How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

The amount of cleaning products on the market makes it challenging to know which one is the right one for the job. Not only that, but many of these products contain harsh chemicals that are unhealthy for you and bad for the environment. We’ll show you how to clean wood furniture with vinegar to keep it looking rich and vibrant.

Wood furniture is a beautiful addition to the home unless it has water stains and wood finish damage. Using the wrong types of products to clean wood furniture causes warping and other damage over time.

Natural cleaning solutions like vinegar are not only an excellent green alternative to harsh chemicals but an efficient way to clean wood without harming the wood.

  1. Cleaning Wood Furniture with Vinegar
    • Deep Cleaning Furniture
    • Clean Wood Furniture with Vinegar and Olive Oil
    • Cleaning Wooden Furniture with Vinegar and Lemon Juice
    • Clean and Polish Old Wood Furniture with Vinegar and Coconut Oil

Cleaning Wood Furniture with Vinegar

Cleaning wood furniture using the right cleaning agent keeps wood rich in color and ensures that your favorite piece of furniture looks like the day you bought it no matter the age. Learn how to make a wood polish and cleaner for your wooden furniture and hardwood floors using white vinegar as the main ingredient.

Vinegar is so handy to have around the house, you should probably buy it by the gallon. It is ideal for all types of cleaning and cooking purposes, including cleaning sterling silver with vinegar and even removing mold, in addition to being a great addition to a salad.

Deep Cleaning Furniture

Use a duster to remove excess dust and dirt before cleaning wood furniture with vinegar to prevent spreading dirt. Not only does this solution work well on indoor wood, but vinegar is an ideal solution for cleaning outdoor wood furniture as well.

DIY Vinegar Furniture Cleaner and Stain Remover

  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloth

Combine the white vinegar and water in a bottle sprayer and shake well to mix. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the mixture if you cannot stand the scent of vinegar. Label the container for regular use.

Test the vinegar-water solution on a small area first before cleaning the whole piece. Spray the solution onto a soft cloth and apply it to the wood surface by rubbing with the grain to remove watermarks.

For heavily stained areas, add a sprinkle of baking soda to the surface. Use a clean cloth as the old one becomes visibly dirty. Complete the furniture cleaning process by buffing the surface with a dry cloth.

Clean Wood Furniture with Vinegar and Olive Oil

One of the best ways to remove stains while polishing your furniture is to clean wood furniture with vinegar and olive oil. Using this combination brings out the shine while removing water stains from wood furniture.

Vinegar and Olive Oil Furniture Polish

  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Mason jar and lid

Combine equal parts vinegar and olive oil in a Mason jar, cover with a lid, and shake well to mix. Before you begin, test the solution on an inconspicuous area first to ensure that it is safe for your wood furniture.

Clean the wood surface with a small amount of warm water and dish soap if the surface is heavily soiled. After dusting the wood to remove excess dirt, dip a lint free cloth into the mixture and apply a small amount to the wood in sections.

Rub the damp cloth with the grain as you move along the surface of the entire piece. Use a clean microfiber cloth for buffing each section using a circular motion.

Cleaning hardwood floors with vinegar and olive oil is completed in much the same way. Use a bucket instead for easier application to a mop. Your floors will shine!

Cleaning Wooden Furniture with Vinegar and Lemon Juice

What do you use to clean wood furniture? This recipe may be just what you need to restore your wood to its former glory. White vinegar breaks up dirty oil and grime, while lemon juice has antibacterial properties with a low pH.

The combination of the two works great to remove stains from furniture. Not only that, but cleaning wood cabinets with vinegar and lemon juice leaves your kitchen looking and smelling fresh.

Vinegar and Lemon Wood Cleaner

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Soft cloth

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and use a whisk to mix well. Test the cleaner on an inconspicuous area of the wood first before applying it to the surface area.

Dip a soft cloth into the furniture cleaner and apply a small amount to one section of the furniture. Push the cloth along the grain of the wood to remove stains and dirt. Use a dry, soft cloth to buff away the cleaned area before moving on to a new section. Discard any leftover cleaner to prevent the solution from going rancid.

Clean and Polish Old Wood Furniture with Vinegar and Coconut Oil

This homemade wood furniture cleaner not only removes water stains, dirt, and grime, but leaves the wood surfaces polished, conditioned, and smelling fresh. It uses the combination of white vinegar, lemon juice, and coconut oil for a multipurpose cleaner.

Wood Furniture Cleaner and Polisher

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Whisk
  • Bowl
  • Microfiber cloths

Begin by combining the water and vinegar in a bottle sprayer and shake well to combine. Spray the liquid onto a soft cloth, and wring out any excess water and vinegar. Rub the surface of the wood clean by going with the grain. Use a fresh rag if the first one becomes visibly dirty.

Combine the coconut oil and lemon juice in a bowl and use a whisk to mix them. Dip a fresh, soft cloth into the polish and rub small amounts to the wood surface in sections. Follow each section by buffing the area with a dry cloth using circular motions.

Wood surface damage resulting from water marks, mildew, and other unfortunate stains is avoidable. It’s essential to protect the wood finish on your furniture to avoid the chore of refinishing.

You can also try this recipe or one of the others listed here for cleaning outdoor teak wood furniture that has accumulated a lot of grime. Restore the beautiful teak finish with just a little time and effort.

When old wood is not properly maintained, it loses its character and charm. Using the natural abilities of vinegar as a wood cleaner while adding other ingredients such as olive oil and lemon oil as a furniture polish, ensures that your wood furniture stays sturdy and rich in color.

Now that you’ve learned how to clean wood furniture with vinegar, why not share these wood furniture cleaning tips and recipes with your friends and family on Pinterest and Facebook?

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

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There are many ways to clean your wood furniture. Yet, can you clean wood furniture with vinegar? We will give you the answer in this post. Scroll down!

Vinegar is a common liquid used to add flavor and smell to your cuisine.

Apart from this function, many people take advantage of vinegar to clean their wood furniture because of its inexpensive cost and availability.

However, users sometimes doubt the effectiveness and safety of vinegar in wiping out dust and debris on wood furniture or retrieving its shiny outlook.

This problem won’t bother you anymore because our article will give you a thorough answer to your question, “can you clean wood furniture with vinegar.”

Can You Clean Wood Furniture with Vinegar?

Is it safe to use vinegar on wood furniture? The answer is YES!

You can utilize vinegar to clean wood furniture without worrying about unwanted damage. The amount of chemical in vinegar is safe for the human body if you use a proper quantity.

Therefore, there would be no chances for the vinegar’s adverse effect to happen when you use it to attain a brand-new outlook for your furniture.

Nonetheless, it would help if you were careful to mix vinegar with other cleaning solutions to form a cleaning paste or mixture.

The reason is that the chemical reaction may surpass the safety requirement for using wood furniture. Consequently, your furniture may be damaged.

Above, we have solved your question about “Is it safe to use vinegar on wood furniture?”.

Now, we will guide you on how to clean wood furniture with vinegar.

How To Clean Wood Furniture with Vinegar?

#1. Preparation Stage

If you place any items on your wood furniture, you should set them aside before applying vinegar.

The smell of vinegar is unpleasant, so you have to remove the items on the furniture’s surface to avoid the liquid from spitting on your stuff.

We also recommend that you take off metal components of your furniture. Vinegar contains a large concentration of acid, so it can corrode these metal parts.

Furthermore, if you have a vacuum, you should use it to roughly wipe out the dirt before carrying out more thorough cleaning procedures with vinegar.

#2. Eliminate Debris And Dust With Vinegar

Vinegar alone won’t help much in cleaning wood furniture; it needs to be mixed with water.

So, how to clean wood furniture with vinegar and water?

#3. Mixing Formula

  • 45 mL of vinegar
  • 240 mL of water
  • A small amount of scent can be added to limit the smell of vinegar

#4. Test The Mixture On Unobvious Spots

As mentioned before, vinegar is safe to use on your wood furniture.

Yet, it would be best if you tested the mixture on inconspicuous spots to affirm whether the mixture is properly formed or not.

  • Get a small piece of cloth and gently wet it with the solution. Remember not to soak the whole cloth. A damp cloth is enough for the test.
  • After cleaning the spot with the damp cloth, you have to use another dried cloth to wipe the cleaned spot.
  • If there isn’t any problem happening at the tested spot, you can apply the mixture to the whole furniture.

#4. Never Directly Pour Or Spray Vinegar On Your Wood Furniture

The only way you can clean your wood furniture with vinegar is to use a piece of cloth.

  • The cloth must be soft and clean.
  • Instead of soaking the cloth into the cleaning solution, you should dip it or use a spray to wet the fabric.
  • You need to thoroughly wring the damp cloth because the excessive amount of vinegar may bring adverse effects.

#5. Properly Use The Cloth

Rubbing the wood furniture with a damp cloth requires some notices:

  • You have to move the fabric in a circular direction to avoid scratch.
  • Once you see that the whole cloth is covered in dirt, you need to rinse it or throw it away and replace the dirty cloth with a clean one.

Retrieving The Shiny Outlook Of Your Wood Furniture

Besides wiping out the dirty particles on your wood furniture, vinegar is a helpful side-kick in retaining the woodwork’s polished appearance.

#1. Mixing Formula

Vinegar and olive oil:

  • Get a jar or a bottle to store the cleaning solution first. Then, pour the equal amount of olive oil and vinegar into the container.
  • Evenly shake the bottle.

The mixture of olive oil and vinegar can polish your wood furniture, provide dry wood with an added amount of moisture, and eliminate small scratches.

If you don’t have olive oil, you can opt for these alternatives:

  • 60 mL of lemon juice, 30 mL of vinegar, 30 mL of flax oil

The acid in lemon can improve the efficiency of polishing the woodwork. Furthermore, the smell of lemon can limit the unpleasant odor of vinegar.

#2. Cleaning Procedures

The methods and notices in polishing your wood furniture with vinegar are the same as removing dust and debris. For this reason, you can roll up to once again check our guide.

However, there is a small note for you. Instead of carrying out monthly like removing debris and dust, polishing woodwork with vinegar should be carried out once or two times a year for the best result.

Since the number of extra ingredients added in the polishing solution is more than those in the cleaning solution, the chemical reaction of wood and the cleaner will occur more often.

Consequently, the wood furniture’s natural color will fade if you polish it with vinegar mixture too much.

Bottom Lines

Cleaning wood furniture has never been easier with vinegar. This cleaning solution is cost-effective and easy to mix, so you can save up a lot of money and time whenever renewing your woodwork.

