How to clean your wooden furniture

Wooden furniture can give a warm and homely feel to any space. Whether a family heirloom in pride of place in your home, a newly purchased piece, or a wooden dining set giving your pub or café a rustic aesthetic, your wooden furniture deserves to be treated with care and love and kept clean and fresh.  


If you have newly obtained some pieces of furniture, you may be feeling anxious about the best way to care for and clean it, avoiding stains or damage to the wood which may ruin the look of your piece. To help you with this, here are our top tips for how to clean your wood furniture. We hope these tips will help you to feel confident to take care of your wood furniture so that you can display it with pride.

Tip 1: Dust Regularly

By making sure to dust your furniture regularly, you can avoid build-ups of dirt and particles which may scratch and damage the wood. To dust, simply wipe down the surface of your furniture with a soft clean cloth, for instance, a microfibre cloth. If your furniture has grooves and carved sections, make sure to really get into all of these spaces when you dust it.

Tip 2: Wipe down your furniture with a soapy solution

Every so often, it is great to wipe down your furniture and remove any stains or sticky marks that may have appeared on it. Always dust your piece with a dry clean cloth before cleaning it. Next, add a little washing up liquid to some warm water to create a soapy solution with which to clean your furniture. Moisten a microfibre cloth with the water and soap solution, but make sure to wring out the cloth thoroughly before using it, to ensure that it is only slightly wet. This will help to avoid your furniture from becoming too wet whilst cleaning, as too much water can cause water marks and can even warp the surface of the wood in some cases.  

You may wish to test out your soap and water solution on a small, non-visible section of furniture.  To do this, apply a little soap solution to a small patch on the surface of your piece of wood furniture and check to see that no staining occurs and that the finish of the wood is not affected.  

To clean your piece of furniture, gently wipe down the surfaces with your damp cloth, again making sure to get into any hard to reach spaces, crevices, or carved out sections.

Tip 3: Always dry your wood furniture as quickly as possible

To avoid any staining or warping from occurring, it is important to dry the wood as quickly as possible after wiping it down with a damp cloth. Find a dry clean cloth and thoroughly wipe away any moisture from your piece of wood furniture. You may wish to air dry your furniture by leaving it by an open window, or even taking it outside to dry in a shady spot if the weather is suitable.  

Tip 4: Wax or polish regularly

After cleaning, you may wish to polish the surface of the wood to help create a beautiful finish that looks fantastic! You can prepare your furniture for waxing by buffing it with steel wool and wiping away any residue created by doing this. Check the instructions on the container of wax or polish you have chosen and make sure to follow these. In general, you will need to apply a small amount of wax or polish via a cloth (rather than applying the wax or polish directly to the wood). After 20-30 minutes (or following the timings according to the instructions on your wax or polish container) you can then vigorously buff your piece of wooden furniture and remove any excess wax or polish from the wood.  

Tip 5: Get creative with difficult stains

For stains or ring marks that prove difficult to wash away with a soapy solution, there are several substances that you can find around the house that may just do the trick! A combination of white toothpaste and baking soda can help to rub away difficult marks, as can vinegar!

Tip 6: Always take good care of your furniture

If you want to keep your furniture in the best possible condition, there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure that it is well cared for and requires as little maintenance as possible. As well as dusting and cleaning your wooden furniture on a regular basis, you may want to think about where you place your furniture, as well as how you treat it from day to day. For instance, making sure to use place mats and coasters on wooden tables and surfaces is a surefire way to reduce the risk of ring-stains and other kinds of food and drink stains that may prove tricky to remove.  

It is also important to remember that wood can be damaged by over-exposure to heat and light, so always take this into consideration when deciding whereabouts in a room to place your wooden furniture. Never place your furniture too close to air vents or heaters, or in direct sunlight.

Tip 7: Take note of the finish of your wood furniture when deciding how to clean it

Depending on the finish of your wood furniture, you may need to be particularly careful not to allow the wood to become too wet whilst cleaning. With a veneer finish, for example, too much water can cause peeling or bubbling to occur. With a varnished or stained finish, it is also important to take extra care not to allow the wood to become too wet.


We hope this handy guide helps you to understand how to treat your wooden furniture with the love and care that it deserves, and gives you some confidence and know-how when it comes to keeping it spick and span! Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming blog posts about cleaning and maintaining your furniture!

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