Clean/Polish WOOD furniture - what do u use?

SheeshareeIIMarch 7, 2008

What do you guys use to clean/polish your WOOD furniture?


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Goop hand cleaner, cheap, from the automotive section at Walmart. Mechanics use it to get grease off their hands. Vegetable based, creamy, non-toxic. Apply generously with a rag, wipe off with another rag. You won't believe the gunk it takes off and leaves a nice patina. I have used this to remove years of smoke & old gunk from old furniture, as well as using it on my own furniture.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 10:43AM
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I use Murphy's Oil Soap, Old English (scratch cover for dark woods) and Pledge Furniture Polish (cedar scent).

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 10:44AM
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I use Guardsman. It was recommended to me by the guy who did our cabinets. I am surprised to hear anyone say they use Pledge. I can remember using it after I first got married, and it left streaks like all get out. I never used it again after that...

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 12:27PM
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I mentioned in another thread that I've discovered that the Bona Kemi Hardwood Floor Cleaner also works marvelously for wood cabinets. The GOOP is an interesting idea--I have some in the laundry room--maybe I'll experiment with it. But I know the Hardwood Floor Cleaner removes gunk rather nicely and is also nontoxic, odorfree, etc...

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 12:34PM
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Good for Wood by Method. I get it at Target. Love it!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 12:43PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Another Guardsman user here. We use that on modern (as in newer) furniture that have the protective finishes. On our antique furniture, we use an orange oil-paste wax type cleaner (don't recall the name, and Bed Bath and Beyond stopped carrying it). We often see it at antique stores and will have to pick some up the next time we see it.

One thing is that it is important not mix the different types of cleaners because there can be some type of reaction that is a booger to get up. People on the furniture forum or the woodworking forum have more detailed info on that.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 12:46PM
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I also use bona kemi for both my floors and my wood furniture. Good stuff.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 12:46PM
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I use a cleaner by Howard's - sold in many antique stores. I have alot of old pieces and this works great. No build-up either.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 12:49PM
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I just use a damp (not wet, more like half-dry) rag to clean/dust. If I bring home a really filthy antique or the cabinets have gotten very dirty (which happens if we cook a lot of oily fish on the stovetop, for example - the oil gets into the air and settles on the cabinets, which then attracts dirt), a trace of a mild dish detergent in a little water does the trick, wiped away with another damp cloth and dried immediately. Wood should never be completely wetted and even more importantly water should not be left to stand on wood surfaces. I don't keep a high polish on my wood (nothing I own needs it) but once or twice a year I'll go over things with Guardsman trigger spray polish. I use Old English Scratch Cover to repair damage on dark wood, but not as a polish. I used to keep my antiques waxed (with Briwax) which kept them really beautiful, but just haven't been able to keep up with that in the last couple of years - other things just ended up higher on the priority list and it never got done.

If you think you will ever want to refinish a piece of furniture, do not use Pledge or other silicone-containing polish. It soaks into the wood through microscopic fissures in the existing finish and that residue will cause spots or craters called fisheyes and often finish separation. Silicone is very hard to remove during the refinishing process and don't count on even a skilled refinisher being able to do so effectively.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 2:02PM
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I LOVE Milsek cleaner-my furniture looks awesome after I am finished. I have used this for quite a long time. Sometimes you can find it in high end furniture stores but I just order mine online, and sometimes they have specials. I love the Holiday Oil.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 2:16PM
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I love Howard's also- the Restore A Finish products they carry are wonderful.Tinam61- Have you used this before? The only problem I have is how to dispose of my rags since it is a type of hazardous chemical.I might ask this in a seperate thread.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 2:29PM
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For weekly dusting, I use a barely damp soft tee shirt. Every 4 months, I use a polish/cleaner from Ethan Allen. It's great and does not leave a waxy film. Lasts a long time since it does not need to be used frequently.

I use Bona on kitchen cabs and HW floors.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 2:58PM
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Just ordered four more bottles of Williamsville Wax from HF Staples in NH. LOVE this stuff -- it is so wonderful on my old dining room set -- and various other wood items here.


Here is a link that might be useful: Williamsville Wax from HF Staples in NH

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 3:04PM
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Dust with microfiber, wax with Butchers Wax yearly, or "whenever". Buff with woolen rags.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 4:07PM
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My mom used murphy's oil soap on our antique china cabinet. it left a nasty white scummy film all over it.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 5:51PM
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