Furniture Cleaning Tips

Read these 41 Furniture Cleaning Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cleaning tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How do I conceal scratches in my wooden furniture?

Hiding Scratches in Wood Furniture

To conceal scratches in your wooden furniture, try using your child's crayons. Select the right color and melt a small amount. Work the melted wax into the scratch or nick until concealed. Or break the meat of a brazil nut, black walnut, or pecan in half and rub it into the scratch.

   
How do you clean dirt and stains from raw pinewood furniture?

How To Clean Dirt and Stains From Raw Pine Furniture

Raw pine is soft and if it has not been sealed, it will get dirty very fast. If you have dirt and stains on your raw pine, you can use most any liquid cleanser to rid the wood of the dirty buildup. However, you should use the liquid cleaners sparingly. They can soak into the raw wood and stain it.

Another outlet is to purchase something known as a crumbly cleaner. This is a dry cleanser that feels much like putty. You can rub it on your raw pine without harming the color or condition of the wood.

The only other outlet you have to remove stains from raw pine is to sand it.

   
How do I remove water rings from furniture?

Water Ring Removal from Wood Furniture

If possible, remove water rings from wood furniture while they're fresh by rubbing with a soft cloth. If water rings are set, you can apply an oil-based furniture polish. There are several other techniques you can try. You can apply mayonnaise liberally over the water ring and leave overnight, then wipe off with a soft dry cloth the next day. You can also try appling a small amount of non-gel toothpaste and baking soda to a damp cloth, then rub the stain lightly. Another technique is to apply a paste of cooking oil and salt, wait 15 minutes, then wipe off and polish as usual.

   
How can I remove an odor from my drawer or cabinet?

Odor Removal from Drawer or Cabinet

To remove odors from a drawer or cabinet, you can either fill the drawer with ground coffee and leave it overnight, use baking soda and leaving it in for several days, use cat litter and leave it in for several days or place the drawer outside in a shady spot on a breezy day. If the odor persists, you can carefully place a bowl of bleach in the empty drawer or cabinet, close the drawer or cabinet and let it sit for a few days, then carefully remove the bowl of bleach.

   
How do I clean wood furniture?

Shining Wood Furniture

To add shine to wooden furniture, rub it with vinegar before polishing.

   
How do I get white spots off of my wooden furniture?

How To Remove White Spots From Furniture

If you have white spots on your wooden furniture, you should work hard to remove the white, cloudy film or your wood can be permanently damaged.

*Rub the surface of the wood with a soft cloth that has been dipped in one half cup of ammonia and water.

*Wipe the furniture dry immediately and polish.

*If the white spots are still visible, use 3/0 steel wool and olive oil and rub lightly with the grain of the wood, then wax.

*For very deep spots, rub cigarette ashes into the wood.

*If the white spots still remain, you will have to strip off the old finish.

   
How do I remove water marks from my anqiue furniture?

Cleaning Antique Furniture

If we're not careful with our beverages, we can cause damage to those things that mean the most to us. Before you put a beverage down on an antique table, be sure to use a coaster or you risk leaving a water mark behind on the wood. If this has happened to you, cleaning antique furniture of these marks if you act quickly. You have several options for removing water marks from wood. Mayonnaise left on the stain over night is usually enough to remove the stain as is a white, non-gel toothpaste. If you can get to the mark immediately, try to dry it with a hair dryer first. If you're unsure about using any of these products on your wood, test it on a hidden area before you go about this type of house cleaning.

   
How can I remove perspiration stains from my upholstery?

Perspiration Stain Removal from Upholstery

Sofa cushions are very absorbent so you will most likely not be able to remove all of the perspiration from inside the sofa. However, assuming your sofa can be cleaned with water (check the tag), you can try to remove the outer stain using white vinegar and a clean, dry, white cloth. Blot (do not rub) the stain, working from the outside of the stain to the center, so as not to spread the stain. Follow the vinegar with either upholstery cleaner or mix 1/2 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent in a quart of warm water. Beat with a mixer, and clean the furniture using only the suds. Work on a small area at a time, overlapping areas to avoid spotting. Change the rinse water frequently to keep it clean. Use a fan to thoroughly dry the furniture.