Our article has provided you with a detailed answer to the question, “ can you clean wood furniture with vinegar.” Keep following those steps carefully, and you will get the tidy and polished wood furniture.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

Last update: 29 May, 2020

The market offers a wide variety of cleaning products. More and more companies are investigating the possibility of creating new formulas and products. Do you know the benefits of white vinegar on furniture?

Vinegar has been used by our ancestors since it has disinfecting properties and helps with wood care. It’s a natural and economic remedy, and you can purchase it in supermarkets at a reasonable price.

It offers extraordinary results, and it doesn’t cause environmental problems, unlike chemicals that are harmful to your health.

The problem of dirt on furniture

You may have a lot of furniture that is made of wood, not to mention countertops and stone surfaces. For any of those materials, you can use vinegar, since it will clean your furniture effectively.

White vinegar is colorless and therefore doesn’t leave behind any residue. But what does this mean for your furniture? Often, when you apply natural remedies, you run the risk of ruining the wood.

Vinegar is a product used for thorough cleaning. You can mix it with other products for more efficient results.

Over the years, vinegar has been used in daily cleaning.

Benefits of white vinegar

We’ve already mentioned some of the advantages of using vinegar. Now, we’re going to discuss its major benefits when cleaning furniture, especially wood.

  • White vinegar suits wood well. Not only does it remove dirt and dust, but it also helps polish the wood. It provides a shimmering effect, giving the wood more life.
  • When there are wine, milk, and other liquid stains on wood, you can apply the vinegar and allow it to soak for a few minutes. Then, you can clean the surface again without damaging the wood.
  • If a glass or pot ring remains on the wood you need to act as soon as possible. Use vinegar with a cotton ball so that it protects the furniture.
  • If the handles of drawers or doors are rusting, unscrew, and place them in a jar of vinegar for 24 hours. If they cannot be removed, clean them periodically so that the rust is removed little by little.

How to mix vinegar with other products

There are other types of solutions that you can create by mixing white vinegar with other products. One particular mixture is vinegar and olive oil. Shake the mixture hard so that the two products mix well.

To clean off dust, moisten a cloth in water and use the vinegar and olive oil mixture. The mixture doesn’t stay as a dissolved liquid but becomes thick. Rub the furniture in a circular motion with the cloth.

Using white vinegar with alcohol

Be careful when using white vinegar with alcohol. You can find alcohol in drugstores and cleaning shops.

Use this mixture for surfaces with stains: grease, oil, chemical products, etc. Vinegar with alcohol disinfects, degreases, decalcifies, doesn’t irritate the surfaces, and eliminates bad odors.

Over time, wood furniture accumulates grime that can’t be removed with regular dusting. When this happens, some serious cleaning is in order. Try these methods for spiffing up your wood furniture safely and effectively.

By Bob Vila | Updated Aug 28, 2020 10:01 AM

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar How to clean wood furniture with vinegar How to clean wood furniture with vinegar How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

Homeowners have long relished the beauty, versatility, and toughness of wood furniture—and above all, they’ve appreciated its low maintenance. Like the ideal houseplant for brown thumbs, wood furniture survives on its own, requiring little intervention. Every now and again, though, whether due to an accident or normal wear and tear, you’ll need to know how to clean wood furniture to renew its appearance and ensure its longevity. When that inevitable day comes, follow these steps to restore a wood finish to impeccable condition without inadvertently causing damage.

If you are certain of your wood furniture finish—paint, stain, or some other treatment—then use a cleaning method appropriate for that specific wood finish. Otherwise, it’s best to clean the furniture in stages, starting with a mild cleanser that poses no risk to the integrity of the finish, then graduating to a stronger solution only if the gentler one fails. Proceeding in this way means that you can safely clean wood furniture without knowing precisely what you’re dealing with.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

STEP 1: Dish soap

Start out with perhaps the humblest of household cleaners: liquid dish soap.

  • Add a drop of liquid dish soap to a water-moistened cotton ball.
  • Next, wipe the cotton ball on an inconspicuous part of the furniture, such as the inside of a chair leg.

If the detergent mars the finish in your test area, then continue without the dish soap. If the test area shows no evidence of damage, it’s safe to proceed. Mix water and dish soap in a bucket and use this solution to sponge down the entire piece of furniture. Do not soak the wood; this is a common mistake. Instead, brush the sponge lightly over the surface and don’t let the liquid linger for long. Dry thoroughly.

STEP 2: Mineral spirits

If you want to see if you can get your furniture a little cleaner, the next thing to try is mineral spirits. One-quart containers typically sell for $10 or $15 (view on Amazon). Be sure to follow the printed instructions for safe use. For one thing, working in a well-ventilated area is a must.

Though mineral spirits should be harmless to wood finishes, you should still test the treatment on an inconspicuous part of the furniture to make absolutely sure. If you see no discoloration, proceed to wipe the furniture down with a the a clean cloth soaked in (but not dripping with) mineral spirits. Finish by wiping away any residual cleaner with a water-moistened cloth, inspecting the wood for blemishes as you go.

In many cases, mineral spirits can remove years of grime.

STEP 3: Consider refinishing

If the finish reacted negatively when you tested the mineral spirits on your furniture, don’t push your luck—move on. You’ll likely need to refinish the piece to truly restore it.

Note: To determine the type of finish that is on your furniture currently, dab some denatured alcohol onto a cotton swab and test it in a small, inconspicuous area. If the finish dissolves, that means it’s probably shellac. If the finish stands up to the alcohol, it’s probably oil, lacquer, varnish, or polyurethane.

STEP 4: Prevent future damage

If on the other hand you are satisfied with the results of your cleaning efforts (or you don’t want to refinish), you may wish to protect your furniture from future damage. To do so, reach for a furniture wax product, such as Howard Feed-N-Wax (view on Amazon) or Daddy Van’s (view on Amazon). Apply the wax liberally with a cheesecloth, always being sure to rub in the direction of the wood grain. Afterward, buff with a clean cloth.

Note: Always dust wood furniture with soft, lint-free cloths. Avoid feather dusters, because they aren’t as effective and sometimes have sharp quills that may scratch the wood surface.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

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How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

The Spruce / Sarah Lee

  • Working Time: 5 mins – 1 hr
  • Total Time: 5 mins – 1 hr
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Almost every home has pieces of furniture made from or accented with wood. As a natural element, wood brings warmth and versatility to almost any design style. While wood is durable and easy to care for, it does need to be cleaned properly to maintain its good looks.

How Often to Clean Wood Furniture

Food and drink spills should be cleaned away immediately. Too much liquid can cause wood to darken and warp or the finish to become cloudy.

Weekly dusting will remove the small particles that can scratch the surface of wood furniture. Use your favorite furniture polish once a month to bring a shine and help buff out any small scratches or nicks.

Depending on how often you polish the furniture, it will eventually need a deeper cleaning. This should be done when the finish looks dull or has darkened.


If you feel that your wood furniture is a valuable antique, do not touch the finish beyond weekly dusting. Have the item evaluated by a professional appraiser before you polish or deep clean the wood. Overzealous cleaning can reduce the value of the furniture significantly.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Cotton cloths
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Rubber gloves


  • Disposable electrostatic dusters
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Tea bags
  • Mineral spirits
  • Cotton balls and cotton swabs


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The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Routine Cleaning of Wood Furniture

Clean Away Spills

Use a paper towel or soft cloth to blot away liquid spills and condensation from drinks immediately. For sticky messes, dip a cloth in plain water and wring until only slightly damp. Wipe away the mess and immediately use a dry microfiber cloth to buff the wood back to a shine.

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The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Dust Regularly

Use a microfiber cloth or a disposable electrostatic duster like Swiffer to remove dust. Don’t forget the legs, arms, and smaller wood supports of the furniture. After dusting, use a soft cotton cloth to buff the surfaces to remove smudges and create a shine.

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The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Remove Heavy Grime

If the wood has been in storage or has been neglected, mix a solution of one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to two quarts of water. Dip a sponge or soft cloth into the solution and wring until it is only slightly damp.

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The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Deep Cleaning Wood Furniture

Too much polish or wax can leave the surface of wood furniture looking cloudy or dark. There are several ways to clean it away. To protect the wood, start with the most gentle method and progress to stronger methods only if needed.

Use Black Tea

The tannins or tannic acid in tea can cut through waxy build-up on wood. Brew two black tea bags in two cups of hot water. When the tea is cool, dip a soft cloth in the solution and wring until just damp. Start at the top of the piece and gently wipe in the direction of the wood grain.

Rinse the cloth in plain water to remove the grime. Wring and rewet with the tea solution, wring, and continue wiping. Finish by drying each cleaned section with a soft cloth, buffing to a shine.

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The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Clean With Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits is a petroleum distillate used to thin oil-based paints and clean stains and varnishes to remove waxy build-up. Always wear protective gloves and gear when using the product and work in a well-ventilated space.

Place a small amount on an old rag and wipe the furniture following the grain of the wood. Move to a clean area of the rag as the grime is transferred. Finish by buffing the wood with a soft, dry cloth.

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Tackle Problem Stains on Wood Furniture

Water Rings

Water rings or marks left by wet glasses and cups are common problems on wood tables or surfaces. If possible, treat them as soon as possible. There are two methods to try before you decide to refinish the entire piece.

Rub some olive oil or mayonnaise into the whitened area of the wood. Allow it to sit for one hour and then buff away.

Place some non-gel toothpaste on a soft cloth and rub the water ring until it disappears. Wipe away the toothpaste residue with a damp cloth and buff the wood surface with a soft, dry cloth.

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The Spruce / Sarah Lee

Ink Marks

Dip a damp soft cloth in some dry baking soda and rub the stained area gently until the stain disappears. Use a clean damp cloth to wipe away any baking soda residue and dry with a soft cloth.

The baking soda may dull the finish slightly, so use some wood polish to bring back the shine.

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Stickers or Glue Residue

Use the edge of a credit card or plastic scraper to loosen as much of the sticky residue as possible. Place a dab of olive oil or mineral oil on a soft cloth and rub it across the stained area. Move to a clean area of the cloth as the residue is transferred and reapply more oil if needed.

Finish by using some wood polish to even out the shine on the entire wood surface.

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Mold or Mildew

If possible, take the wood furniture with mold outside to clean to prevent spores from spreading to other areas of your home. If that is not possible and the mildew is dry, use the dusting/upholstery attachment of your vacuum to suction away the mold.

