Wood Furniture, Cleaning Furniture

Wood Cleaning Products for Unusual Items

by Anita Alvarez

wood engraving

In your home you probably have more wood to clean than just floors and cabinets. Your heavily trafficked wood floors likely get your attention often, and the grime and dirt on the wood cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom are noticeable from frequent use. However, it's easier to forget about more unusual or infrequently used wood items around your home, and it's not always clear which wood cleaning products are best for the task.

Whether it's a picture frame marked by greasy fingerprints, dusty carvings or an instrument that needs a good scrubbing, here are some wood cleaning products you may not have thought to try:

  • Ammonia and Linseed Oil. Picture frames hung in your bathroom routinely become coated by hairspray or perfume, and the buildup of alcohol can wreak havoc on the wood. To appropriately clean, Good Housekeeping recommends first using a damp rag dipped into ammonia to wipe down the edges. Once the wood is dry, apply a paste of powdered rottenstone and linseed oil over the frame, and wipe it off with a dry cloth. Finish the job by buffing the frame with furniture polish. You can find rottentstone and linseed at your local home store.
  • Mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is not just for sandwiches. If someone forgets to use a coaster, and you find a water mark on your wood table, grab some mayo from the fridge and put it to work. Rub just a dab on a cloth and gently work it over the stain. Let it set overnight, and then wipe it away with a clean cloth to remove the mark.
  • Dusters. There are many kinds of dusters to choose from, such as the feather duster, lambswool duster, soft cloths or even towels. Almost any kind of duster will work to remove surface dust, but be careful with intricate wood carvings not to choose anything with branches that could scratch the wood. The key is to wet your duster lightly to help get at the layer of dust. If you're using a cloth or towel, wring it out in a solution of safe wood cleaner and warm water for added benefit.
  • Wood-specific products. And, of course, you'll always want to try a trusted traditional wood cleaner. Murphy® Oil Soap is a commercially available product that's safe to use on your wood products. A wood-specific product is perfect to use on furniture, pool tables, games or any other items that can get dirty over time.

Whether you're looking to clean the wooden items you use every day, like cabinets or tables, or you're looking to shine up some of your more unusual pieces, like a musical instrument or a piece of art, try these cleaning options and see how great they look.

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.