Unfinished wood is porous, and it soaks up grease and oil like a sponge, which is why most wood around the house has some protective coating. While it would be nice to have cedar paneling that sends wafts of woody smell around your home, it isn’t an ideal solution.
Before you add your final coat of sealant, or if you have unfinished wooden furniture, you need to know how to clean unfinished wood with a safe to use cleaner.
The secret to cleaning unfinished wood is to skip anything that soaks into the wood and stains or leaves an oily residue. By design, household cleaners are prime culprits for this.
In our guide, you can learn the best ways how to clean unfinished wood furniture or floors without making things worse. In the end, you’ll know how to clean raw wood for beauty or for finishing. (Learn How to Remove Glue From Wood)
How to Clean Unfinished Wood Furniture
If you are making furniture and you have un-finished wood, you will stain or paint, or your furniture made from un-finished wood will remain that way; you will have to clean it before use.
You may want to keep the natural finish, or you wish to protect it. Either way, wood can appear grubby or have stains before you finish the item, or you get ready to protect the surfaces.
Here you can find the easy-to-follow steps.
- Dust your unfinished wood using a paintbrush, which has never been used for painting. Brush along the wood grain like you were painting it, so you avoid visible dust streaks.
- Take a clean damp cloth and wipe the wood to remove scuffs and dirt you can’t brush from the surface. Ensure the cloth is slightly damp, or it could cause the wood grain to lift if it’s too wet.
- Use fine sandpaper of about 120 or 150 grit, if not finer, to sand out marks or scuffs you can’t wipe away with your rag. Always go with the grain of the wood rather than against it. With this method, you can remove grease and oil stains; however, they soak too deep to be removed easily if they are old.
- When you need to remove dye stains, paint, and wood stain splashes, you need to use lacquer or mineral spirits. Wipe any area with a clean white cloth dampened with the solvent. Doing this can remove most of the stain. Sand off any residue using 150-grit sandpaper or finer. Such solvents like mineral spirits won’t stain the wood, but the smell can stay for a day or two.
How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors?
You can find unfinished wood floors a treat to have around your home. However, there comes a time when you need to know how to clean unfinished wood floors.
Unlike other floors, this kind of flooring can leave you with a tough job, although the result can be worth it. When you clean unfinished wooden floors, you can find they are sensitive to many cleaning methods.
Here, you can find all you need about cleaning your unfinished wood floor and what you shouldn’t do. (Find the Best Woodworking Mask)
Steps for How To Clean Unfinished Wood Floors:
Unlike pre-finished floors, you need to give these floors more attention while cleaning. Before looking at how to clean these floors, it is good to know what not to do.
Unfinished Floor Cleaning Mistakes
- Using Water to Mop: When we clean, we reach for water. However, using this method to clean untreated flooring can lead to major issues. As water soaks into hardwood, it leads to warping, among other things. As a result, ensure to wipe surfaces clean and dry as soon as possible.
- Using Bristled Brushes That Are Hard: Untreated floorings with no protective coating on their surfaces can show signs of wear through scratches when you use hard-bristled or wet brushes. (Read Inexpensive Privacy Fence Ideas)
- Using Cleaning Chemicals for Unfinished Floors: You can find many individuals class a finished floor the same as an unfinished floor. Using products for treated wooden floors is a major cleaning mistake for unfinished wood floorings.
How to Clean Unfinished Wood Flooring
Here you can find the right way to clean unfinished wooden floorings in this step-by-step guide.
- Clean Dirt Away: The first step for cleaning unfinished wood floorings is removing dust, dirt, and debris. Dust and debris from feet or slippers easily fall to your floors and wooden surfaces, thus causing permanent stains and scratches.
- Use a Vacuum Cleaner: Vacuum cleaners are well suited to cleaning couches, carpets, and wooden floors. Unfortunately, not all vacuum cleaners are the same, and ones with wheels or rotating brush heads will scratch as they drag fine sand around your floor.
- Soft-Bristled Brushes: If you don’t have a suitable vacuum cleaner, you can opt for the slower method of using a soft broom. A soft-bristled brush takes more effort yet can leave your floors just as clean. (Read How To Get Nail Glue Off Of Skin)
- Microfiber Cloth: Aside from the above, a microfiber cloth or mop is perfect for picking up dust and debris. They are effective yet do need patience as using them is as slow as using a brush.
Remove Hard Stains
Once you remove dirt and debris, you start to remove hard stains that could be on your wooden flooring.
Here, you need to be cautious and make sure your sponge is damp rather than full of liquid. If you get your floors too wet, they can warp, lift, and split as well as mold sets in.
Use Trisodium Phosphate
If you have any hard stains that won’t budge by the above means, you can find two ways to remove hard stains on unfinished wood. The first uses trisodium phosphate, a trendy floor stain remover.
To use this, you sprinkle the crystallized powder onto the stained area in a thin layer. You then scrub gently by using your soft-bristled brush.
When you gently rub the stain away, pour a small amount of warm water onto your song and then wipe it away. You can use your dry microfiber cloth to finish.
Use Mineral Spirits
To remove stains on unfinished wooden floors, you can use mineral spirits. While you often use it to clean your paintbrushes, cleaning this type of flooring does a good job.
Use sprinkle drops of this chemical on the stain and gently scrub using a white lint-free cloth or your microfiber cloth. Ensure you don’t leave any liquid left on the surface. (Learn How to Get Hair Dye Off Wood)
If you do not want to use harsh chemicals on unfinished wooden floors, cleaning unfinished wood with vinegar can be as effective.
You can easily find vinegar in your home, although you may wish to purchase white vinegar rather than the darker colored product. When you come to use it, you can take a bucket of warm water and dilute 1/2 cup of vinegar for every gallon of water you have.
It is also possible to add around 15 drops of scented essential oil into the mix. Some of the best smelling oils comprise pine, lavender, and lemon.
All you need to do is dip your microfiber mop into your vinegar solution and wring it out. All it takes is to mop your wooden surfaces as it can help remove soap residue as stains. After doing this, you can then mop the surfaces clean with clean water to remove any final debris and help remove streaks.
If the stains on your floor linger after applying the chemicals listed above, sand the area with fine-grained sandpaper for a few minutes.
However, don’t go too far because this method could cause tears in the area. Remove all dust and debris with a vacuum cleaner or a soft-bristled broom once the stain has faded.
Dry Surfaces Properly
After you’ve removed all the stains from your unfinished wood floors, the last thing you need to do is make sure they’re completely dry.
To maintain the quality of your flooring, be sure to wipe them clean and keep guests, family, and pets away from the area. Instead of going down on your hands and knees, you can use the end of your brush to sweep the floor with a rag. (Read Wood Putty Vs Wood Filler)
Unfinished wood floors give homes a rustic, warm feeling. However, maintaining such floors requires attention and care when you wish to keep a natural appearance. Such flooring types are susceptible to permanent damage from debris and water, so using a regular cleaning routine is advisable for any homeowner.
Before long, you will find the best natural vinegar solution for cleaning your floors and furniture rather than using store-bought solutions.