Follow the methods for deep cleaning to help clean away remaining spores and restore the finish of the wood.

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How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

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How to clean wood furniture without damaging the finish is a matter many people are concerned about. Let’s find a solution through the article below.

Wood furniture is the first choice of many families because of its beauty and elegance. However, these wood items are easily susceptible to damage by mishandling and improper cleaning.

Therefore, how to clean wood furniture without damaging the finish is a problem for many people.

Don’t worry, we are here to help you safely clean the wood furniture without damaging the finish with some tips and tricks below.

How To Clean Wood Furniture without damaging the Finish?

A finish is a layer that protects or embellishes the surface of wooden furniture. Types of wood finishes commonly used on the market include paint, lacquer, drying oil (tung oil or linseed oil), shellac, or wax.

Cleaning wood furniture without removing the finish will depend entirely on the type of wood furniture finish.

Now, we will go into detail on how to clean every kind of finish.

#1. Wax:

For wax finishes, you should not use bleaches to clean your wood furniture because they will fade your wax color.

Instead, it might be best if you used soap flakes to remove stains. You can buy the soap flakes in local stores and mix them thoroughly with water.

If you do not have time to make soap flakes solution at home, you can also purchase a pre-mixed soapy wood cleaner at the supermarket.

After having a soapy solution, you soak a clean, soft cloth and wipe the stain. Most importantly, do not let furniture get wet; instead, leave it dry immediately after cleaning.

#2. Veneer:

For this finish, you must be extremely careful when applying it to your wooden furniture.

Veneer finishes will create bubbles on the furniture top surface if you leave water on them for too long. You can use a soapy washing-up to clean the wood furniture.

#3. Varnish:

A solution of diluted washing-up liquid can help you remove stains on varnish finished surfaces quickly. After cleaning, you can re-polish this surface again with a spray polish or chamois leather cloth.

#4. Unsealed:

You remove the stain with a soapy washing-up liquid solution or water for this hard-wearing surface.

#5. Paint:

For finished wood furniture made of paint, the most effective way to remove stains and grease is to use washing-up liquid.

Tips for Cleaning Wood Furniture without damaging the Finish

  1. You can use mild cleaning products for Lacquered or Varnished finished wood.
  2. Keep in mind – do not allow water to stay on any wooden furniture for too long as it will destroy the wooden structures.
  3. To remove stains from wood furniture surfaces, you can also use vinegar dilute solution. Dip a clean towel into the vinegar solution and rub it carefully on wood furniture.
  4. You can use other available products for a quick and safe cleanup, such as Clorox Disinfecting Wet Mopping Pads, Black Diamond, Pledge, Rejuvenate, or Bona.


We hope our article “ How to clean wood furniture without damaging the finish” has guided you in cleaning your wood furniture properly, keeping them away from deterioration, and maintaining their shine and durability over time.

Different types of surface finishes will come with different cleaning solutions. You should learn carefully about your furniture’s surface finishes to clean it properly without causing damage.

Most importantly, you must not use undiluted detergent to clean your wood furniture.

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Learn how to clean furniture before painting it.

The most important step of painting furniture is starting with a clean surface.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

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Why Clean Furniture Before Painting?

Oils from cleaning products, dust, dirt, mold, and even oils from skin can prevent paint from sticking to wood furniture.

It can also cause dirty spots to appear under light colored paint.

Even “no-prep” paints assume you will clean the furniture first. You might be able to skip sanding, but skipping cleaning your furniture would be a huge mistake.

You don’t want all of your hard work to be for nothing.

Cleaning Furniture Before Painting

Supplies Needed

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Rags
  • Gentle Cleaning Spray
  • Goo Gone
  • Plastic Putty Knife
  • Shop Vac
  1. I always start by using a Shop-Vac to clean out drawers and the inside of the furniture as well. Clean away any cobwebs and dust from the inside.
  2. Wipe the entire piece with water and vinegar. I typically fill a bucket with warm water and a few tablespoons of vinegar.
  3. Take the drawers out and wipe them with vinegar water as well. This cleans the drawers, but also kills any lingering odors.
  4. Let it dry in the sun if possible.
  5. If the piece is visibly dirty, I clean it with a gentle cleaning spray as well.
  6. Wash it again with plain water. Soap residue will also keep paint from sticking.
  7. If your water is filthy after cleaning the furniture, you may need to wash it several times.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegarThis piece was a victim of too much furniture polish. Luckily, it’s easy to clean.

Cleaning Wood Furniture FAQs

How Do You Remove Furniture Polish Before Painting?

You can tell that furniture polish has been used when the wood is too shiny. It also may feel a little sticky.

Furniture polish is typically found on pieces that are more formal or on older pieces of furniture.

Furniture polish can be removed with vinegar and water. Use a higher concentration of vinegar.

How Do You Remove Sticker Residue From Wood?

Stickers are pretty easy to remove, whether it’s a price tag or the piece belonged to a sticker wielding kid.

Peel away as much sticker as you can with your hands or a plastic scraper. Wet the remaining sticker with vinegar and water and let it sit for a few minutes to soak in. Use the plastic putty knife to remove the rest.

For bad sticker residue, you can use Goo-Gone. Goo-Gone can remove paint so use it as a last resort if you’re trying to preserve the finish.

Remember to clean the residue away when you’re finished.

How to Clean Grease Off of Furniture?

Sometimes a piece of furniture has been in a kitchen or perhaps you’re painting wood cabinets.

Vinegar does a great job of cleaning grease from wood too! For really thick grease, I use straight vinegar.

TSP is my last resort. Wear gloves and work in a ventilated area. Be sure to clean the wood with plain water after using TSP.

How Do You Clean Mildew Off Furniture?

I’m not referring to anything with black mold. Sometimes furniture is stored in a place with high humidity like a garage or a basement.

Vinegar is once again your friend! Is there anything it can’t do? Wash it with a stronger solution of vinegar and let it dry in the sunlight. The combination of vinegar and sunlight will kill any remaining mildew and odors associated with them!

Be on the safe side and wash the inside as well. It’s kind of a pain, but it’s better than a stinky piece of furniture.

Be sure to wash it again with plain water.

You might also like:

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

Emy is a vintage obsessed mama of 2 DIYer who loves sharing affordable solutions for common home problems. You don’t need a giant budget to create a lovely home. Read more…

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How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

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Keeping your wood furniture always glossy and shiny is really a challenge!

You absolutely need to clean them after a period of time, but some modern cleaning solution would be too strong and will affect the finish of your furniture.

That’s why you need the following tips to protect their glossy look:

Tip #1: Avoid corrosive chemicals

Choosing the right cleaning solution is an important key to remain the beauty of high gloss furniture.

If possible, you had better buy a kind of cream polish that is specifically designed for high gloss furniture and avoid using a homemade substitute, unless it is simply water with mild dishwashing liquid.

In case you are too concerned about damaging your furniture’s gloss finish, try not to use water directly on the furniture’s surface until you become an experienced person because too much water can warp the high gloss finish.

For the best result, you should try testing any cleaning polishes or water mixtures in a hidden area before using it on the rest of the furniture.

Tip #2: Use a damp cloth

Another key to protect your high gloss furniture is to use a damp cloth, but don’t make it too wet. Just start by slightly wiping the surfaces of the furniture using minimal pressure and straight strokes.

Don’t forget to clean all the wet traces left on the surfaces to prevent spots.

You should never use a dry dusting cloth because it can leave a scratch. Even microfiber cloth is also not good for your furniture as they also create scratches on your furniture.

Dry cloths will ruin the glossy finish and damage the look of your furniture overtime.

Tip #3: Clean with vinegar water solution

In case your wooden furniture is too dirty, you can consider using a mixture of vinegar and water. The formula is actually very simple. In a bucket, mix around half cup of white vinegar into half gallon of warm water.

You may increase the amount of the ingredients if you have to cover a larger wooden surface area. After that, pour this solution in a spray bottle and then spray it or simply dip a rag into the mixture and use it to clean the wooden surface.

Remember that too much water may damage the wood. Therefore, wring the cloth before wiping on the surface. Continue rubbing the cloth in a circular motion. Rinse it when the cloth gets too dirty or use a new one to clean the remaining area.

That’s all

Above are the top 3 tips to clean glossy wood furniture, protecting them to be shiny all the time. The last thing you should always keep in mind is to remove all the moisture left on the wooden surface.

If water penetrates deep inside the wooden surfaces then it will decrease the durability of your furniture.

So after cleaning, you will have to go for a final buffing to remove any remaining moisture from the surface.

And, one more thing, if possible, try to polish your furniture once or twice a year. You can hire a professional person to help you, or do it yourself with vegetable or olive oil.

You will see the difference if you take care of them carefully.

Several years ago, I wrote a post about how to clean and hydrate old wood and it was one of my most popular posts for years! I decided it was time to do a refresher post on this DIY, homemade natural furniture cleaner and write an updated post that answered a lot of the questions asked on that original post. I’ve also been using this recipe and technique for years, so I can speak to its efficacy and longevity.

First of all, this DIY Furniture Cleaner will work on any old wood that has lost its luster and shine as long as the mixture can penetrate the finish. If the piece has a thick polyurethane topcoat, the mixture will just sit on top and won’t be very effective. If the wood is raw or the finish has worn away/evaporated, this DIY Furniture Cleaner will polish it up beautifully. It is also great for pieces with white watermarks from glasses or from moderate water damage and will remove a mild musty/dusty smell. If the piece is filthy and/or really stinky, read THIS ARTICLE to get that resolved before using the DIY Furniture Cleaner.

The piece I wanted to clean and hydrate was this antique wooden artist’s paintbox I purchased off of eBay last week. I really lucked out on this find because I was the only bidder! I’ll give you a little tour of the box in a minute, for those who are interested.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

diy homemade furniture cleaner recipe

Mix 3 parts Hemp Oil to 1 part Distilled White Vinegar. The oil must be an oil that is made for furniture refinishing, so it will not go rancid. If you pull vegetable oil from your kitchen cabinet, you will likely have that problem. The oil hydrates the wood while the vinegar cleans it. I mix this recipe in small batches (measuring with a tablespoon) and store any extra in a little jar.

