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How to clean inside unfinished wood drawers

Updated February 21, 2017

Unfinished wood drawers have not been coated, sealed or finished. These can be found in dressers, lingerie chests, jewellery dressers, kitchens and bathrooms. Unfinished wood absorbs water and other liquids easier than finished or sealed woods. Therefore, when cleaning unfinished wood, harsh chemicals must be avoided and care must be taken to not saturate the wood. If water or chemicals are absorbed in the wood, it can cause discolouration or warp the wood. An unfinished drawer should only be cleaned as needed.

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  1. Open the drawer and remove all items.

  2. Use a vacuum cleaner or handheld vacuum cleaner to remove all dirt, dust and debris from the drawer.

  3. Combine 1/2 tbsp liquid dish soap per cup of warm water in a bowl.

  4. Dip a sponge in the cleaning solution. Squeeze to remove all excess moisture. The sponge should be damp, not soaking wet.

  5. Rub the sponge on the inside of the drawer to clean it. Rinse the sponge under clean water and re-dip in cleaning solution as needed until the drawer is clean.

  6. Rinse the sponge under clean, cool water. Wipe down the inside of the drawer to remove all remaining soap residue.

  7. Use a towel to dry the drawer.

  8. Sprinkle baking soda along the bottom of the drawer. Allow it to sit in the drawer for a couple hours. If there is a bad smell that is lingering inside the drawer, allow the baking soda to sit inside the drawer for several days to help absorb the odour. Use a vacuum cleaner or handheld vacuum to remove the baking soda.

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum or handheld vacuum
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Sponge
  • Towel
  • Baking soda

About the Author

Kallie Johnson began her writing career in 2009, contributing to various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She enjoys writing home and garden topics and considers herself an expert on do-it-yourself home improvement topics.

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