Wood Furniture, Cleaning Furniture

Wood Trim Cleaning Tips for Beginners

by Anita Alvarez

cleaning wood trim

Is your wood trim and molding looking tired? Don't assume the best solution involves stripping and refinishing the woodwork. The following approaches to wood trim cleaner can help even those new to hardwood bring old, worn household siding back to life.

Down and Dirty

Before attempting to restore the wood's shiny, finished look, you'll need to remove dirt buildup. Keep in mind that areas where wood trim is susceptible to high traffic are likely to get dirtier more quickly than less-visited areas of the home. Using some warm water and mild dish soap, wipe down wood trim and molding to remove typical dirt and grime. Apply extra elbow grease to hardened spots, often in highly trafficked areas, such as where wood trim runs along busy hallways or entryways.

Up and at It

Don't forget wood trim that's higher up on the walls as well, such as in crown molding. An easy way to remove dust and cobwebs is with a broom. Real Simple advises homeowners to attach a microfiber rag to the end of the broom and then pass it over wood trim that's positioned along the edge of the ceiling.

Pay Attention to Detailed Woodwork

Get rid of built-up grime and dirt that rests inside detailed woodwork. Beadwork and carvings can especially harbor dirt that falls in these easy-to-miss crevices. Use a toothbrush and scrub in between the cracks and crevices to remove debris from trim and molding that may have hardened over time.

Keep It Clean

Now use your wood trim cleaner of choice. A natural cleaner like Murphy® Oil Soap can restore the wood's natural glimmer and bring tired, old trim out of retirement — especially once the initial layer of dirt and grime is gone.

Rinse and Repeat

Whenever you apply water to wood trim, be sure to give it a thorough rinsing to remove any leftover soap residue, which can dull and warp the finish if it dries. Then, take a final pass over the trim with a dry cloth, leaving the wood as dry as possible. If water soaks into the grain, it'll swell and rise. Repeat the process as needed, and more often for wood trim that's located in high-traffic areas.

The right tools and methods are designed to remove dirt and grime that inevitably builds up on the woodwork after daily activity, and over time, your wood trim cleaner will get the job done.

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.