Wood makes for a beautiful countertop or table. However, to keep it beautiful you have to take care of the wood properly. There are tricks to cleaning wood, and also some things to avoid. Read on to find out how to properly clean wood countertops and surfaces.
Know Your Woodwork
It’s helpful when cleaning wood surfaces to know what the piece was finished with. Is your counter finished with wax or lacquer? Knowing how your wood has been treated affects how you can clean it. When in doubt, test products in an inconspicuous area on the wood and start with the gentlest cleaning method.
How to Clean Wood Countertops
First dry clean. Gently scrape any food debris or grime off the countertop using the utensil of your choice. Then wipe down the countertop using a cloth or sponge that has been saturated in warm soapy water. After wiping the countertop down naturally sanitize the wood countertop by using vinegar. Though white vinegar is the kind used most often in cleaning, it can eat through finishings on wood. Many use apple cider vinegar instead. Spray a small amount onto the wood and wipe clean.
How to Remove Stains and Marks
Water marks are the most common stain on wood countertops and surfaces. Here are a few things to try to get these stains out.
- First empty your clothes iron of water. Place a napkin, t-shirt, or something similar over the stain and, with the iron set to low, briefly apply it on the stain. You can also use a hair dryer to get the water to evaporate. Check frequently to see if the stain has disappeared.
- If that doesn’t work, use a rag to apply a small amount of mayonnaise or petroleum jelly to the stain. Let this sit for several hours. The oil in these products can displace the water in the wood.
- Light sanding with a fine grit. Sand carefully though so as not to dig in too deeply.
If all else fails, you can sand down to bare wood and refinish the piece. You may want to consult a pro.
Boost of Cleaning Power
Get a big boost by using salt to help remove stains. Add a squirt of lemon juice to add cleaning power to the salt. This will remove any stubborn stains without having to sand the area.
How to Remove Oil Buildup
Remove oil buildup on clean wood with a wood a stripper. You’ll need both a sealant stripper and a re-sealant, both of which you can find at any hardware store. Apply the sealant stripper using a soft cloth and follow the instructions on the product bottle. After applying the stripper, clean and reseal.
You might like reading How to Clean with Olive Oil.
Keep Wood Countertops Looking Good
Keep clean wood looking great with monthly maintenance. A simple re-oiling of the wood surface will keep it looking like new and keep it from getting dull.
Cleaning wood is easy once you know what to do. Swoop in, take care of your wood, and move on to the next task of the day. Sometimes though, even having handy tips isn’t enough. You can always call your local house cleaning service to do your chores for you.
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Thanks for these great suggestions on how to clean wood countertops! I have a wood counter in my kitchen and didn’t know how to effectively clean it without causing any damage.