How to clean unfinished wood furniture

Written by mel frank
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How to clean unfinished wood furniture
Clean unfinished wood furniture with mineral spirits (Holzsessel image by Thomas Teufel from

Unfinished wood requires special care when cleaning. Furniture polishes restore shine to wood pieces with a glossy protective layer. However, when you use a furniture polish on unfinished wood furniture, the polish simply absorbs into the wood, often seeping into seams and causing residue build-up. Instead, use a non-greasy cleaning agent that will safely clean the unfinished wood furniture without causing damage.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vacuum
  • Dust rag
  • Mineral spirits

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  1. 1

    Vacuum the furniture or dust with a rag on a weekly basis to remove loose build-up.

  2. 2

    Saturate a cleaning cloth with mineral spirits, and wring out excess moisture.

  3. 3

    Wipe the damp rag over the unfinished wood in one direction, following the grain of the wood. Do not wipe back and forth as this can cause the wood to splinter.

  4. 4

    Repeat until all of the wood is clean, and allow the furniture to air-dry before using.

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