Note – If this mixture is made with Miss Mustard Seed’s Hemp oil (or another food-safe oil), it will be a food-safe, natural furniture cleaner & polish.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

Here is how the box looked before. You can see it has some water rings and marks and the wood has lost its shine.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

The oil will darken most woods, bringing out the richness of the color and grain pattern, but it does depend on the particular wood variety. The DIY Furniture Cleaner darkened this wood (walnut, I believe) quite a bit. If you’re unsure of how your wood will react or you do not want it to be darker, test it on a small spot before applying it to the entire piece.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

In the case of this box, it didn’t completely remove the watermarks, but it camouflaged them considerably. I have used it on pieces, though, where the watermarks completely disappear.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

When I have a batch mixed up, I use it on anything I can find! I rubbed the DIY Furniture Cleaner all over the palette, brush handles, other wood boxes in my studio, and even on a chest of drawers in my living room.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

I polished the inside of the box, too, to get it clean and bring out the beauty of the old wood.

Let me give you a little tour of this box while we’re here. I actually bought this box more for the things inside it, mostly the brushes. It came with dozens of quality boar’s bristle and sable brushes that would’ve cost me more to buy them new. Not that I needed any brushes, but let’s not get into that right now. This was one of those can’t-pass-it-up kind of finds.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

It also came with the original tin liners and trays (which isn’t usually the case), the original solvent and oil cans with brass lids, and a clip-on palette cup for solvent and oil. The box has initials lightly carved in the top HMR and a maker’s mark in the inside of the lid. I can only make out “erville” and “Paris” inside of a kidney-shaped palette. I’ll have to do a bit more research to see if I can find the maker, but it’s likely from the early 1900s-1920s.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

The edge of the box that is lighter than the rest is actually a repair. It was done very well, though, and it makes me love the box even more. People don’t put so much time and attention into repairing something they don’t love, value, or use. This box was loved, valued, and used enough to do meticulous repair to make sure the box looked good and functioned properly.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

Whoever fixed the box even cut carefully around the lock to replace it. You’ll often find these boxes with missing locks, so I really appreciated whoever took the time to repair it (and who kept track of the key!)

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

The repair actually looks less like a repair and more like an inlay, a design choice made by the original maker.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

After it had a nice cleaning, it went in the stack with my other antique oil boxes. That stack makes me happy. What a pretty little lineup.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

Related Articles

  • How to Remove Discoloration After Stripping Furniture
  • How to Apply Glaze to Painted Wood
  • How to Repair Water Marks on Furniture
  • Will Boric Acid Kill the Lawn?
  • How to Clean Outdoor Wood Furniture

Algae grow on lawn furniture during damp weather, creating a green slimy film (see References 3). To remove the algae without using toxic chemicals, try vinegar to clean algal deposits from lawn furniture and other surfaces (see References 4, page 182). Vinegar is safe for washing fabrics, as well as cleaning wood and other hard surfaces (see References 1).

Remove the cushions from lawn furniture and put them in a wash cycle with 2 cups of vinegar added to the water (see References 1). Wash as indicated on the fabric label.

Mix equal parts warm water and white vinegar in a bucket (see References 4, page182).

Dip a scrub brush into the liquid and scrub the furniture vigorously to remove the algae. Use a hard-bristled brush on hard plastic furniture. When cleaning soft woods, test a small area to make sure the scrub brush won’t mark the wood. Use a scrubby sponge if the scrub brush leaves marks.

Rinse off the lawn furniture with clean water and check for spots that need more work. Natural products are effective, but they often require more scrubbing than chemical products (see References 2). Clean excess algae off the sponge or brush and continue scrubbing with the vinegar solution until all traces of algae disappear.

Things You Will Need

  • Environmental Law Center: The Five Basics for Non-toxic Cleaning
  • Coastal California Commission: Less Toxic Cleaning
  • Royal Horticulture Society: Algae, Lichens, Liverworts and Moss on Hard Surfaces
  • “Clean It Fast, Clean It Right”; Jeff Bredenberg; 1998

Eulalia Palomo has been a professional writer since 2009. Prior to taking up writing full time she has worked as a landscape artist and organic gardener. Palomo holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Boston University. She travels widely and has spent over six years living abroad.

Table of Contents

Mold is a type of fungus that can grow on organic materials such as wood. It usually grows in moist, humid environments and thrives when temperatures are between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

When it comes to devastations caused by mold, many of us are familiar with them. To clean mold from wood surfaces, there are a few methods you can try for yourself. In this blog post, we will discuss 4 different ways to clean mold from wood surfaces in your home or office environment.

4 Ways to Clean Mold from Wood Surfaces

Here are a few of the methods to remove mold from wood surfaces:

1- Removing mold from wood with vinegar

First, you are going to want to make sure the wood is completely dry. Once it’s dried out enough, take a cloth and dab some white vinegar onto it.

Make sure not to use too much vinegar because you don’t want it dripping off the surface or getting into crevices in your moldy wooden furniture. It can lead to mold still lurking in your furniture or kitchen cabinets.

The next step would be to gently wipe down each side of your piece with that same damp rag until all visible signs of mold have been eliminated from sight. Make sure that once again, the entire surface dries so mold won’t start lurking again.

2- Use Chlorine Bleach

If you don’t have any white vinegar on hand, a popular alternative would be diluted chlorine bleach mixed with water.

Make sure that the solution is not too strong, and then apply it onto your wooden surface just as you would if you were using straight-up bleach.

After applying the mixture of equal parts water and chlorinated liquid soap, wipe off the excess moisture along with all traces of mold spores. You will need to let the wood dry before using it again.

Another important thing to note when removing mold from wooden surfaces is that any materials won’t be exposed to bleaches. Cover certain inks, finishes, and paints; else, it will vanish. If not, it will require a different type of treatment, and you need the help of professionals again. So, it is better to get professional mold inspection and removal services.

3- Use Borax

Borax is a popular natural ingredient that can be used in the removal of black stains and discoloration.

Take a bucket of warm water along with some borax powder and mix it all until you have created a thick paste-like substance. Then, use either an old rag or sponge to apply directly onto your wooden surface before scrubbing at its surface for about 20 minutes.

Let everything dry out completely, so no traces of moisture are visible anywhere else on your piece.

This process only takes one time around, and you will notice the difference in your moldy wooden furniture right away.

Note: Borax can be dangerous if inhaled or ingested, so make sure not to get any of it into your eyes. It can cause irritation and even blindness depending on how long the exposure has been going on. So please keep yourself safe when removing mold from wood with borax!

4- Use hydrogen peroxide

When removing mold from wooden surfaces, you can take a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and pour it onto the surface. Make sure that there is enough quantity, so all areas are covered evenly with a generous amount of liquid.

After doing this, let everything sit out in the open for about 15-20 minutes before scrubbing at its surface again with either an old rag or sponge (depending on how large your piece is).

Once more, make sure to wipe down any excess moisture along with traces of black spores left behind after using both methods above. Like borax, however; do not ingest this substance because it also poses dangers when digested by humans.

How to Remove Mold from Wood Floors and Ceilings?

If you have mold on your wood floor or ceiling, you should first figure out where it came from. This implies that you’ll need to look for any indications of water damage (such as leaks) that could have caused the mold.

After that, you must clear away any furniture from the room. It exposes the whole area affected by mold.

To remove mold, begin by filling a vinegar, washing detergent, and water spray bottle halfway with water. Spray the afflicted area with vinegar for 10 minutes, then rinse it clean. This will eliminate any existing mold before mold can spread further.

When the mold is gone, use a clean, wet cloth to wipe away any solution. You may return furniture to its normal position when the floor has fully dried. However, we recommend checking the area every few weeks to make sure the mold hasn’t returned.

If the mold has spread through the wood floor or ceiling, you can use hydrogen peroxide or a professional chemical solution. After saturating the affected wood with a solution for a few minutes, use a hard bristle brush to scrub away the mold.

What to do If the Mold still Exists?

If the mold still exists, it’s time to contact a professional. A removal expert can easily deal with any restoration or repair work needed on your home.

Mold is a dangerous substance and, if left untreated, could lead to serious health problems for you and your family members. This means that you must call in an outside party who knows how to quickly remove black mold from wood floors before it spreads further into other areas within your house where everyone will be exposed to them, including yourself!

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with moldtesters561 now to get a free consultation from our mold testing specialists before it’s too late. We are offering mold inspection in Boca Raton. Call us Now!

How to Clean Wood Furniture

A beautifully designed furniture made from solid wood such as oak, pine, or mahogany can be a decent and lovely addition to the decor for your home. Wood furniture has been an astonishing form of art for centuries but it’s becoming more popular in few recent years. Statistics show that wood furniture has had more sales since 2017. Wood furniture not just looks decent and beautiful, but it is also durable. They just need some regular cleaning and maintenance and they can last longer without showing any signs of wear and tear.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

Wood furniture is not just a long-term investment but also a responsibility. If you want that your wood furniture remains in like-new condition, then you have to be very careful and attentive towards cleaning and maintenance. Unfortunately, people think that only dusting is good enough, and proper cleaning and maintenance are very difficult and time-consuming. But, here is good news if you think so, once you know how to do proper cleaning of wood furniture, you will be happy and can do it easily regularly without investing much time and effort by just adopting the following instructions.

The Basics of Cleaning Wood Furniture

  • Whenever you buy new furniture, read your manufacturer’s guidebook of cleaning before using any commercial cleaners.
  • Many people are very quick to reach for commercial cleaners for cleaning their wood furniture. Unfortunately, these commercial cleaners could do more harm than good if you do not give proper attention to their chemical ingredients. Each type of polisher or cleaner has different types of chemicals, which might not be suitable for your furniture. So, try to minimize chemical cleaning materials while cleaning wood furniture.
  • Don’t ever try all-purpose cleaners on your wood furniture.

How to Clean Wood Furniture with Right Tools

Dusting is required to do regularly to keep your furniture in prime condition. Statistics show that an average home accumulates over 40 pounds of dust per year. This dust can cause discoloration of wooden furniture over time, plus it looks so grungy. Using wrong products and tools can not just cause severe damage to your furniture but also are ineffective to clean and ends up making the finish sticky.

There are some methods you can use to keep your wooden furniture cleaner and sleeker.

Method 1: Cleaning With Little Water

This is one of the simplest methods to clean wooden furniture.

You’ll need;

  • Microfiber cloths
  • A little water

Steps of Cleaning;

1. For regular cleaning, to get rid of dust, fingerprints, or smears, take a dry microfiber cloth and wipe down your wooden furniture.

2. If you found any stains, sticky spots, or fingerprints, damp microfiber cloth and ring out as much water as you can. Use this dampen microfiber cloth to wipe down the surfaces of furniture and apply a little pressure until the stain is removed.

