old grimy wood

How to Clean Grime Off Wood

We’re exploring how to clean wood around the home today. Cleaning grime off wood requires a gentle approach in order to avoid damaging the finish on the surface of the wood. So, here are a few tips and tricks on how to clean grime off wood.


Step 1: Dust the Surface

feather duster on wooden table

Before cleaning, remove any loose dirt and dust from the wood surface using a soft, dry cloth or a duster.

This helps prevent scratches while cleaning. Doing this regularly can also reduce the amount of cleaning you need to do.


Step 2: Create a Cleaning Solution

cleaning solution with warm water and washing up liquid

Mix a mild cleaning solution with warm water. You can use a few drops of washing-up liquid or a small amount of vinegar diluted in water.

Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these may harm the wood.


Step 3: Test in a Small Area

Always test your cleaning solution in a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t damage the wood’s finish before you start. Leave it to dry to make sure that the wood or the finish isn’t damaged at all.


Step 4: Dampen a Soft Cloth

Dip a soft, lint-free cloth, like a microfibre cloth, into the cleaning solution. Make sure the cloth is damp but not soaking wet. Excessive moisture can harm the wood.


Step 5: Wipe Gently

wipe wood table with cloth

Wipe the surface with a damp cloth using gentle, circular motions. This will slowly lift off layers of grime.

Avoid scrubbing vigorously to remove large pieces of dirt, as it can lead to scratches or damage the finish.


Step 6: Spot Cleaning

For stubborn grime spots, you can use a slightly dampened toothbrush or a cotton bud to spot clean. Be gentle and target only the affected areas.

If you do use a toothbrush, ensure it has very soft bristles. Use circular motions again and avoid pressing too hard. You should be able to scrub off layers of dirt until the entire spot has gone.


Step 7: Dry Immediately

After cleaning, use a dry, clean microfibre cloth to wipe away any excess moisture from the surface immediately.

Prolonged exposure to water can cause damage to the wood and the finish.


Step 8: Apply Furniture Polish (Optional)

beeswax wood polish

If the wood looks dull or you want to add some shine, you can apply a small amount of furniture polish suitable for the type of wood you have.

CARGEN’s natural beeswax polish works great on most wood types and finishes and is really easy to use.

Remember, the cleaning method may vary depending on the type of wood and finish. If you’re unsure what wood type you need to clean, what finish was used, or you’re dealing with valuable or antique wood, it’s best to seek professional advice.

For more advice on cleaning around the home, please explore In The Wash further. We have loads of articles that can help you clean all areas of your home, including the best natural cleaning products to use in all sorts of situations.