Simple But Effective Methods Of Cleaning Old Wood Furniture

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Wooden furniture has always been popular. While the concept of furniture has been in existence for approximately 15,000 years, the evidence of wooden furniture originates from the Mesopotamia era, that’s an impressive 6,000 years ago.

You’re unlikely to have a piece of furniture that old at home, but there are some fantastic examples from the last 100 or 200 years which are still in daily use. Sometimes, they simply need a good, but careful, clean.

Of course, the best option may be to have a professional in furniture repair clean and restore it for you.

Dish Soap

Surprisingly, standard liquid dish soap is a good option for cleaning old wood furniture. However, before you start, it’s a good idea to test it on a small area first.

The best way to do this is to dip a cotton bud into some dish soap and then wipe it underneath the furniture. Wait for at least five minutes to ensure it doesn’t cause the varnish to run or make any other visible damage.

Assuming it doesn’t, you can make a solution of 500ml of water and two tablespoons of dish soap. Once this has been combined properly the liquid will be frothy. You can then submerge a clean cloth in the liquid and wring it out, ensuring it is damp. This can be used to wipe over the furniture.

You’ll be surprised at how effective it is


To get into all the crevices you’re going to need more than a damp cloth. A toothbrush and toothpaste are actually an excellent choice. The toothpaste must not be the gel type. Again, it’s worth testing on a small area first.

Once you’re happy it won’t damage the wood furniture, apply a little toothpaste to the crevices with your finger. Leave it for at least 5 minutes and then scrub the crevices with the toothbrush. It will remove all the dirt.

Stain Removal

It’s not unusual for old furniture to have a stain or two, it shows it’s been used. You can remove the majority of these stains by using tea bags.

Start by boiling a liter of water and then add two teabags. Leave the tea to brew for about 10 minutes and make sure the water has cooled to room temperature. You can then dip a clean cloth into the tea and wring it out, to make it damp.

It’s then possible to lightly wipe the wood which will restore its shine and remove most small stains.

Larger, water-based stains need a little extra effort. You’ll want to mix some baking soda with your non-gel toothpaste. The mixture can be rubbed gently into the stain using a circular motion.  Leave it there for a few minutes and then remove the mixture with a clean damp cloth.

Make sure the wood is fully dry before you re-varnish or do anything else.

Wood furniture is warm and often has a sentimental value, it’s worth taking the time to clean it properly and return it to like-new condition.