Note: Don’t use a wet cloth and make sure it’s only damp because the wet cloth can pretty damage the furniture and even create water stains.

Method 2: Cleaning With Vinegar

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

For more sticky grimes you can use white vinegar for cleaning wooden furniture.

You’ll need;

  • A microfiber cloth
  • White vinegar
  • Water


1. Wipe down the furniture with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt from the furniture.

2. Take three teaspoons of white vinegar and mix it with a cup of water.

3. Damp a microfiber cloth with this mixture.

4. Before cleaning the whole furniture, test a little area which is not easily seen. If this does not affect the tested area, you can proceed with cleaning the whole furniture.

Method 3: Mineral Spirit Cleaner

In more extreme situations, you can use mineral spirits for better results.

You’ll need;

  • A microfiber cloth
  • Mineral spirit cleaner


1. Use a moistened cloth to wipe down any dust particles.

2. Take a microfiber cloth and damp it with mineral spirit cleaner.

3. To make sure that it’s safe for your furniture, you can test it on a hidden area, if nothing negative happened, then wipe down the surfaces of the whole furniture.

4. Finish by wiping down with a clean damp cloth to remove any residue or stains.

Apply Furniture Wax as Necessary

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

For better glossy furniture, you can use furniture wax. It will create a protective finish on the exterior and will protect your furniture from any scratches or nicks.

  • Before applying any wax, read the instructions from your furniture manufacturer.
  • For the best application of wax, use a cheesecloth that is porous for an even application.
  • Apply the wax onto the cheesecloth and rub this cloth onto the surface of the furniture in the direction of the wooden grain.
  • Once the surface is fully saturated, take a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away any excess material.

Preventative Maintenance

To properly maintain your wooden furniture, you should take the following preventative measures.

  • Always place coasters under cups or glasses, whether they are cold or hot.
  • Wipe up the spills or stains immediately.
  • Use trivets or place-mats when serving hot meals.

Make a good cleaning routine to protect your furniture from dust, dirt, and grime. If you don’t have time to deep clean on a monthly or semi-annual basis, you can hire professional cleaning companies, because they know how to clean and maintain them in a better way.

No one wants to sit on a grimy patio chair or eat at a dirty table. To keep your patio furniture in pristine condition, routine cleanings are key. For best results, you should clean outdoor furniture four times a year: once at the beginning of summer, once at the end of summer, and a couple of times in between. During winter months, store furniture indoors to prevent additional weathering and staining. To clean your patio furniture, the best method depends on the item’s material. We’ve identified the right way to clean wood, wicker, metal, glass, and plastic furniture. These cleaning tips are guaranteed to breathe new life back into your patio furniture.

How to Clean Wood and Wicker Outdoor Furniture

Rescue dull, dirty wood or wicker furniture with these easy cleaning strategies. To remove grime, use a mild oil-base soap, such as Murphy Oil Soap, mixed with warm water. For a DIY cleaning solution, mix 1/4-cup ammonia, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, and 1 quart of warm water. Commercial wood cleaners are also effective for cleaning patio furniture, but be sure to read directions carefully. Wicker and painted woods might require diluting the solution.

To protect your patio furniture, regularly wipe down wood to remove dirt, debris, and excess water. For hardwoods, consider annually sanding and applying a fresh coat of protective finish, such as oil, stain, or a polyurethane coating. Hose down wicker every few weeks to prevent dirt buildup in crevices.

How to Clean Metal, Iron, and Aluminum Outdoor Furniture

Proper cleaning is essential to preserve the shine on metal outdoor furniture. For aluminum pieces, oxidation is the most common problem. Before cleaning, remove as much of the imperfection as possible using a metal polishing paste or a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water. Avoid using chemicals such as ammonia and trisodium phosphate (TSP); alkaline cleaners cause oxidation.

To protect its natural luster, wash aluminum furniture frequently and remove scuff marks with a soft cloth dampened with a nonabrasive cleaning product. Combat rust by sanding it off along with damaged paint. Wipe off metal residue with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits or naphtha. Use a rust-resistant primer before painting with a rust-resistant paint.

Consider having your wrought-iron furniture sandblasted or powder-coated for added protection. To protect after cleanings, apply a coat (two for iron) of automotive wax.

How to Clean Glass Patio Furniture

Keep glass patio tables sparkling with a few simple cleaning steps. First, remove any stuck-on debris with a glass-safe, nonabrasive material. Many scrub brushes will scratch glass, so opt for one designed to tackle tough cleanup jobs without marking your furniture.

Dish detergent and home cleaning solutions are the most effective cleaners. After an initial cleaning, spray white vinegar or glass cleaner on the surface and wipe away with a microfiber cloth or paper towel. Wipe down the underside of a glass table at least once a month to prevent irreversible grime. Clean frames of glass tables according to their material type.

To keep glass outdoor furniture clean, you should cover your glass table when it’s not in use. Fix small scratches and chips in the glass with a glass repair kit.

How to Clean Plastic and Hard-Resin Outdoor Furniture

Use these tips to remove stains and built-up grime on plastic patio chairs and tables. Make your own mild cleanser by mixing 1/2 cup baking soda mixed with 1-gallon warm water, or 3 tablespoons dishwasher detergent (which contains a mild bleaching agent) and 1 gallon of warm water. For colored plastic, mix 1/4-cup vinegar with 1 quart of warm water. It’s best to avoid using chlorine and bleach on white plastic furniture because they eat away at the material.

For stubborn stains, dampen a clean rag with white distilled vinegar and wipe down the piece. You can also sprinkle baking soda on a wet sponge to create a mild abrasive that will peel away stains but won’t scratch surfaces. Avoid abrasive cleaners, which will scratch plastic outdoor furniture. After washing your plastic furniture, protect it with a coat of automotive paste wax.

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How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

How to Clean Mildew From Wood Furniture

Wondering how to clean mildew from wood furniture quickly and safely without damaging the wood? Look no further!

Mildew on your wood furniture doesn’t just look bad, it can be detrimental to your furniture and your health if it’s not addressed.

Here’s exactly how to clean mildew from wood furniture.

Allergies and respiratory issues are fairly common to those who come into contact with mold or mildew, so be sure to wear gloves during the cleaning process, and, if necessary, a mask.

Mold and mildew grow and thrive in moist environments, and unfortunately, your wood furniture absorbs and retains moisture like a sponge.

Mildew is identified as a thin, black or white growth produced by mold.

Molds that cause mildew require moisture and specific temperatures in order to grow. They thrive in humid summer weather and are often found in houses without proper ventilation.

Surface mold is more likely to develop on new, unseasoned lumber, but indoor surfaces covered with enamel or oil-resin paint rarely grow mold or mildew. When they do, removal and prevention are quick and easy.

Badly infected wood, however, may need to be replaced, preferably with wood that has been treated or that is naturally mold and decay resistant.

There are a few things to take note of before you go tossing that ebony china cabinet into the fire.

1. Identify the source

Identifying the source of moisture is the best step towards preventing further mold and mildew issues in your home.

Whether you need to hire a plumber or just move your furniture to a more dry location, finding the cause is the first step toward a solution and future prevention.

2. Identify the right solution

There are a lot of commercial products that will tell you how to clean mildew from wood furniture, and they can be great pre-mixed solutions for tackling your mold problems.

But, before you begin, make sure your cleaning solution is appropriate for your wood furniture. We have a great index of cleaning solutions here.

How to remove mildew from wood furniture with a finished or painted surface

If your wood is finished or painted, you should be relying on more mild cleaning solutions because you will likely only need to remove (not kill) the mold (they’re easier on the wood, too).

Some great, mild cleaners include a mixture of household detergent and water, commercial mild mold removal products, diluted vinegar, a baking soda and detergent solution, or a borax solution.

How to remove mildew from wood furniture with an unfinished surface

If the issue has moved below the surface of the wood, which is much more likely on unfinished wood surfaced, you will need a surface penetrating solution to kill the mold.

Surface penetrating solutions include rubbing alcohol, commercial mold killing products, diluted vinegar, borax solution, baking soda solution, or a bleach and detergent solution.

Begin by setting up your workspace in a well-ventilated area with all products and tools you will need.

Vacuum the loose spores with your vacuum’s brush attachment.

Wash the area with a cloth soaked with whatever solution you have decided to use based on your furniture and the extent of the mildew infection.

Use a washcloth and scrub gently in circles. You should be able to see the mildew clearing from the surface.

Allow the area to dry before moving on to step three.

Disinfect your wood furniture by wiping the mildew infected area with a cloth dipped in diluted alcohol or bleach (10% bleach to water solution) before drying thoroughly using an electric heater and fan. Even a hair dryer will do!

For painted or stained wood, you can use a more mild disinfectant. It is likely that even a simple detergent and warm water solution will do after you have already washed and dried the area.

If your results are not satisfactory, vinegar is a very effective mold killer. Use a spray bottle filled with vinegar and spray the mildew affected area. Allow the vinegar to sit for an hour or so before wiping down the area with a clean and damp cloth.

We know, we know, but it’s a point that we can’t drive home enough!

Not only does mildew grow and thrive in the wet and damp, but it’s unsafe to combine cleaning solutions, paints, and disinfectants, and you would risk damaging your wood or its finish.

If you correctly identified the cause of the issue, that means that moisture shouldn’t be a problem anymore (perhaps you moved that cabinet from a dampened basement, or allowed a flooded piece of furniture to spend a day or two in the sun).

To prevent further damage or recurring issues, keep your wood furniture dry, clean, and disinfected.

Mildew-resistant paints in all colors for wood surfaces are available at paint, hardware, and some department stores. These products are formulated with fungicides to combat mold and mildew growth.

Applying a mildew resistant paint is a great way to seal your efforts and prevent further infections.

If you feel that any mold remains, you might consider sanding your wood furniture’s surface and repeating the above steps before applying a mildew resistant paint.

It may seem contrary to protecting the wood, but sanding is the only way to reach the mold deep within the wood.

Once the wood is clean and smooth and shows no sign of mold, then you can safely apply your stain or finish and your resistant paint.

It’s important to know how to remove mildew from wood furniture properly in order to protect yourself and your belongings from unsightly and potentially dangerous mold.

Now that you know how to clean mildew from wood furniture, make sure that you never have to do it again.

From hiring a plumber to running a dehumidifier at night or even just opening your windows to encourage ventilation, there are plenty of ways to minimize moisture in your home.

If the mildew has grown or spread to any attached pieces of upholstery, it is best to consult a furniture cleaning service.