   
How do I remove cigarette burns from my wood furniture?

Cigarette Burn Removal from Wood Furniture

For a cigarette burn that hasn't penetrated the wood finish, make a thin paste of pumice and boiled linseed oil and apply it to the burned area. Wax or polish, working with the grain of the wood.

   
How can I remove crayon from wood furniture?

Crayon Mark Removal from Wood Furniture

There are a few things to try when attempting to remove crayon marks from woos furniture. First, try cleaning with Murphy's Oil Soap. This should remove the crayon without harming the finish. If not, try mineral spirits, which should also be safe on the finish. WD-40 or Avon Skin-So-Soft should also work, but test on a non-visible area first. Non-gel toothpaste should also be a safe alternative. If all else fails, try applying a little heat from a hair dryer to soften the crayon, then blot with paper towels.

   
How do I remove cigarette odor from my house?

Cigarette Smoke Odor Removal

Since the smell of smoke lingers in carpets, upholstery and curtains, you will need to tackle these areas to eliminate the smell of cigarette smoke. You will need to either wash these items, or if you would like a quicker fix, you can try a commercial odor remover. Once the odor is removed, you can try leaving a small container of vinegar in each room to keep it smelling fresh. If you have smokers in your house, you can keep several candles burning while they are smoking, and covering the bottom of ashtrays with baking soda also helps. Nothing replaces fresh air, so whenever possible, open up the windows.

   
How can I remove fingerprints from wood furniture?

Fingerprint Removal from Wood Furniture

To remove fingerprints from wood furniture, I would recommend first polishing the furniture with either your favorite wood polish or 1 cup mineral oil and 3 drops lemon extract. Then, sprinkle cornstarch on the just-polished furniture and buff with a soft cloth. The cornstarch will make the fingerprints disappear as well as absorb excess polish.

   
How can I remove heat rings from my wood furniture?

Heat Ring Removal from Wood Furniture

To remove heat rings from wood furniture, massage mayonnaise into the marks and leave it on overnight. The next morning, wipe off the mayo and the marks should be gone. You can also use petroleum jelly, butter or margarine. If you have a really stubborn spot, mix cigarette ashes or rottenstone (available at the hardware store) with the mayo and repeat the above procedure.

   
How do I remove polish build up on my furniture?

Polish Build Up Removal from Wood Furniture

To remove polish build-up, mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Rub furniture with a soft cloth that has been moistened with the solution. Dry immediately with a clean cloth.

   
How can I remove a water stain from my leather upholstery?

Water Stain Removal from Leather Upholstery

condensation from a glass, can easily be treated with clean water. In this case, a stain results because water has dried in the middle of a piece of leather, leaving a clear line of separation. Wet the entire area out to a seam or edge. Soak a new sponge in a bowl of room temperature water. Wring it as dry as possible. Start at the spot of the water stain, dampening the leather until you reach the edges of the cushion. Wet the leather less and less as you get further from the water spot. Do not scrub, just wipe. Condition the leather after it has dried. Other liquid stains can be treated in the same manner, but may require professional treatment.

   
How do I clean wicker furniture?

Wicker Care and Cleaning

To remove dirt and grime from wicker furniture wash with a solution of 2 tablespoons of ammonia in 1 gallon of water. Use a toothbrush in hard to reach places. Rinse well. Air dry.

To prevent yellowing, wash wicker furniture with a warm salt water solution.

   
How can I remove paint from leather?

Paint Stain Removal from Leather Upholstery

To remove paint from leather furniture, try wiping the area with rubbing alcohol or turpentine. Try both of these in a non-visible area on the leather first, to ensure that they will not remove the dyes or harm the leather. You can also try cleaning the area with saddle soap, which will not harm the leather, or spray the stains with Armor All, which is also safe on leather.

