Home Care, Décor, & Home Hacks

Three Tips for Cleaning Wood Paneling

by Anita Alvarez

wood paneling on walls

Cleaning wood paneling transforms dull walls. Whether they were constructed from manufactured wood or hand-hewn sheets, you can put the shine back into the stained or preserved wood with a few simple tools and an hour of your time.

Several strategies exist for cleaning the paneling:

Spot Cleaning

Stains as well as wear and tear can diminish wood paneling, especially if it is unfinished, according to Housekeeping Channel. As soon as you notice a stain, get it out with a natural cleaner, which doesn't add its own discoloration, and gently wipe down the area. Or, consider using a microfiber cloth and gently move the cloth over the stain, essentially buffing it away.

Regular Cleaning

Set up a regular cleaning schedule to keep the wood paneling looking like new. For the long term, this is the best approach for keeping the wood in the best condition possible. For wood paneling on just the lower half of a wall, use a dusting cloth to remove dirt and lint, which can collect more often in this area. For full walls or upper walls, get a duster with an extension. Then, apply a solution of Murphy® Oil Soap and water, and wash down the walls. Murphy® Oil Soap helps to seal any cracks in the wood to avoid compromising the panel's finish. Follow it up with a dry cloth, which helps to wick away leftover moisture.

Deep Cleaning

If it's been a while since you last cleaned your paneling, or you're moving into a home with wood walls, it may be time to perform a deeper cleaning. Use a dry cloth and mineral spirits. Mineral spirits are flammable, so be sure to open a few windows and doors for sufficient ventilation. Work your way over the walls using this solution, gradually buffing the area to restore the panel's natural appearance.

Over time, grime and dirt build up on walls, detracting from the integrity of the finish and natural beauty of the panel itself. But each time you finish cleaning wood paneling in your home, you'll be surprised at how new it looks. With carefully selected, natural products that don't harm the walls and a little elbow grease you're investing in the quality of your household.

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.