How to Clean Grime off Wood Furniture?

Wouldn’t you love to remove dirt off the surfaces of your wooden furniture without damaging it and still maintain the original shine? Dust, cooking oil, and smoke from cigarettes accumulate over time, creating an extra layer of dirt on the wooden surfaces.

Continuous cleaning will help avoid the build-up of dust and grime on the surfaces. However, the dirt can become too stubborn for normal cleaning. In this case, you will need the best wood furniture cleaner and more advanced methods of cleaning to loosen up the dust and grime, thus returning the shine you’re looking for.

How to Clean Grime off Wood Furniture

How to Clean Grime off Wood Furniture

Using Vacuum Cleaner

Below I’ll guide you on how to achieve this by following these simple steps;


  • Microfiber cloth
  • Soft pieces of cloth
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Used toothbrush
  • Vacuum
  • Water
  • Industrial wood cleaners
  • Trisodium phosphate
  1. Choose a suitable working place, preferably outdoors or in the garage. The place should be properly ventilated since you don’t want to leave the house with pungent smells.
  2. Once you have a comfortable working station, use the microfiber cloth to dust the piece. This removes dirt lightly from the surface.
  3. Use the brush and vacuum to remove grime from the corners and cracks.
  4. Make a solution from the dishwashing detergent and water. Dip the soft cloth in the mixture and wring it. Pass the cloth lightly on the surface, making sure not to dampen it.
  5. Use the brush to clean in the cracks and corners. Remember always to observe the grain.
  6. Continue cleaning until there’s no more dirt showing on the cloth.
  7. It’s now time to dry the surface using clean and dry cloth. Leave the piece to dry.
  8. If you are comfortable with the work, use a dry clean cloth to wipe the surface to get back the shine.

NB: Water is not very friendly with wood. It causes deformation, inflammation, and tarnishes the wood if applied directly to the wood with no finishes. It also weakens the glues joining the pieces. Be very careful not to log the wood. Use the damp cloth to clean and let it dry before applying finishes on the wood. You can use the homemade wood floor cleaner that gives you the shiny effects.

Using Industrial Wood Cleaners

This involves industrial wood cleaners. Wood cleaners are sold in the nearby hardware stores or even at the local goods store. Turpentine also does a great job. When purchasing the chemical to use, avoid those containing “conditioning”. These may be composed of compounds with oil which will be left on the wood after cleaning. Our target is to eliminate oil and grime and not to leave any on the piece.

How to Use the Product

Read and understand all the manufacturer’s instructions before using the product. Mix the solution as directed. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and pass it over the surfaces of your wooden piece gently. Leave the cleaner for about 10-20 minutes to allow the chemical to get absorbed. Get another cloth and dip it in the cleaner. Pass it over the surface, now removing the remnants. Repeat this process a few times until you see no dirt on the cloth.

Now use another clean and dry cloth to wipe the surface to restore the shine.

Using Trisodium phosphate (TSP)

This is the last thing I would recommend when cleaning a wooden piece of furniture. It’s mostly used by painters to eliminate ballooned dirt from outer walls. I recommend it to painted, polished and bright pieces. For those pieces that have sitting in the garage or outside for years, this can do a very good job for you.

The chemical can penetrate oily and greasy surfaces. Use a brush to scrub if the stains are deep and mild. You should be sure to repaint after using TSP.

How to clean dirt buildup on wood

Dirt buildup can ruin the texture of any wooden surfaces. If you don’t want your beloved wood furniture to face a doom, clean the dirt. Here are some steps you can follow

  • First, use a duster and scrape off all the dirt you can remove.
  • Now, soak a piece of cloth (Cotton and non-scratching) and slowly wipe the wood. 
  • If you have mineral spirit, detergent, or regular soap, rub it on the wood. 
  • Leave it for three to four minutes and then wipe it off. 
  • After that, soak the cloth in fresh water to clean the wood again. 
  • Finally, wipe any excess moisture.

Note: Sometimes,  you need to polish and buff the wood. Dirt can permanently damage it, and regular cleaning is the only prevention.

It’s easy to mistake grime and dirt for heat marks. You can check out these amazing ways to get rid of heat marks on your furniture for more info!

Is vinegar good for cleaning wood furniture?

Now a day, vinegar usually is an excellent cleanser. So it is mostly used in furniture cleaning. But sometimes a question arises that. Is vinegar good for cleaning wood Furniture? And here the answer would be affirmative.

Vinegar is an excellent wood cleaner. It is a cheaper alternative than the other expensive toxic cleaning. It won’t damage the burnish on your furniture as well as easy to clean.

1/4 cup vinegar; 3/4cup warm water and one teaspoon olive oil can be a Super cleanser for your furniture. Shake it very well and apply to your furniture. Rub it with a soft cotton cloth. These ingredients remove the spot on your furniture and polish it naturally.

How to use

  • Use rubber gloves and Google’s since the chemical is powerful and can burn if its contact with the skin or eyes.
  • Mix two tablespoons of TSP in one pint of warm water.
  • Apply on the wooden surfaces and leave it to get absorbed
  • Use a clean cloth dipped in the solution and pass it over the surface. Repeat the process until there’s no dirt on the cloth.
  • Leave the piece to dry and apply finishes.


Having gone through the three methods of cleaning grime on wooden furniture, you can choose wisely on the most convenient method that can work for you. Depending on the level of dirt and stains you intend to remove. Use the dish detergent for little stains, industrial cleaner for medium cleaning, and the last resort should be the TSP. The choice on the method you select depends on the type of wood you want to clean, the intensity of dirt, and maybe your priorities.

I hope you enjoy cleaning your wooden surfaces using the simple steps I have illustrated.

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