How to Clean Antique Wood Furniture Naturally

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Do you have difficulty in searching for how to clean antique wood furniture naturally? Keep calm, and we will give you the answer in the article below.

Wooden furnishings are opulent; however, homeowners agree that they are low-maintenance, and dusting their grime has never been easy.

If you can not clean perfunctorily, they will lose color and become targets of wood eaters.

This post will provide you with thorough instructions on how to clean antique wood furniture naturally.

How to clean antique wood furniture naturally – A detailed guideline

#1. Preparation

As we stated above, antique wood furniture requires specific and careful cleaning to maintain its natural color and structure; therefore, tools and materials should be suitable and effective.

So, what to clean antique wood furniture with?

Here are some selective tools and materials you need:

  • cotton balls
  • cotton rags
  • cheesecloth
  • denatured alcohol
  • dishwashing detergent
  • bucket
  • mineral spirits
  • wood wax
  • toothbrush

Wooden features are hard to maintain; hence the process should start with a mild cleanser, a light detergent, then upgrade to a stronger one if the first doesn’t bring out positive results.

#2. A thorough instruction

Step 1: Dishwashing detergent

The lightest cleanser you can start with is dish soap. First, add some drops of the liquid into wet cotton balls. Second, you wipe cotton balls along with the patterns and dull spots of the furniture.

Some spiral patterns can be a nuisance for us each time we do the washing. In this case, you might exchange cotton balls with a toothbrush.

Dip the toothbrush in this dish soap and begin to clean. This action can allow you to cleanse difficult inconspicuous spots that are always left out.

Keep wiping until there is no dust or debris on the cotton balls. And take notice that you must not scrub; instead, gently clean along with the patterns.

And what is more, if there appear scratches on wood, you should wipe wet cotton balls only.

If not, continue to mix dishwashing detergent with water in a bucket, then use this mixture to clean the rest of the furniture.

Step 2: Mineral spirits for thick grime

For wooden furnishing with years of grime, it is not always done with one step cleaning.

Therefore, it is cheesecloth and mineral spirits’ job to bring back the vintage look.

You can buy mineral spirits at drugstores or wood maintenance stores and find cheesecloth from ragged face-cloth.

Before applying on the furniture, you should test the liquid discoloration on inconspicuous areas.

If there is no discoloration, you can spray mineral spirits onto the furniture. Grab a clean cheesecloth and begin to wipe along the direction of the grain.

Once done with the spirits spray, you take a dry cloth and wipe all the residual liquid to check if blemishes remain.

And by finishing this step, you are halfway to answering the question: how to clean antique wood furniture naturally.

Step 3: Refinishing

You may consider refinishing if finding out the results are not as good as you expected.

Add some denatured alcohol onto cotton rags in unremarkable areas to see the type of your finish. It’s likely to be shellac if the finish dissolves.

Meanwhile, it is probably oil or varnish if the finish withstands alcohol.

Step 4: Maintenance

Once completed with cleaning, you may look for maintenance tools to preserve the quality. Here, the wood wax is ready to finish this process.

Apply the wax on a cheesecloth and wipe along the grain of your furnishing. Afterward, it would be best if you took a dry cloth to dehydrate the remaining water.

This step will preserve the furnishing’s glow and bring back its historic look. You may try silicone-based polishes since they are the best to avoid antiques.

Keep in mind that you should dust antique wood furniture regularly with a feather duster to maintain and reduce the cleaning frequency.

Another note is that you should not expose furnishings to sunlight as it will damage antiques.

Instead, place a humidifier in a dry environment to minimize the negative effects of temperature changes. A temperature change may cause a crack and shrink for your antique furnishings.

In the case of termites and woodworms, you may carry your antique furniture away to another area until the pest infestation vanishes.

Place your furnishing in the flat ground to hold its structure.


After skimming through this article, we believe you have found for yourself an answer on how to clean antique wood furniture naturally.

We have provided you with detailed preparation, an easy process with four steps, and general advice to maintain your furnishing vintage look and durability.

Give this method a try, and share your experience with us!


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