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How to Get Sticky Stuff Off Finished Wood

Updated February 21, 2017

Finished wood is a bit easier to clean than unfinished wood, as the smooth, sealed finish creates a nonporous surface that residue cannot penetrate. If food or drink gets left behind on the wood, or even if a sticker was placed on the wood that left you with sticky surface, you want to use a cleaner that removes the build-up. The cleaner should cause no harm to the wood or wood finish, yet remain strong enough to remove the sticky residue.

Wipe the sticky residue with a damp cleaning rag. Make sure the rag is damp and not soaked, as you do not want excess moisture to penetrate through the wood as this can cause wood damage over time.

Pour 1/2 cup water and 2 teaspoons white vinegar in a bowl. If the sticky residue is caused by food or drink, add 5 drops of dish soap to the liquid and stir with your finger to dissolve the soap.

Dip a cleaning rag into the cleaner, wring out the rag and wipe down the finished wood surface. Continue as needed until you remove all of the sticky residue.

Rinse the cleaning rag, wring it out and wipe over the finished wood to remove any leftover residue.

Dry the wood with a clean, dry rag.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Cleaning rag
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Dish soap
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About the Author

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.