Can You Use Lysol on Wood?

Lysol is a very popular home cleaning product and has been for over 40 years. A staple in any household, Lysol cleaning products are known for their powerful and effective disinfecting properties.

As Lysol is an alcohol-based cleaning agent, it may be more or less effective on different surfaces. Lysol products can be used on a variety of surfaces, including countertops, floors, doorknobs or handles, and even electronics.

According to the Lysol brand company, Lysol products can be used to clean and disinfect polished wood floors or other non-porous surfaces, such as stainless steel, glass or treated wood surfaces like counter blocks. Lysol can effectively clean and disinfect varnished (or treated) wood floors or counters.

Following is additional information on using Lysol to clean/disinfect wood, how wood types (treated versus untreated) may react to Lysol, pros and cons of using Lysol on wood, and tips for using Lysol products on wood surfaces.

Can You Use Lysol on Wood

Using Lysol on Wood Surfaces

According to the Lysol brand company, Lysol products are safe to use on varnished wood surfaces (like floors or counter blocks made of treated wood). The company does suggest different ways of using Lysol products, depending on the level of clean you’d like to achieve; for example, whether you’re doing a weekly maintenance clean of your wood floors or surfaces, or doing a deep clean of the wood surfaces in your home.

For cleaning your wood floors once a week, the company recommends diluting the product (Lysol’s Multi-Surface Cleaner) to clean your floor. Of course, you can use the cleaning product at full-strength (to get rid of soap scum or other hard-to-clean stains), but you will have to rinse the area with water after using the product. You can also use Lysol disinfecting wipes or sprays to clean and disinfect treated wood surfaces.

Lysol cleaning products are not recommended for untreated wood surfaces, as the powerful cleaning agents in the products may damage the finish. Lysol products are not effective on unfinished wood surfaces, and they may potentially damage these untreated wood surfaces beyond repair.

Most wood surfaces in your home, such as hardwood or laminate wood floors or wooden counter blocks, are treated wood surfaces; these high-use areas are typically treated with some type of sealant, wax or polish to avoid stains and damage.

Wood Types and Lysol

Lysol products are safe and effective to use on treated (or varnished) wood surfaces, such as laminate wood flooring or treated wood counter blocks. As treated wood surfaces are non-porous, meaning they don’t have small holes on the surface, Lysol cleaning products remain on the treated façade of the wood to effectively clean and disinfect the area. Whether your chosen Lysol cleaning product is a spray or wipe, you should be able to use it safely on your treated wood surfaces. Lysol cleaning products like the disinfecting aerosol sprays should not be used to clean or disinfect wood.

Lysol cleaning and disinfecting products are not effective on raw or natural (unfinished) wood surfaces, as the cleaning agents may ruin the finish. Untreated wood surfaces are porous, meaning there are small holes or spaces in which a cleaning product (or air) can enter and ruin the surface, causing stains or damage.

Advantages of Using Lysol on Wood

Here are some advantages of using Lysol cleaning products on wood surfaces:

  • Lysol products can safely and effectively clean/disinfect non-porous (treated) wood surfaces.
  • You can clean and sanitize treated wood surfaces in your home using one Lysol product, rather than using a product to clean and another product to disinfect.
  • Lysol products are a relatively inexpensive way to clean/maintain and disinfect your wood surfaces.
  • Lysol cleaning products are readily available at a variety of stores (you don’t need to go to a specialty furniture store to purchase cleaning products for your wood surfaces).

Cons of Using Lysol on Wood

Following are a few drawbacks of using Lysol products on wood surfaces:

  • Lysol products are not effective on unfinished wood.
  • Lysol products may leave streaks or water marks on treated wood surfaces (especially if used incorrectly; always be sure to read and follow the product label).
  • Lysol cleaning products may ruin or stain untreated wood surfaces, potentially causing irreparable damage.

Tips for Using Lysol on Wood Surfaces

Here are a few tips for using Lysol cleaning products on wood surfaces in your home:

  • Only use Lysol cleaning and disinfecting products on treated wood surfaces (do not use on raw/natural wood).
  • If using Lysol cleaning products at their full strength to remove stains or soap scum, be sure to rinse the treated area(s) afterwards with water.
  • If you wish to use Lysol cleaning products to clean and/or deodorize a wood surface, ensure that you properly dilute the product (the company recommends ¼ cup per gallon of warm water).
  • If you are using a Lysol cleaning product that is diluted, you don’t need to rinse afterwards.
  • If you have small children or pets at home, it’s best to rinse any areas that have been treated with Lysol products (regardless of whether or not they have been diluted) to ensure your little loves don’t come into direct contact with the cleaning agents used.
  • To thoroughly disinfect your wood surfaces, the Lysol brand company recommends leaving the cleaning product on the surface for 1 to 5 minutes (depending on how thoroughly you want or need to sanitize a surface); then wiping the product away with a clean, damp cloth.

A Final Note

Lysol products are safe and effective to use on treated (non-porous) wood surfaces. Any wood surfaces that are untreated (those without paint, sealant, varnish, wax, etc.) will likely be ruined if you use Lysol cleaning products on them, as there are small openings on the wood façade that allow air or liquid to seep into the layers of the wood.

The Lysol brand company recommends using Lysol products (like their Multi-Purpose cleaner) to clean non-porous wood surfaces, either at full strength or diluted. Depending on your desired level of clean (a once-weekly ‘maintenance’ clean or a deep clean every month), the company recommends either using the product at full strength or diluting it to ¼ cup per gallon of warm water. You should be able to safely and effectively use Lysol products (sprays and wipes) on your treated wood surfaces.

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