   
How do I clean leather upholstery?

Leather Upholstery Care and Stain Removal

To protect the finish of your leather furniture, clean it with real soap products only. Clean with saddle soap, which comes in aerosol or paste form, or mix and shake Ivory Snow and water and apply just the suds with a soft brush. You can also use Armor All, particularly if your leather has any hard-to-remove stains.

Keep leather furniture supple by polishing every month with a solution of 2 parts linseed oil and 1 part vinegar.

Although leather is durable, it tends to stain easily. To remove stains from leather, try a specifically made leather cleaner, following the directions on the package. Remember to always test on an inconspicuous area first.

If the leather has become discolored, you may be able to use a leather dye to restore the color by matching the color as closely as possible to the original.

Don't try solvents or other common cleaning solutions on leather as they may cause irreparable damage.

   
How do I remove candle wax from my wood furniture?

Wax Removal from Wood Furniture

When you get a candle wax drip on your wood furniture, first harden the wax by rubbing an ice cube wrapped in plastic over the spill. Then, scrape the hardened wax off with a nonstick spatula or an expired credit card.

   
How do I remove stickers from wooden furniture?

Sticker Removal from Wood Furniture

To remove the stickers from wood furniture, use rubbing alcohol. This should not harm the finish, but to be sure, test it on a non-visible area of your furniture first. Vegetable oil is also all very effective, but test first to make sure it doesn't harm the finish. Some stickers may also be removed by heating with a hair dryer and then peeling them off.

   
How can I remove an odor from my wood furniture?

Odor Removal from Wood Furniture

Some ways to remove odors from wood furniture are: filling the drawers with ground coffee and leaving it over night, using baking soda and leaving it in for several days, using cat litter and leaving it in for several days or placing the item outside in a shady spot on a breezy day.

Recipe for a homemade wood furniture cleaner: In a pump spray bottle, place 1 teaspoon of light olive oil and half a cup of white vinegar. Shake well. This is as effective as any store bought product, yet is far more economical.

   
How can I clean velour furniture?

Velour Care and Cleaning

You can vacuum your velour furniture regularly with upholstery attachment tools, but other than that, I would recommend that you get your chair professionally cleaned if it requires more than that. Velour will change its appearance and shape if you wet it down with washing, and the dye may leach. Most professionals will either steam-clean, dry-clean or foam-clean it - be sure to ask them what they recommend. I would also recommend that you get them to apply a stain-resistant guard on the chair after it is cleaned.

   
How can I get tree sap off of my desk?

Tree Sap Removal from Wood Furniture

To get tree sap off of indoor wood furniture, try using a commercial product such as Goo Gone, Goof Off or WD-40. For a homemade solution, you can try using vegetable oil or mayonnaise. Rub the cleaning product gently into the stain to loosen it, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe off (or follow the manufacturer's directions). If this doesn't work, you can try using mineral spirits. Remember to always test a cleaning product in an inconspicuous are first.

   
How do I remove permanent marker from wood furniture?

Permanent Marker Stain Removal from Wood Furniture

To remove a permanent marker stain from wood furniture, there are a few options available. You could try WD-40, non-gel toothpaste, or possibly baby wipes. Also, I'd suggest a bit of alcohol on a white cloth or paper towel, or visiting an office supply store to get a commercial felt pen ink remover. I would also recommend trying the method you choose on an inconspicuous area of the wood first to ensure that it doesn't damage the finish.

   
How can I remove chewing gum from my leather furniture?

Gum Removal from Leather Upholstery

To remove the gum from leather upholstery, you can rub an ice cube (placed in a plastic bag) over the gum, and freeze the gum until it hardens, then chip it off. Another option is to spread peanut butter over the gum. Let sit a few hours to dissolve the gum then wipe away. Make sure to try the peanut butter on a non-visible area first to ensure that it doesn't damage the finish on the leather.

