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cleaning oak bannister

Posted by lyban (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 19, 08 at 9:41

I have an old bannister and railings in my home for about 22 years.
I do not want to change the color at all but I do notice that the railings especially the two large posts, oe at bottom of stairs and one at top are very dirty and blackish looking. What can I use to clean these two area. I am not wanting to re-stain, just clean.


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RE: cleaning oak bannister

Start with a mild detergent such as Dawn and water. If there is grease build up, follow with mineral spirits or naphtha. In extreme cases, I use a product that is chemically similar to Formula 409, wiping with it and then rinsing with clear water.

Note, though, that chronic long term exposure to acidic body oils can degrade finish into goo. Remove the goo and there is no finish there (only the goo that used to be finish). At that point you should at least re-seal with a finish product.

Here is a link that might be useful: Saving the finish


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