Say goodbye to water stains, ink marks and polish buildup on your wood furniture by following these simple cleaning tips and tricks.

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Related To:

You dust and shine your wood furniture regularly, but over time those polishes and dust combine to leave a dark film on tables, chairs and shelves. To keep your furniture looking its best, you need to do a periodic deep cleaning.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

Photo by: Shutterstock/Yuliya Evstratenko

Here’s how to clean wood furniture without damaging its finish:

  • Dust the furniture to remove surface dirt. Now you’re ready to remove light soiling.
  • Start with the gentlest cleaner and move up to stronger ones as needed. Try mixing a weak solution of water and dishwashing soap.
  • Dip a soft cloth in the solution, wring it out and wipe the entire piece. You want a damp cloth, not a wet one.
  • Don’t saturate the wood, and rinse your cloth often.
  • Take a second, clean cloth and dry the piece thoroughly.

Here’s how to clean wood furniture that’s stained or has other problems.

How to Remove Old Polish

Knowing how to clean old wood furniture that has a decades’ old buildup of polish will help you revitalize an antique.

  • Steep two tea bags in boiling water.
  • Let the tea cool to room temperature.
  • Take a soft cloth, wring it out in the tea until it’s damp and wash the wood.

The tannic acid from the tea is wonderful for maintaining wood. You’ll be surprised at how the wood will shine.

Remove Water Stains From Wood

Here’s how to remove water rings from wood where someone has put a hot or cold drink directly on a table.

  • Put some non-gel toothpaste on the spot and rub with a soft cloth till the stain is lifted.
  • For stubborn stains, mix equal parts baking soda and toothpaste.
  • Wipe the toothpaste off with a clean damp cloth and dry thoroughly.

Erase Difficult Marks From Wood

To remove an ink mark:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of water into a thin paste.
  • Apply to the stain and rub gently with a soft cloth until the stain disappears.
  • Wipe the toothpaste off with a clean damp cloth and dry thoroughly.

Once your furniture is clean, wipe a layer of wood polish on it to preserve the finish and add shine.

Homemade Furniture Polish

You can use commercially prepared lemon oil. You can also make a simple polish by mixing 1 cup of olive oil with 1/4 cup white vinegar. Pour it on a soft cloth and work it into the wood, wiping with the grain. Buff till shiny.

Knowing how to clean wood furniture will help you keep your possessions looking lovely, longer.

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Martinez knows a thing or two about DIY. With his business degree, he created a name for himself in the Fresno area flipping houses. He has the passion to DIY and the knowledge to know when to call in an expert. Martinez won’t sugar-coat the home renovation process, but will give you the proper knowledge and motivation.

Teak wood is an excellent choice when it comes to wood furniture, as it’s long-lasting and durable, which means that it’s fairly low maintenance. It’s specifically resistant to mold and doesn’t rot, which is why it’s a top pick for outdoor furniture. Aside from coming in contact with outdoor elements (wind, rain, snow, etc.), teak wood is also a good choice for indoor furniture, especially shower chairs, stools, and benches. They’re sturdy, and just like outdoor teak furniture, teak shower accessories won’t get moldy or break down. Even though teak wood doesn’t rot, it can still fade and get discolored, however, that can be avoided with proper teak wood furniture care.

One of the best ways to keep your teak wood looking like new is to clean it a few times a year, especially when you start to see a fair amount of water stains, mildew, and soap scum (you’ll only see soap scum if you have a teak wood shower bench). If you want to know how to clean teak wood furniture without breaking the bank or taking up most of your day, you’ve come to right place!

Here’s how to clean a teak wood shower chair or bench in three easy steps:

Step 1: Gather your Supplies

  • ¼ cup of Vinegar
  • ¼ cup of Tap Water
  • 1 tsp of Dawn Dish Soap
  • A small spray bottle
  • A soft-bristle brush

If you know how to make homemade items that clean or deodorize (such as DIY silk plant cleaner or a DIY reed diffuser, this will be just as easy, if not easier! Instead of spending money on expensive teak furniture cleaner products that have lots of chemicals, you can make your own cleaner for about 1 percent of what a regular cleaner would cost. Since you’ll only be using a tiny amount of vinegar, Dawn soap, and tap water, this cleaner will literally cost about 10 cents to make, and only takes about 60 seconds of your time. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

Since most of us have vinegar, Dawn, and a spray bottle in our homes, you’ll be good to go if you have a soft-bristle brush. If you don’t have one on hand, you can find one at your local superstore for $5 or $6, which will still make the grand total for all of these items less than what you would pay for a premade teak wood cleaner.

Step 2: Make the Cleaning Solution

Making your own DIY teak wood cleaner is literally so simple and takes about 1 minute, so this part should be fun and easy! Grab your empty spray bottle and pour in 1-part tap water and 1-part vinegar. Since a little goes along way, I put in ¼ cup of water and ¼ cup of vinegar. However, if you’re cleaning a larger piece of outdoor furniture, you can obviously increase the measurements to suit the scale of your project.

After pouring in the vinegar and water, add 1 tsp of Dawn, and shake it up. That’s it! Now it’s time to move onto the part that involves a small amount of elbow grease.

Step 3: Apply the Cleaner and Start Scrubbing

If you’re cleaning a teak wood shower bench like this, you can directly spray it in its normal location since this cleaning solution won’t harm the shower tiles in any way. Grab your spray bottle and spray the bench all over until it’s thoroughly covered in the cleaning solution. (If you are using this to clean outdoor teak wood furniture, you would follow the same steps, ensuring that you thoroughly spray the entire piece of furniture.) Allow the cleaning solution to sit for about 5 minutes before moving onto the scrubbing portion.

This bench is heavily soiled with soap scum and mildew, but already looks a lot better after the cleaning solution has been on for only a couple of minutes! Next, grab your soft-bristle brush, and gently scrub each area until you see the water stains, mildew, and soap scum disappear. It’s important to emphasize that you should not use a hard-bristle brush, as it will strip away the varnish on the surface of your teak wood furniture. If you can’t find a soft-bristle scrub brush, you can use a bottle cleaner brush like this one (a brush specifically designed to clean the inside of water bottles and thermoses that aren’t able to be put into the dishwasher).

Using a small brush with a handle is ideal for this small bench, but if you plan on cleaning a set of teak wood deck chairs and a table, it’s probably best to order a larger soft-bristle scrub brush ahead of time so that you can cover larger surface areas at a time. Once you’ve scrubbed the entire surface area, rinse the bench with clean water and allow to dry.

Look at the difference in the before and after! With a non-toxic, DIY cleaner, and a little bit of gentle scrubbing, this teak wood shower bench has been transformed and looks brand new. Who knew that effective teak wood maintenance could be so simple?

Never underestimate the power of a few common household items, a soft-bristle brush, and a little bit of scrubbing power! Have you tried this solution on your indoor or outdoor teak wood furniture? Show us your before-and-after pictures in the comments below!

Wouldn’t you love to remove dirt off the surfaces of your wooden furniture without damaging it and still maintain the original shine? Dust, cooking oil, and smoke from cigarettes accumulate over time, creating an extra layer of dirt on the wooden surfaces.

Continuous cleaning will help avoid the build-up of dust and grime on the surfaces. However, the dirt can become too stubborn for normal cleaning. In this case, you will need the best wood furniture cleaner and more advanced methods of cleaning to loosen up the dust and grime, thus returning the shine you’re looking for.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

How to Clean Grime off Wood Furniture

Using Vacuum Cleaner

Below I’ll guide you on how to achieve this by following these simple steps;


  • Microfiber cloth
  • Soft pieces of cloth
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Used toothbrush
  • Vacuum
  • Water
  • Industrial wood cleaners
  • Trisodium phosphate
  1. Choose a suitable working place, preferably outdoors or in the garage. The place should be properly ventilated since you don’t want to leave the house with pungent smells.
  2. Once you have a comfortable working station, use the microfiber cloth to dust the piece. This removes dirt lightly from the surface.
  3. Use the brush and vacuum to remove grime from the corners and cracks.
  4. Make a solution from the dishwashing detergent and water. Dip the soft cloth in the mixture and wring it. Pass the cloth lightly on the surface, making sure not to dampen it.
  5. Use the brush to clean in the cracks and corners. Remember always to observe the grain.
  6. Continue cleaning until there’s no more dirt showing on the cloth.
  7. It’s now time to dry the surface using clean and dry cloth. Leave the piece to dry.
  8. If you are comfortable with the work, use a dry clean cloth to wipe the surface to get back the shine.

NB: Water is not very friendly with wood. It causes deformation, inflammation, and tarnishes the wood if applied directly to the wood with no finishes. It also weakens the glues joining the pieces. Be very careful not to log the wood. Use the damp cloth to clean and let it dry before applying finishes on the wood. You can use the homemade wood floor cleaner that gives you the shiny effects.

Using Industrial Wood Cleaners

This involves industrial wood cleaners. Wood cleaners are sold in the nearby hardware stores or even at the local goods store. Turpentine also does a great job. When purchasing the chemical to use, avoid those containing “conditioning”. These may be composed of compounds with oil which will be left on the wood after cleaning. Our target is to eliminate oil and grime and not to leave any on the piece.

How to Use the Product

Read and understand all the manufacturer’s instructions before using the product. Mix the solution as directed. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and pass it over the surfaces of your wooden piece gently. Leave the cleaner for about 10-20 minutes to allow the chemical to get absorbed. Get another cloth and dip it in the cleaner. Pass it over the surface, now removing the remnants. Repeat this process a few times until you see no dirt on the cloth.

Now use another clean and dry cloth to wipe the surface to restore the shine.

Using Trisodium phosphate (TSP)

This is the last thing I would recommend when cleaning a wooden piece of furniture. It’s mostly used by painters to eliminate ballooned dirt from outer walls. I recommend it to painted, polished and bright pieces. For those pieces that have sitting in the garage or outside for years, this can do a very good job for you.

The chemical can penetrate oily and greasy surfaces. Use a brush to scrub if the stains are deep and mild. You should be sure to repaint after using TSP.

How to clean dirt buildup on wood

Dirt buildup can ruin the texture of any wooden surfaces. If you don’t want your beloved wood furniture to face a doom, clean the dirt. Here are some steps you can follow

  • First, use a duster and scrape off all the dirt you can remove.
  • Now, soak a piece of cloth (Cotton and non-scratching) and slowly wipe the wood.
  • If you have mineral spirit, detergent, or regular soap, rub it on the wood.
  • Leave it for three to four minutes and then wipe it off.
  • After that, soak the cloth in fresh water to clean the wood again.
  • Finally, wipe any excess moisture.