   
How can I remove urine from my leather upholstery?

Urine Stain and Odor Removal from Leather Upholstery

To remove urine stains and odor from leather, use a mild dish detergent and water. If you can, first remove the cushion and the stuffing. Using a clean, absorbent cloth, blot up any excess urine. Mix 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish detergent in a quart of warm water. Beat with a mixer. Clean the furniture using only the suds. Do not overwet the leather. Using a new sponge, soak the sponge and wring it out as much as you can. Then using only the suds, wash the entire area. Wipe, do not scrub. If you were able to remove the stuffing, you can scrub the underside of the leather and then use a towel to help dry the area. Using another new sponge and clean water, wipe the entire surface of the leather while it is still damp to remove as much of the detergent as possible. Wash the stuffing if you can, then place it back in the cushion, leaving a dry towel between the stuffing and the leather until it is all thoroughly dry.

   
How do I remove alcohol stains from my wood furniture?

Alcohol Stain Removal from Wood Furniture

Alcohol has a tendency to dissolve most finishes, so blot the spot immediately, then put a few drops of ammonia on a damp cloth and wipe the area. If the spot still remains, make a thin paste of boiled linseed oil and rottenstone, and rub it into the stain with your finger. Wax or polish.

   
How do I clean leather furniture?

Cleaning Leather Furniture

Leather furniture adds a rich, luxurious feel to any room. Many people are choose to have their couches and chairs in different fabrics because they don't know how to go about cleaning leather furniture. It's acutually quite simple. In fact, most leather furniture can just be wiped clean with a damp sponge. Every now and then a common household cleaner can be sprayed on giving it an extra shine. When you consider what you have to go through when removing spots and stains from upholstered couches, leather furniture cleaning is clearly a more convenient option.

   
How can I remove permanent marker from unfinished wood?

Permanent Marker Removal from Unfinished Wood

You can try using a non-oily liquid hairspray which works very well at removing ink. You can also try sanding it down with a fine grit sandpaper. Unfortunately, it is not called "permanent" marker for no reason, and depending on how fresh the stain is, this may not remove the stain completely and you may be stuck with the stain.

   
How can I remove a red wine stain from upholstery?

Red Wine Stain Removal from Upholstery

To get the red wine out of upholstery, you can try sponging the stain with white wine, or club soda. You can also try shaving cream from an aerosol can, then sponge with water. Be careful not the let the fabric get too wet.

   
How do I get permanent marker out of leather?

Permanent Marker Stain Removal from Leather Upholstery

An effective way to remove the ink stains on leather furniture is by using either hair spray or Armor All. Just spray the stain, then wipe it with a soft cloth. Be sure to test in an inconspicuous area first.

Unfortunately, it is not called "permanent" marker for no reason, and depending on how fresh the stain is, this may not remove the stain completely and you may be stuck with the stain.

   
How do I remove smoke odors from wood furniture?

Smoke Odor Removal from Wood Furniture

Some ways to remove smoke odors from wood furniture are: filling the drawers with ground coffee and leaving it over night. Using baking soda and leaving it for several days, using cat litter and leaving it in for several days or placing the item outside in a shady spot on a breezy day. Another option is to apply a thin coating of shellac to the entire piece to seal in the smell.

   
How can I clean my suede furniture?

Suede Furniture Cleaning

You can spot clean suede by carefully rubbing the soiled area with an artist's eraser. A stain on suede that won't brush or wipe off should be treated by a professional suede cleaner as quickly as possible. Though you can try cleaning it yourself with a suede-cleaning product, you may end up doing more harm than good. You can protect suede by spraying it with a silicone spray that you can purchase at most shoe stores.

   
How can I remove mold and mildew from my fine wood furniture?

