Cleaner to use on Craftsman cabinet w original finish?

jlc102482August 16, 2010

Sorry if this is the wrong category for this question, but I thought I might reach some knowledgeable people here:

I just bought a great Craftsman cabinet over the weekend, and I'm not sure what type of cleaner to use on it. I'm almost certain that the finish is original. I believe the wood is walnut, and it has been stained a medium oak. It looks like it has only one thin coat of finish, to keep the grain of the wood readily apparent.

I used Murphy's Oil Soap on a white rag to clean a tiny area of the cabinet at first, and I noticed an orange-y color rubbing off onto the white rag. Unfortunately, I can't tell if it's the finish coming off or if it's old tobacco stains, so I stopped cleaning it. What would be safe to use on it? I'm not looking to shine and polish it up - I just clean and free of all the fingerprints it has on it from being at the antiques center.


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Chances are huge that the finish is shellac....
Don't use any water based stain...I would use pure mineral spirits on a white cloth.
But...there is also a chance that your cabinet was in a smoker's house and the yellow is residual tobacco smoke....
But mineral spirits will remove the tobacco tar and not the finish.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 6:50PM
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Thanks, Linda!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 11:10AM
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I meant water based cleaner...not stain...

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 11:29AM
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I figured :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 8:49AM
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