloths: Lint-free non-scratching cloths pick up and then hold onto dirt.
  • Wool dusters: These contain lanolin, which attracts dust. Dusters are brilliant for carved areas or intricate details too. Or try micro fiber cloths as an alternative. 
  • Lint-free cloths: Make your own by using old 100% cotton T-shirts.  Simply dampen them to help trap dust.

READ: GIVE YOUR HOME A MAKEOVER WITHOUT DECORATING IN 4 EASY STEPS

Should you dust, clean, or wax your wood furniture? Read my cleaning blog post so that your wood surfaces sparkle like new!

How to Clean Wood Furniture

When cleaning wood furnishings, avoid all-purpose cleaning sprays. Instead, gently remove sticky spots and substances with a lint-free cloth dipped in a gentle solution of soap and water.  Wring your cloth until it is nearly dry, and then softly wipe the area. Immediately dry with a clean cloth.

Or you could try a cup of black tea. Wait until the tea has cooled, then soak your cloth in the brew to remove the build-up of old polish. Not only will the old polish be removed but the tannic acid in the tea will give your furniture a natural shine. Always test a small area before committing to cleaning the entire piece.

Should you dust, clean, or wax your wood furniture? Read my cleaning blog post so that your wood surfaces sparkle like new!

Polishes and furniture oils protect wood by making the surface more slippery.  Keep in mind that these products contain a high percentage of oil which will show pesky fingerprints.

Try this homemade recipe for cleaning wood instead:

  1. Mix equal parts olive oil, denatured alcohol, gum turpentine, and strained lemon juice.
  2. Apply with a soft cloth and buff with a clean cloth.
Should you dust, clean, or wax your wood furniture? Read my cleaning blog post so that your wood surfaces sparkle like new!

How to Clean Old Wood Furniture

If you have older piece of wood furniture, you’ll want to clean it carefully.

Follow these cleaning tips:

  1. Clean wooden furniture approximately once year with a commercial cleaning product. Work with the grain and follow product directions carefully.
  2. Use an orange oil or waxed based conditioner monthly to prevent drying and cracking.
  3. If your piece is slightly scratched, try a felt tip touch-up pen or coloured wax stick. Match as closely as possible to the colour of your piece, applying in several thin layers rather than in one thick layer.
  4. If you spot mould, vacuum (using the soft brush attachment) to pick up loose spores. Then clean the area with a cloth dipped in a soap or detergent solution. Immediately dry after with a clean, soft cloth. To protect the finish, apply furniture wax using the steps above.
  5. Ring marks caused hot or cold drinks is a common problem. Removing these pesky stains by making a thin paste from of toothpaste, a splash of water and a little baking soda (Baking soda helps remove scuffs marks).
Should you dust, clean, or wax your wood furniture? Read my cleaning blog post so that your wood surfaces sparkle like new!

How to Apply Furniture Wax

Furniture wax provides long-lasting protection, it doesn’t smear, and is more durable than sprays or polishes. But always use a wax that made specifically for wooden furniture. And apply following the instructions as it can cause streaks and a cloudy appearance if not done properly.

One trick is to put a spoonful of wood furniture wax in a square of cotton fabric, and then wrap the fabric around the wax ball and tie in place. Knead until soft, then gently rub onto the wooden surface, working in small areas, to bring up the shine.

To maintain your waxed furniture, dust with a lamb’s-wool duster. Never use aerosol furniture polishes because they will dissolve the wax, leaving a hazy film.

READ: NEED TO DEEP CLEAN YOUR HOME? READ THIS!

Should you dust, clean, or wax your wood furniture? Read my cleaning blog post so that your wood surfaces sparkle like new!

Banish smells from Wooden Furniture

Even the highest-quality wood furnishings can be susceptible to odours and musty smells.  Luckily, there are a few easy ways to care for your wood furniture.

  • If a vintage piece has a bad smell, air it outside on a warm, dry day (but shade from direct sunlight).
  • Pour talcum powder or baking soda over the surface to absorb odors. And then hoover up after a day or two.
  • Place a shallow pan of charcoal briquettes inside drawers for a few days.

Cleaning wooden furniture may take some experimentation! Whether it’s built up polish, scratch marks, or water rings, there are easy home methods to buff, remove and shine your furniture. And regardless of the age of your wooden furniture, as long as you clean it properly, it will last forever.

Please note: You should always seek out specific care and cleaning guidelines when purchasing new or old wooden furnishings.

For more tips, try this helpful post from Better Homes & Gardens.

Images from: Matalan | nest.co.uk | Oliver Bonas | Abstract House | Cuckooland.com | Habitat | Oak Furnitureland | Furniture Village