Mold and Mildew Removal from Wood Furniture

Cleaning wood furniture can cause irreparable damage to the furniture's finish if the wrong methods are used, so start with gentle cleaners, working up to stronger solutions as necessary. Always test cleaners first in an inconspicuous area, such as the back or bottom or the furniture, before applying to a larger area. To remove mold and mildew from wood furniture, first try wiping the wood with a soft cloth and a solution of water and a mild dish detergent, using circular strokes. Keep the cloth barely damp, being careful not to saturate the wood. Rinse the cloth frequently. You can also use a commercial wood cleaner, such as Murphy's Oil Soap, instead. If the piece still looks dirty, try using mineral spirits. If the wood still looks dirty after using mineral spirits, the wood furniture will require professional treatment. Once the wood has been cleaned, the wood must be protected with wood furniture wax.

   
How can I remove A & D ointment from my upholstery?

A&D Ointment Removal from Upholstery

To remove A&D Ointment from your upholstery, first, using a dull knife, scrape off as much A&D Ointment as possible. Then, sprinkle the soiled area with either cornstarch, talcum powder or salt; rub well and leave until the grease from the ointment is absorbed. Brush off the powder/grease with a soft scrub brush then wipe with a damp cloth. If any residue remains, you can use either upholstery cleaner or mix 1/2 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent in a quart of warm water. Beat with a mixer, and clean the furniture using only the suds. Work on a small area at a time, overlapping areas to avoid spotting. Change the rinse water frequently to keep it clean.

   
How can I remove an oil stain from my leather upholstery?

Oil Stain Removal from Leather Upholstery

To remove small oil stains from leather upholstery, rub corn starch briskly into the stain with your fingers until the heat from the friction is felt. That heat loosens the oil and allows the corn starch to absorb the oil before the leather can. Vacuum or brush the powder off. Repeat until the stain is gone. Larger stains will require professional treatment.

   
How do I remove permanent marker from upholstery?

Permanent Marker Stain Removal from Upholstery

To remove marker from upholstery, first, thoroughly vacuum the area to remove any loose dirt or dust from the stain. Try using either rubbing alcohol or a non-oily hairspray as your stain removing agent. Since you are working on upholstery, you must be careful not to soak the fabric, or the stuffing will become saturated and you will end up with both a stain and mildew. Apply a small amount at a time and blot between applications.

Unfortunately, it is not called "permanent" marker for no reason, and depending on how fresh the stain is, this may not remove the stain completely and you may be stuck with the stain.

   
How do I keep my furniture from fading?

Protect Upholstery From Sun Damage

Always protect your furniture, rugs, carpets, etc. from the harsh midday sun which can fade and damage fiber. Be sure to close curtains or blinds or hang sheer drapes.

   
How do I clean velvet furniture?

Velvet Care and Cleaning

The most effective and safest way to clean velvet furniture is to have it professionally cleaned. However, if you do want to try it yourself, you can try mixing 1/2 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent with water, shake it up well, and apply the suds only. Apply only a small amount, and blot between applications. Be careful not to get the fabric very wet. If this is not effectively removing the stains, try using dry cleaning solvent. Be sure to keep everyone off the furniture for at least 24 hours after cleaning. Once it is clean, I would recommend treating it with Scotch Gard, or another fabric protector to make future cleanings much easier.

   
How do I get ink stains out of my leather furniture?

Ink Stain Removal from Leather Upholstery

Most cleaning products that remove ink will also remove the color from leather. However, if the ink is fresh, you may be able to remove it with either a non-oily, liquid hair spray or Armor All. Just spray the stain, then wipe it with a soft cloth, but be sure that this will not effect the dyes in your leather by trying this in an inconspicuous area first. Othewise, have the leather professionally treated.

   
How do I remove a red wine stain from wood furniture?

Red Wine Stain Removal from Wood Furniture

To remove the wine stain, rub the area with paste wax, silver polish or a cloth barely dampened with ammonia. If the spot still remains, make a thin paste of boiled linseed oil and rottenstone, and rub it into the stain with your finger. Wax or polish.

   
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