Note: Sometimes, you need to polish and buff the wood. Dirt can permanently damage it, and regular cleaning is the only prevention.

Is vinegar good for cleaning wood furniture?

Now a day, vinegar usually is an excellent cleanser. So it is mostly used in furniture cleaning. But sometimes a question arises that. Is vinegar good for cleaning wood Furniture? And here the answer would be affirmative.

Vinegar is an excellent wood cleaner. It is a cheaper alternative than the other expensive toxic cleaning. It won’t damage the burnish on your furniture as well as easy to clean.

1/4 cup vinegar; 3/4cup warm water and one teaspoon olive oil can be a Super cleanser for your furniture. Shake it very well and apply to your furniture. Rub it with a soft cotton cloth. These ingredients remove the spot on your furniture and polish it naturally.

How to use

  • Use rubber gloves and Google’s since the chemical is powerful and can burn if its contact with the skin or eyes.
  • Mix two tablespoons of TSP in one pint of warm water.
  • Apply on the wooden surfaces and leave it to get absorbed
  • Use a clean cloth dipped in the solution and pass it over the surface. Repeat the process until there’s no dirt on the cloth.
  • Leave the piece to dry and apply finishes.


Having gone through the three methods of cleaning grime on wooden furniture, you can choose wisely on the most convenient method that can work for you. Depending on the level of dirt and stains you intend to remove. Use the dish detergent for little stains, industrial cleaner for medium cleaning, and the last resort should be the TSP. The choice on the method you select depends on the type of wood you want to clean, the intensity of dirt, and maybe your priorities.

I hope you enjoy cleaning your wooden surfaces using the simple steps I have illustrated.

How to clean dirty wooden furniture?

Wooden furniture can quickly become clogged with dust and dirt if you don’t take care to clean it regularly. But do you know how to properly wash dirty wood?

In this article, I present to you my best tips and tricks for cleaning wooden furniture naturally.

1. Clean wooden furniture with black soap

Black soap is a very practical and popular natural product on 10-Truces. Black soap can replace dozens of household and cleaning products. An ecological and economical choice to make!

Here is how to use black soap to clean raw wood furniture:

  • Pour into a good an equal amount of liquid black soap and hot water.
  • Mix well and use a soft bristle brush with this solution to clean unfinished wood.
  • Rinse the furniture well with a damp cloth and dry with a new soft, dry cloth to finish.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

Black soap Marius Fabre

  • Natural and economical multi-purpose cleaner.
  • Quality black knowledge based on olive oil.
  • Cleaning product to naturally clean the house.

To be sure not to damage the wood with the brush, you should rather use a cloth to clean the wooden furniture.

2. Clean wooden furniture with baking soda

If you like to test grandmother’s remedies, here is one based on lemon and baking soda to clean very dirty wooden furniture.

Here’s how to succeed with this bicarbonate-based cleaning tip:

  • Cut a lemon in half and rub the clogged wood with the lemon.
  • Then mix a little warm water with baking soda to form a semi-liquid paste.
  • Then rub the wood with a cloth and this mixture of water and baking soda.
  • Rinse with a new damp cloth and dry the wooden furniture to finish.

Care must be taken not to scratch the wood with this cleaning paste, as the baking soda can be slightly abrasive on the wood. For use on dirty wooden furniture as well as on « very » stubborn stains.

3. Clean wooden furniture with soda crystals

Another effective way to clean wooden furniture naturally is to use this trick with soda crystals:

  • In a bowl, mix soda crystals and a little warm water (wear protective gloves).
  • Once thoroughly mixed, use a sponge and this solution to scrub the grimy and stained wood.
  • Rinse with a slightly damp sponge and dry with a soft, dry cloth to finish.

As the mixture can be somewhat abrasive, care must be taken not to scratch the surface of your wooden furniture.

4. Clean waxed furniture with white vinegar

Do you have waxed or varnished wood furniture that is particularly stained, dirty and difficult to clean? White vinegar can be a good cleaning tip to try on your furniture.

Here’s how to use vinegar on waxed wood:

  • Pour a few drops of white vinegar on a soft cloth.
  • Rub the wood, paying particular attention to the stains on the furniture.
  • Rinse and wipe the entire piece of furniture quickly with another dry, soft cloth.

It is important to rinse quickly to make sure not to leave any traces of vinegar so as not to damage and or discolor the wood.

5. Tea to clean the wood naturally

I’m sure you don’t know this next trick… Using tea to clean wood naturally. Here’s how to do this grandma trick:

  • Brew the tea of ​​your choice and allow the tea to cool (several minutes).
  • Take a soft cloth, soak it in tea and rub the varnished wooden furniture.
  • Buff the surface with a dry, soft microfiber cloth to finish.

This grandma trick works on different types of furniture and varnished wood surfaces. It is a good solution for dusting and degreasing wood naturally.

6. Clean wood with turpentine

Turpentine oil is a product that can be useful as a household cleaner. It is therefore possible to use it to clean wooden furniture, but also to protect it.

Cleans, protects and shines wood!

If you need to clean wooden furniture that is very dirty then it is possible to combine ammonia with turpentine to make it even more effective.

  • Mix equal parts ammonia and turpentine.
  • Soak a cloth in this mixture, taking care to protect your hands with gloves.
  • Scrub and wash the furniture, paying particular attention to grease stains and other stubborn stains.
  • Pass a clean, damp cloth to finish cleaning the furniture.

This trick is effective on painted wood and varnished wood furniture. I recommend testing on a small, inconspicuous area to avoid damaging your furniture.

7. Clean wooden furniture with soap and water

To clean painted wooden furniture, simple soapy water should do the trick. Very simple, here’s how:

  • Mix a little liquid dish soap with warm water.
  • Rub the painted wood with a sponge or cloth (wring the sponge well).
  • Then dry with a new soft cloth the entire surface of the wood.

It is important to dry well and remove the soapy water to avoid water and soap stains on the wood. Personally, I also use soapy water (lukewarm) to clean hardwood floors and floating floors.

8. Restore shine to wooden furniture with linseed oil

If you find that your wooden furniture is dull and lackluster then linseed oil is a great thing to try on the wood.

  1. In a bowl, mix linseed oil with a little rubbing alcohol.
  2. Using a microfiber cloth, rub and polish the furniture with the mixture.
  3. Let it dry for a few minutes and buff the wood again with another soft, dry cloth.

The oil of the in will restore luster and shine to your wooden furniture, and this, naturally.

9. Bleach to clean the wood…Really?

If your furniture is made of raw wood, such as pine, oak or cherry, you can clean it with a quackgrass brush and a little bleach.

Vigorously scrub the dirty wooden furniture to make it nice and clean. This is a homemade recipe for raw wood only. Do not use on stained or stained wood or worse on antique wood furniture. You have been warned!

Warning! We advise you to opt for this trick only to clean wooden furniture that is not of great value so as not to risk damaging it.

Instead, use bleach to whiten and brighten the wood!

You can also use bleach to whiten the wood. Add an equal amount of water and bleach and scrub the surface of the wood to be bleached vigorously with a brush. But be careful to always wear gloves to protect your hands from bleach.

It is very important to remember that old, antique or valuable furniture should not be cleaned with cleaning products. Antique wooden furniture can be extremely fragileso special attention should be paid to it.

A simple dusting is enough or at most a cloth lightly moistened with lukewarm water. So as antique wooden furniture is fragile and often expensive, be careful with homemade products and recipes.

Wood is a great material for furniture because it is durable, easy to maintain, and warm. The problem is that bacteria can cling to the surface which means that you have to clean and disinfect wood furniture regularly. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know how to disinfect wood furniture properly. This article will take you through the steps of how to disinfect wood furniture safely and effectively so your home will be a healthier place to live in.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

4 Easy Steps To Disinfect Wood Furniture

The first thing you want to do is gather your cleaning supplies. You may need:

  • Microfiber cloth.
  • Cotton balls.
  • Dishwasher detergent.
  • Vinegar.
  • Disinfectant.
  • A sponge.
  • Wood cleaner.
  • Wood wax or finish.

Below there’re steps on how to disinfect wood furniture efficiently.

Dust The Furniture

You can use a dusting brush or a soft cloth to clean the furniture gently. A mild detergent in a spray bottle is perfect for cleaning wood furniture, so it does not have to be dipped in water. Make sure you always wipe the back of the furniture when cleaning with a damp cloth because dust tends to settle on it more naturally than on other parts of an item.

Apply A Disinfectant

After dusting, it’s time to disinfect! Make sure you choose a disinfectant that is non-toxic and is meant for wood furniture. A vinegar and water solution would be the best choice. You can mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and apply it to the wood using a clean rag or brush. Let the piece dry and continue to the next step.

Rinse Off The Disinfectant

Just like with regular cleaning, rinsing off your cleaning supplies is very important, so you don’t leave behind an undesirable smell or residue. Use cold water for this step, so you avoid ruining any waxes or finishes on your furniture if it gets wet again soon after cleaning it. A rag or washcloth can be used to make sure you remove all of the vinegar. When it is all clean, apply a wood wax or finish to protect your furniture.

Apply A Wood Wax Or Finish

There are many wood waxes that are great for disinfecting wood furniture, including beeswax, shellac, and mineral oils. Choose whichever you like best and apply it using cotton balls or clothes.

Just like with any wax, these materials will prevent dirt from sticking to the surface of the item; they will also repel water which means that dust and debris should stay away from the furniture after a thorough cleaning process.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

The Bottom Line

It’s always best to make sure your furniture is cleaned and disinfected regularly to keep it looking great. If you use the four steps listed in this article, you will keep your furniture looking new for years to come.

What Disinfectant Can Be Used On Wood Furniture?

The most common disinfectants are chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol. Alcohol is a good choice because it kills bacteria while leaving the wood furniture relatively undamaged.

How Do You Disinfect Wood Without Damaging It?

Wooden furniture is susceptible to bacteria, fungi, and pests, but it’s possible to disinfect wood without damaging it. To do so, first, wipe down the surface with a degreaser-like dish soap. Next, sanitize the area by wiping down the surface with alcohol or chlorine bleach diluted in water. Then use a squeegee or paper towel to remove excess liquid from the furniture before letting it dry completely.

Can Wood Be Sanitized?

