How to Clean Old Oak Wood Furniture

Updated February 21, 2017

If you have an eye for things that have a bit more character, you may find your home filled with antiques. With proper care, antique furniture can withstand the test of time with its elegance intact. Old oak furniture lends rich tones to your decor with the sturdy dependability that oak furniture naturally provides. With proper cleaning and care, your oak furniture will age gracefully.

Wipe down the entire piece of furniture with a soft cloth to remove loose dust and debris. Use a small soft-bristle brush to help loosen dirt in hard-to-reach tight spaces.

Wipe down the furniture again with a soft clean damp cloth. Wring out the cloth well to avoid saturating the wood.

Remove stubborn dirt stains by dipping a clean cloth in white spirit and gently wiping the stains away.

Remove grime, stains, and oil spots with a clean cloth dipped in warm water with dish soap added.

Polish the furniture with a paste wax such as a chemical-free beeswax. Dip a soft cloth into the paste and gently polish the furniture in circular motions. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.


Your oak furniture will only need a thorough waxing about every six months. A clean soft cloth will keep the furniture clean between waxings.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean cloths
  • Small soft-bristle brush
  • White spirit
  • Dish soap
  • Wax paste
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