It's important to consider the age of your wooden bookcase before cleaning it. Abrasive cleaning can do damage to wood pieces. Learn more about wood care here.


How to Clean Finished Wood Bookcases

When it's time to clean finished wood bookcases, it's important to take note of the condition the bookcase is in before you clean it. If any of the finish is damaged or worn, abrasive scrubbing or cleaning could knock off more of the finish. Once you've given it the green light, proceed with these cleaning steps.


Remove every item from the shelf. If you like how the books and decorative items are arranged, carefully organize them as you remove each one so you can easily put them back into place once you've finished cleaning.

Gather your cleaning supplies, which may include multiple cloths and solution mixes. You'll want clean paper towels, rags and certain shaped tools that can get into bookcase corners (like a toothbrush or bottle brush). Have multiple cleaners on hand to tackle differing levels of grime. Murphy® Oil Soap Orange Oil Cleaner is a natural product and is particularly safe to use on delicate wood products to make them shine.


Using a rag dipped in this gentle solution, dust the shelves from top to bottom. It's important to work the shelf in this manner to ensure that when you agitate the dust on the top shelves, it will fall onto the bottom shelves or the floor.

Rinse off each shelf with a solution of warm water only, then pass over the shelving with a dry rag. Be sure to wash and rinse every portion of the shelving unit, including the sides and exterior. If you're crunched for time before a get-together, Good Housekeeping suggests using a vacuum to quick-dust the area. Then use your liquid to go deeper.


Inspect your clean finished wood bookcases and identify any remaining grime. If you notice buildup in the corners, get out that toothbrush and work it into the nooks of the bookcase. Repeat the process for cleaning the bookshelf with your natural solution, rinse and then wipe once more if necessary.

To clean finished wood bookcases for a brilliant shine and hygienic home, mind these steps. If you're on a roll as you continue to clean up, move onto other wood furniture in your home — or organize the bookshelves around the house in an inspiring fashion.

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.