Use our Wood Cleaning Tips to enhance the life of your wood!!

Welcome to our Wood Cleaning Tips Page.

1. Cleaning Wood and Laminate Floors.
  • Initial Caring for your Wood Floor.

    Always remove your shoes at the door.

    Why? Look at the bottom of your shoes and you'll see sand and dirt.

    This and other deposits such as oil, dirt and dog deposits grind away at your floor.

    No wonder your floor stubbornly refuses to become clean.

    Proper care of your floor prevents damage, extends its life and keeps it looking new for years.

    How do you properly care for your flooring?

  • Cleaning of Wood Floor.

    Always vacuum or dust hard floor surfaces before mopping.

    Clean your wood floors with ½ cup vinegar in a gallon of water. Water contains alkaline, the culprit behind water spot damage on glass shower doors. It leaves damaging water spots on your wood floors. Vinegar neutralizes the alkaline helping to eliminate the problem.

    If you have been using a vegetable oil on your floor increase the vinegar to 1 cup per gallon of water. Vegtable oil cleaners can leave a residue on wood floors that can deteriorate the sealant over time.

    Go over your floor several times to remove the residue. Dampen a towel in the mixture and wring out all the excess moisture. Use the towel as your mop.

    No need to rinse. Dry the floor if necessary.

  • Note: Avoid Self-wringing mops which can leave excess water on the floor. This works between the boards warping the edges. Then sanding and refinishing becomes necessary.
  • Note: Never use ammonia to clean laminated wood. Ammonia is used to strip the wax off floors. It may do the same to the sealant on most laminated floors.

For more on cleaning Wood Floors please see Cleaning Wood Floors.

2. Cleaning Wood Furniture.

The type of Wood you have (oiled, painted, or polished) affects how it is cleaned. So be sure that you know the surface before you clean it.

For example, some wood furniture is lightly lacquered and will not absorb oil, while other woods, particularly teak and rosewood, have no finish and benefit from a yearly application of furniture oil.

An Oil Finish for Wood.

To make your own oil finish, pour equal parts of turpentine and boiled linseed oil into a jar,

tighten the lid, and shake to blend. (Caution: Wear rubber gloves.)

Pour a small amount of the mixture on a soft cloth, and rub the surface of the furniture following the grain of the wood. The wood will appear oily, but within an hour the polish will be completely absorbed, leaving a lovely soft sheen.

Below are the Wood Cleaning Tips to clean the different types of Wood Furniture:

  • Oiled Wood.

    Oiled wood surfaces have a warm, soft glow and require only an occasional application

    of furniture oil to keep them looking nice.

    Be careful never to wax an oil finish. Wax blocks the pores of the wood, causing it to dry out and become brittle.

    To remove white spots on oil-finish furniture, such as those left by wet drinking glasses, rub them with toothpaste on a cloth. Or rub the white spots with a mild abrasive and oil.

    Appropriate abrasives are ash, salt, baking soda, or pumice; oils include olive oil, petroleum jelly, or cooking oil.

  • Painted Wood.

    For painted wood furniture, the best care is probably the least since some polishes and waxes can damage the colour and decoration.

    Vacuum the furniture regularly with a brush attachment. Wipe occasionally with a sponge to remove smudges and finger marks.

    If you feel you must wax, use a hard paste wax only once a year.

  • Polished Wood.This kind of furniture is finished with varnish, lacquer, or wax. Any commercial polish will clean wood surfaces quickly.

    Choose a product that is appropriate for the finish of your furniture. Paste wax gives a harder, longer-lasting finish than spray or liquid polish and is recommended for antiques.

    Sprinkle cornstarch over the surface of recently polished furniture, and rub it to a high gloss. Cornstarch absorbs excess oil or wax and leaves a glistening surface that is free of fingerprints. Wipe polished wood furniture with a cloth dipped in tea, then buff.

    Apply mayonnaise to the white rings or spots on your wood furniture, let it sit for an hour, then wipe off with a soft cloth and polish.

  • Specialty Woods.

    The specialty woods used for furniture are wicker, rattan, bamboo, cane, and rush. They usually have a natural finish, but some pieces may have a varnish or shellac coating.

    Vacuum regularly with the brush attachment. With the exception of rush chair seats that are damaged by moisture, occasionally rinsespecialty woods with water to restore moisture to the fibers.

    Wetting cane seats tightens them. Spray the unvarnished side with water, and allow it to dry naturally.

For more on cleaning Wood Furniture please see Cleaning Wood Furniture.

3. Cleaning other Wood Finishing.

  • Regular removal of dust with a soft cloth, or vacuum cleaner brush is all the cleaning needed for most wood-panelled walls and woodwork.

    Occasionally, if soil sticks to the surface, clean with a commercial cleaner made for wood panelling, or a cleaning wax made for wood, following directions exactly.

    Always test a cleaner you have not tried before on a small inconspicuous area to be sure it does not damage the finish of the wood, before starting to clean.

  • In cleaning wood, the type of finish is most important in deciding what to use so that the finish is not damaged. The type of wood is not important, except when colour is a consideration.
  • Wood panelling and woodwork, with heavy, longtime buildup of grease and dirt may need stronger treatment.

    Moisten a cloth with a petroleum solvent such as mineral spirits and test by rubbing on a hidden spot to be sure it doesn't damage the wood finish. If satisfactory, use to rub on a small area of the soiled woodwork, turning the cloth.

    Caution: Such solvents are very flammable and dangerous to breathe! Open doors and windows for ventilation. Be sure there are no sparks or flames (such as pilot lights) in the area!

    If this solvent cleaning dulls the finish, apply a wax suitable for wood finish. Usually this will be a solvent-based wax which must be polished.

    Some spray-type solvent-based waxes will not need heavy polishing, but you must avoid spraying them on other surfaces.

4. Updates are ongoing.

More information about Wood Cleaning Tips will be given as we develop this site further. Please bear with us as we gather the relevant information.

Return from Wood Cleaning Tips to House Cleaning