Wood can be sanitized. Wood is a natural material, and as such, it does not pose the same bacteria problems that synthetic materials do. The key to sanitizing wood is to use a chemical or other means to kill the bacteria on the surface.

If you ever feel overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options presented in the cleaning supplies aisle, listen up. There is a product you likely already own that can clean almost every surface of your home with ease: distilled white vinegar! While it might not have that lemony-fresh scent you expect from other household cleaners, vinegar makes an incredibly versatile and affordable cleaning product. This natural cleaner easily cuts through mildew, bacteria, and grime, and it’s safe to use on a wide variety of household surfaces. Check out our cleaning tips below to learn how to clean the bathroom, kitchen, living room, and more with vinegar.

How to Clean the Kitchen with Vinegar

Refrigerator: Consider skipping the toxic chemicals where you store your food. Instead, try cleaning refrigerator surfaces with white vinegar. Wipe up spills using a cloth dampened with a vinegar cleaning solution of equal parts vinegar and water. You can even keep a bottle of the mixture stored in your fridge!

Drain: Pour vinegar onto a scrub brush small enough to get inside the disposal. Sprinkle the brush with baking soda, then scrub to remove odors and built-up grime, suggests Mary Findley of, a former pro cleaner and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning.

Cutting boards: Try white vinegar for cleaning cutting boards. Spray the surface with straight vinegar, then rinse to clean.

Microwave: Cleaning with white vinegar isn’t limited to countertops. Remove hard-to-clean microwave splatters and stains by placing 1/2-cup vinegar and 1/2-cup water in a glass bowl. Microwave 2-3 minutes, or until it boils, then wipe away buildup with ease.

Stained plastic containers: Coat plastic containers in vinegar, let sit for a few minutes, then wash as usual, says Leslie Reichert of The Cleaning Coach.

Countertops: Cleaning kitchen countertops with white vinegar is simple: Just spray vinegar onto the surface and wipe it away with a warm, wet rag. However, you should avoid cleaning countertops with vinegar if you have a granite or marble surface.

How to Clean Your Bathroom with Vinegar

White vinegar makes quick work of cleaning bathroom surfaces. Try our top uses for white vinegar in the bathroom, including cleaning tile surfaces.

General bathroom cleaning: Use straight or a diluted vinegar cleaning solution for the bathroom to scrub away bacteria, especially around the toilet, where it can curb urine stains and odor.

Toilet: Cleaning with baking soda and vinegar in the bathroom can work wonders. To clean a toilet with vinegar, pour a cup of vinegar in the bowl and let sit overnight. (For tough jobs, empty the toilet water first.) The next morning, sprinkle with baking soda or borax powder; scrub, then flush.

Tub or sink drain: To clean the area around your bathroom drain, pour 1/2-cup distilled white vinegar around the closed drain and let sit for several hours. Scrub to remove buildup. Drain, then rinse.

Shower: To clean your shower with vinegar, try Findley’s shower deep-clean regimen: Bring vinegar to a boil, then carefully use the warm vinegar to wipe down the shower door and walls. Keep them damp by wiping them down every 5 to 8 minutes for 30 minutes. Then, dampen a non-scratch sponge in vinegar, sprinkle with baking soda, and scrub. Rinse to wash away germs, mold, water spots, and soap scum.

Showerhead: Cleaning a shower head with vinegar is easy. Pour some white vinegar into a plastic bag, and secure it to your showerhead with a twist-tie or rubber band. Make sure there’s enough vinegar so the bottom part of the showerhead is submerged. Leave the bag on overnight. Remove the next morning just before showering.

Tile surfaces: To clean tile bathroom surfaces with vinegar, mix 1/2-cup white distilled vinegar with a gallon of warm water. Mop bathroom floors or scrub countertops with the solution and allow to air dry.

Stripping paint off of wood can represent an excellent way to restore its initial beauty and to enhance the natural grain. This will often be used to address common portions of a home such as windows and doors.

How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

While modern paint stripping techniques will provide quality results within a relatively short period of time, they can also be associated with the use of harsh and caustic chemicals.

This is why it is important to understand how any wood should be properly cleaned after the stripping process is completed. What do the experts have to say?

The Process of Neutralisation

The substances contained within paint strippers can be irritating to the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. This is why they need to be effectively neutralised. The good news is that the majority of stripping products will contain detailed recommendations and advice in regards to how any excess can be removed.

These instructions will tend to differ from provider to provider. Always read them carefully, as you might otherwise unknowingly damage the wood that has just been restored to its former glory.

Do-it-Yourself Methods

One of the most common ways to clean down wood after it has been stripped is to employ a combination of vinegar and water. Mix these two liquids together in equal proportions.

Immerse a soft rag within this solution and gently wipe any wood that has been subject to the stripping agent. The acidic properties of vinegar will counteract the caustic elements found within most paint removers.

In the event that the stripper contains solvents, it is better to use a rag soaked in mineral spirits.

Subsequent Cleanup

Once you are satisfied that the original stripping agent has been removed, use another rag with clean water to wipe the wood down once again. Allow the wood to naturally dry and smell the surface.

If you still detect a slight odour of stripper, repeat the processes mentioned above. It is also wise to contact a professional in the event that you fear the wood may become damaged.

It is quite easy to clean wood that has been stripped of its paint, so feel free to follow the advice mentioned in this article.

If you need to address more challenging products or should you have additional questions, always feel free to contact Premium Door Stripping. One of our expert representatives will be more than happy to help.

I need to clean an old head board and foot board

Stained or painted? Stained, for good cleaning use mineral spirits then polish. Painted,just use hot soapy water and dry quickly.

My name is Linda and I’ve always used Murphy’s Oil Soap for filthy furniture. Recently I started using vinegar, water & olive oil. The amounts are in the link below.

Hi Judy, I would start soap and water and then move on to tsp if the soap and water is not enough.

Put some onto a cleaning cloth. Rub in circles over the entire area. Let soak for a few minutes. Wipe with a dry clean cloth & buff.

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Cleaning spots on furniture and carpets

There is a stain on a chair, probably from resting one’s head on the back of the wingback chair. Also want to spot clean the carpet.

by Carol Ruth Weber

Learning how to clean old wood furniture, like those fabulous finds at thrift stores and yard sales, requires patience. Just as discovering lovely furniture in a grandparent’s attic can be like uncovering treasure, you’ll have to dig through some grime to find the gold beneath.


Cleaning a wood finish may include polishing, mending and touching up surface scratches in order to give an old piece of wood furniture a new place in your home.

Take care when cleaning, and monitor the Wood Furniture as you go. As you clean scratches, some deeper chips and dents will appear to let you know exactly what you will need in order to renew your new piece. Better Homes And Gardens advises using an oil soap with water as a first step for removing layers of dirt and preventing new bacteria from sticking.

Tougher cleaning problems will require more elbow grease. Furniture oil and polishes made specifically for wood can help you to remove grime and add a beautiful sheen to renew an old finish. If grime has hardened, apply a cleaning product for wood cleaning while carefully using extra fine #0000 steel wool to break up each layer.


Now, the original damage has been revealed. Luckily, there are ways to make your most roughed-up furnishings beautiful pieces once again. This Old House suggests using a cloth dampened with denatured alcohol to remove water stains. White water rings can be fixed simply by wiping gently, although black water rings will require sanding to smooth the surface and refinishing to blend with the existing finish.

Other scenarios have similar solutions:

  • Scratches can be removed with a walnut. Simply take the nut out of its shell and rub it diagonally into the scratch. Then, using your fingers, rub it again to warm the area. This will allow for the walnut’s oils to soak into the wood. Finish by buffing with a soft cloth.
  • Permanent felt markers are perfect for making scratches and worn edges blend into the wood finish. Use a marker of the same color as the wood on these scratched spots, and wipe any residue away if it gets on finish that is not damaged.
  • Clear nail polish can revive a chipped coat of clear sealant on top of the finish. Apply drops of polish to fill in the chip. When dry, sand the surface with very fine sandpaper so that it’s smooth enough to blend with the rest of the finish.
  • Small chips and dings can be filled using a wax stick made to repair wood finishes. They come in different colors so you can choose the one that is closest to your furniture’s finish. Overfill the chip, then smooth excess wax off to level the piece’s surface using a plastic putty knife or an item with an equally gentle edge.

After repair, or if the finish dulls with cleaning, use #0000 steel wool with a wax that matches your furniture. Use a paste wax for a satin finish, or an auto compound polish to bring back a gloss finish.


After fixing up your beautiful wood decor, it’s important to prevent future scratches and damage to maintain this beauty. Therefore, wood furnishings should be dusted regularly. Lint-free disposable cloths are wonderful additions to your arsenal of cleaning products as well; these cloths will remove dust without sending it airborne. A paste or liquid wax made specifically for wood will add a harder finish than typical furniture spray and polish, and your Natural Oil Soap will prepare your furniture for wax application.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.

Similarly, how do you clean decorative wood?

To Dust is a Must A feather duster or soft cloth brushed over the entire wood piece removes a majority of the dust. In the carved areas, brush several times with the feather duster. Push a corner of a soft cloth into crevices, if necessary, to remove remaining dust.

Subsequently, question is, how do you restore old wood carvings?

  1. Step 1: Cleaning and Prepping Wood Sculpture for Repair.
  2. Step 2: Prep Your Wood Restoration Area.
  3. Step 3: Filling Cracks and Checks With Famowood Filler.
  4. Step 4: Remove Any Extra Filler or Mistakes While Famowood Is Curing.
  5. Step 5: Sanding Down Sculpture.
  6. Step 6: Apply Stain, Wipe Off Extra Stain, Let Dry.
  7. Step 7: ENJOY.

Furthermore, how do you clean an ebony wood carving?

Steps to Clean the Carving:

  1. Pour two cups of water into a bowl, then add a tablespoon of white vinegar.
  2. Dip a cloth in the bowl to wet it, then wring it out so it is only damp, not dripping.
  3. Wipe the carving with the damp cloth.
  4. Put a few drops of linseed oil or petroleum jelly on a dry cloth.

What is the best wood cleaner?

The Best Furniture Polishes to Make Every Surface Shine

  • Best Oil: Pledge Restore & Shine. Pledge.
  • Best Aerosol: Guardsman Anytime Clean & Polish.
  • Best Wax: Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish.
  • Best Wipe: Weiman Furniture Wipes.
  • Best Duster: Twinkle Dust and Shine Cloth.
  • Best Scratch Solution: Weiman Repair Kit.