Wood Furniture, Cleaning Furniture

How to Clean Wood Furniture Made of Pine

by Kitten Arbuckle

cleaning a pine wood desk

Many myths and methods abound on how to clean wood furniture. Furniture made from pinewood needs a little extra care, but maintaining it doesn't have to be a difficult or time-consuming task. Daily and seasonal cleaning keep the furniture looking like new. Though pinewood ranks as a soft wood making it more susceptible to certain types of wear protecting the finish will make the piece last through years of use.

Daily Cleaning

Quick, light, daily cleaning keeps your pinewood furniture looking its best. Clean up any spills or food as soon as possible. Leaving these on the furniture can cause damage to the finish and eventually, the wood. Dusting as needed prevents wear on the furniture. Over time, dust particles can dull the surface and cause fine scratches. Using coasters, place mats and tablecloths protects your pinewood furniture and helps the finish last longer.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning needs to be completed at least seasonally. Knowing when to deep clean wood furniture depends mostly on how often the furniture is used and what works best with your schedule. Deep cleaning consists of first removing everything from the furniture, such as books and keepsakes. Once items are removed, thoroughly dust all of the surfaces, then, using a cleaner, wipe down the furniture to remove dirt and protect the finish. Finally, wipe off any excess cleaner immediately.

Protecting the Wood

The finish on any furniture dulls and wears over time. Because of its softness, pinewood also scratches easily when compared to harder woods. Filling small scratches keeps liquid and other materials from seeping deeper into the wood and improves the overall appearance. Paste wax or special pens designed to fill small imperfections work well to fill scratches. When deep cleaning, remember to check for these imperfections and treat as needed.

Cleaners for Wood Furniture

When cleaning wood furniture made of pine, avoid using plain water and acidic products. Mix a good wood soap, such as Murphy® Oil Soap, with hot water to remove most dirt and grime. Avoid silicone-based cleaners and all-purpose cleaners. Heavy buildup and dulling may require a very high-grit sandpaper or steel wool to buff the surface. Better Homes and Gardens recommends avoiding vinegar, turpentine and boiled linseed because they darken the surface of the furniture and attract dust. Use a simple, clear paste wax to add a protective finish.

Supplies

Keeping supplies available to clean wood furniture means you always have the right tools at hand when you need them. Soft, lint-free cloths and wool or feather dusters work well to remove surface dust from wood furniture. Very lightly dampen cloth dusters to keep the dust from becoming airborne. A soft rag or microfiber cloth works best for deeper cleaning. You will probably want two one for applying cleaner and one for drying. A super fine-grit sandpaper or No. 0000 steel wool helps remove product buildup and gives a better surface for applying paste wax. When applying wax, keep some clean cotton rags on hand.

Establishing a routine and method for how to clean wood furniture in your home keeps the process simple. Maintaining your furniture helps it last and look its best, sometimes for many decades. If you have older or heirloom pine furniture, you may want to speak with a specialist about the best methods for maintaining the pieces.

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.