Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Wood Furniture

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Wood Furniture

Wood furniture often goes neglected, becoming dull and dusty while the rest of the house gets regular cleaning. With all the chores you have to take care of, it’s no wonder the furniture sometimes doesn’t get a second thought.  A little time invested in taking care of your furniture will pay off in the long run, preserving antiques or making furniture that’s a few years old have a bright shine once again.

No need to call in the professionals for this job - cleaning wood furniture at home is not as hard as you might think. With just a few supplies from around the house, you can get the job done in an hour or less, depending on how many pieces you have to clean. The maintenance time will pay off and you’ll feel accomplished once you’re finished. Follow Artisan Hardware’s step-by-step guide and you’ll have gleaming furniture that’s as good as new.


1. Choose your space

You’ll be working with some strong-smelling chemicals for this job, so it’s best to work in a well-ventilated area. Ideally, move your furniture outside, but if you don’t have an appropriate space to make that happen, you can also open the windows to get the air flowing.

2. Gather your materials

The materials needed to clean and polish your furniture are minimal, and will last years to come. You may not need every item for every job, but here’s a general list of what you’ll need:

    • Rubber gloves to protect your hands
    • Clean rags (ideally made of cotton cloth)
    • #0000 super fine steel wool
    • Neutral fine paste wax
    • Furniture cleaning spray and wax remover OR ½ cup vinegar mixed with ½ cup water


3) Evaluate your furniture and test a spot

Each piece of furniture is different, so it’s best to do a trial cleaning on an inconspicuous area of your chair, bench, or whatever you’re cleaning. First, wipe the area with a dry cloth, then put a bit of wax remover on a rag. Rub the remover on a small area of the furniture and let it dry to make sure the remover doesn’t damage or discolor the surface.


4) Strip the wax

Now it’s time to take all the wax buildup off the piece. To do so, wipe the surface with wax remover in the direction of the wood’s grain. Let it dry fully (this should take a few minutes), then use a clean dry cloth to wipe off dust, debris, or dirt that may have collected on the surface.

5) Remove stains

Use the steel wool to remove any stains or marks on the wood. Lightly rub the steel wool directly on the area and keep going until the stain disappears.


6) Polish the wood

Now for the fun part: dip a fresh cloth rag into a bit of wood polish. Start out with a conservative amount — you can always add more if needed later on. Any extra wax will just be wasted, because you’ll wipe it off when you’re done. Rub the wood polish lightly all over the surface and allow it to absorb for 15-20 minutes.


7) Buff the surface

Once your polish has fully absorbed into the wood, take time to buff the surface. Wipe off excess wax with a rag and give it a shine with a dry cloth.


After completing these steps, your furniture should have a like-new shine. Now you’ll know how to clean wood furniture next time, all with home remedies.

If you’re looking to add more beautiful wood furniture to your collection, check out Artisan Hardware’s benchesladderstables, and more.