How to Clean Grime Off Wood Furniture: Damage-free Cleaning Guide

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Homeowners love wooden furniture to enhance the overall beauty of their interior. Wood furniture doesn’t only heighten the aesthetics of your home but also requires minimum maintenance.

However, the natural look of the furniture starts fading away over time due to bad weather or regular wear & tear. Therefore, simple cleaning tasks like cleaning the wooden surface with cleaning products can leave a layer of sticky grime. 

A regular wipe down never helps you to remove the residue. On the other hand, if the dirt build-up remains on the surface for a long time, it just eats up the beauty of your furniture.

So, how to clean grime off wood furniture to protect its aesthetics without damaging the furniture finish?

Here in this cleansing guide, we will walk you through effective cleaning tips to clean old wood furniture naturally. And all the methods we will share help you to spiff up your plywood furniture safely.

Table of Contents

06. Effective Tips To Clean Grime Off Wood Furniture

As a professional, we enlisted 6 wood cleaning techniques that are safe, proven, and tested. Most of the ingredients we use are natural and available in every home. So, they don’t bring any damage to your wood products.

01. Try Vinegar


Vinegar is a common household ingredient you can use to pick off dirt and mold from the surface of your wood furniture. Treating your wood products with it will allow you to keep them mold and humidity-free. 

Equipment You Need:

  • Vinegar
  • Hot soapy water
  • A sharp knife or blade (a broken glass also does the trick well)

Using Procedure:

First off, wash the wood with hot soapy water to remove all visible mold and dirt and leave it for a few minutes to let it dry. 

Secondly, use a sharp knife or blade to scrape the mold off from the wooden surface. You can also use broken glass to do the same workflow. 

Finally, apply pure vinegar and wipe it and allow it to dry. We recommend you not to rinse with water. Instead, you can use a soft wet cloth to rub the surface gently.

02. Sand the Wood Surface and Apply Oxalic Acid

For removing the stain, sanding the wooden furniture will be an effective trick. And oxalic acid will allow you to remove the stain. After that, applying any finish over the stained spot will help to bring back the glittering look to your furniture. 

Equipment You need:

  • A sander
  • Oxalic acid
  • Refinishing products

Using Procedure: 

Firstly, remove the grime off or dirt layer from the plywood furniture. Then, use a sander to sand the stained surface. 

Afterward, apply the oxalic acid to the grime off the spot of your wooden products. Keep applying the bleach until the stain removes. 

Lastly, apply any kind of finish on the surface to remove the build-up and restore the aesthetics.

03. Use Only Water Solution

Water Solution

Does the empty water solution (no soap or detergent included) can remove the dirt? The answer is- yes. It helps to loosen up and diffuse the grime. And the best part is- water doesn’t bring any damage to the natural finish of your wooden table or sofa. Just make sure you don’t let the water soak and dry the furniture evenly. 

Equipment You Need:

  • Water
  • A soft microfiber cloth

Using Procedure:

Start with wiping the dirt spot by applying the water. Make sure you don’t wash the wooden table or sofa with water. 

Instead, dampen the soft microfiber cloth with water and sweep the wooden products with it. The water lets the grime dissolve and the microfiber pad will suck away the dirt. 

End the cleaning workflow by wiping the wooden surface with a dry microfiber cloth.

04. Apply Rock salts and Lemon or Orange

alts and Orange

Another natural way to get rid of grime or dirt is to use rock salt and lemon. Like water, it also doesn’t damage the finish of your wood furniture. Above this, it will spread a nice smell. 

Equipment You Need:

  • Rock salts
  • Lemon or Orange
  • A knife to cut the lemon

Using Procedure:

First, get some rock salts from your local grocery store. Then, collect a few pieces of lemon and orange. 

Use the knife to cut the orange or lemon to divide them into two parts. 

Now, apply the rock salts on the dirt or grime spot. Afterward, use the lemon to scrub the stained area. The salt will help to score and break down the grime, while the juice cleans the dirt. It lets you gain a different result and there is no risk of damaging the furniture as sanding brings.

At the end of this process, just remove the salt and chunks of fruit.

05. Make a Paste of Baking Soda and Apply It

baking soda

Using the paste of baking soda is also a great cleaning method to eliminate dirt and stain from the wooden products. You can make this solution in your home using baking soda & water. 

Equipment You Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • A soft microfiber brush

Using Procedure:

Begin with making a paste mixing baking soda and water. Once you make the paste, coat the stain thickly with it. Then, leave for at least 15 minutes to sit it. 

And lastly, use the soft microfiber brush to brush off the dirt.

06. Use Mineral Spirits

If there are years of grimes on the wooden surface, you can try out a small bottle of mineral spirits that is only $10-$15. 

Equipment You Need: 

  • A small container of mineral spirits
  • A soft microfiber cloth

Using Procedure:

Take a soft microfiber cloth and apply the mineral spirits to the affected area with it. Before using it, just try out a small spot to see whether the chemical brings any discoloration or not. 

If not, you are ok to go with it. After applying the mineral spirits, let it sit on the spot. A few minutes later, dampen a soft cloth and remove the remaining leftover by wiping away. 

Note: When cleaning the wooden surface with this chemical, make sure you keep the space well-ventilated by opening the door and window.

Know More on Be A Cleaner
How to Clean Outside Windows You can't Reach
How to Dry Laminate Flooring with Water Under It
How to Clean and Sanitize A Used Couch

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Product to Clean and Polish Wood Furniture?

Method All-Purpose Cleaner will be the best product to clean your wood furniture. On the other hand, Pledge Restore & Shine will be best to polish the furniture.

Can I Clean Wood with Vinegar and Baking Soda?

Yes, you can apply vinegar and baking soda to clean the wood. Vinegar will help to break down dirt and dust, while baking soda will neutralize the damage caused by acid contained in vinegar.

Can I use Lysol spray on wood furniture?

Yes, you can use it to disinfect and clean your wooden products.

How Do I Clean Second Hand Wood Furniture?

Simple, just apply dish soap and hot water to care for the dirt and grime on your wooden items.

What Is the Ratio of Vinegar and Baking Soda for Cleaning?

The ratio will be one-part baking soda and two-part vinegar for cleaning.

How Do You Remove Mold and Mildew from Wood Furniture?

Dishwashing soap and warm water are effective to remove and kill mold & mildew from wood furniture.

How Often Should You Clean Wood Furniture?

You should clean the wood furniture once every six weeks.


Removing the grime from the wood furniture is not a simple task. But all the cleaning methods we listed, make it easy and effortless for how to clean grime off wood furniture.

Applying any of the cleansings techniques, you can suck away dirt and dust from the wooden products.

Now, a question for you.

Which cleaning methods are you going to apply to clean the years of dirt from the wood?

Let us know by stopping in the comment box.

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