Wood Furniture, Cleaning Furniture

How to Clean Wood Furniture Made of Oak

by Anita Alvarez

oak table that needs to be cleaned

Oak is a sturdy wood with a beautiful, unmistakable grain. The durable material has become the go-to choice around the home for everything from flooring, to shelving to furniture. Oak resists warping and offers a distinctive look that's preserved, and even enhanced, when finished with a clear lacquer. It's important to learn how to clean wood furniture made of oak because its sturdiness requires special considerations when removing tough blemishes. Here's what you need to know to keep your oak items clean.

Mix It Up

Due to oak's hardiness, it may resist dirt, grime and residue at first. But over time, they can begin to rest on its surface and become deeply ingrained in the wood. Start with a mixture of a safe, natural product like Murphy® Oil Soap and hot water. Use a soft cloth and work your way over the surfaces of your shelves, chairs and desks, and notice if the wood is becoming cleaner. Even though oak is fairly strong, don't let it get too wet during this cleaning process. Once you've passed over the furniture with the mixture of cleaner and water, wipe it down with a dry rag to remove leftover moisture.

Go a Step Further

If the item doesn't come clean, or you need to get into cracks and crevices, you may need to try a variety of tools to figure out what will work. Consider using a scrub brush, such as bottle brush or scouring pad, for tougher stains. Don't apply too much force, however, in order to avoid damaging the wood. You only want to scrub as hard as is necessary to remove the stain and leave the wood intact, and this will depend on the kind of stain you're removing.

Know When to Go Easy

To clean intricate pieces with crevices or ornate carvings, Real Simple advises against using certain tools that can cause scratches. Forego a feather duster, for example, because it won't truly get into cracks and crevices and may contain ribs that can scratch the surface of the oak. Instead, try a blush brush; normally reserved for cosmetics and spray it with polish. Or, dip a softhead toothbrush into your cleaning solution for an even gentler approach.

With an understanding of how to clean wood furniture made of oak, you can now confidently tackle almost any cleaning task. Nothing compares to the look of sparking clean and shiny oak cabinets, chairs, desks and shelving in your home.

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.