How to Clean Oak Furniture

Oak furniture comes in a variety of shades, from white oak to a rosy red. But regardless of which type you have, you’ll eventually have to clean it. And if you don’t know how to clean oak furniture, you may be a bit apprehensive.

You don’t need to be afraid of cleaning your oak furniture, though. It may take a bit more effort than keeping non-wood furniture clean, but it’s worth it when it's all clean and gleaming afterward. And to show you how easy it is, we’ve put this short guide together on the simplest way to clean your oak furniture. 

What this article covers:

Regular Cleaning

The best way to clean wood furniture is with regular dusting and a wipe-down with a damp cloth. But because wood is vulnerable to damage from excess moisture, never use too much water. And always buff your furniture dry immediately afterward, in the direction of the wood grain.

how to clean white oak floors 70 how to clean white oak floors

Use this same method for cleaning wood paneling walls. One often forgets that they need cleaning too, to look their best. 

You’ll find that simply dusting and wiping down once every couple of weeks will suffice for cleaning antique wooden furniture as well as new ones. But if you’ve purchased some old oak furniture from a vintage store, or retrieved your grandmother’s old oak cabinet from the attic, it may be dirtier than a wipe-down will fix.

If that’s the case, use this next method for cleaning your clean old wooden furniture.

Cleaning Very Dirty Oak Furniture

The best products to clean wood furniture are free from harsh chemicals, as these will usually strip the surface and can even cause discoloration. Never use those multi-purpose furniture sprays that you use on all your modern laminate and metal finishes. They could damage wooden furniture.

how to clean white oak hardwood floors

Professional Products

To clean solid oak furniture that’s very dirty, try some oil-based furniture soap. It’s the best store product for thoroughly cleaning mahogany wood furniture and oak furniture.  These products are designed for wood and also offer a protective and restorative function. 

Don’t have any furniture soap? Use this grease-busting home remedy to clean oak furniture, instead. 

Home Hack #1 - Dish Soap Method

You more than likely have some dish soap in the home already. Use this to clean oak furniture that’s a bit sticky. Dish soap cuts through the greasiness and stickiness with ease. But be sure to use a mild, bleach-free variety, and don’t use couriers or rough sponges. Use a soft microfiber cloth, instead. 

Simply make a mild soapy solution with a few drops of dish soap in a bowl of warm water. (Not hot!) Dip a soft cloth into this solution and wipe your wood furniture, rubbing gently so that the grease and grime are transferred to the cloth. Rinse and repeat as needed, but don’t make the cloth too wet.

clean white oak hardwood floors

After all the stickiness has been removed, use a clean damp cloth to remove all traces of dish soap, and buff dry afterward. 

Home Hack #2 - Baking Soda/Vinegar Method

This home remedy is effective at cleaning oak furniture and any other wood furniture, too. It will even remove most surface stains. 

You’ll Need:

  • White vinegar 
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • A few soft cloths

You probably have these items in your pantry anyway. And even if you don’t they’re very easy to find in-store and inexpensive, too. Mix a few drops of white vinegar with a spoon or two of baking soda. Get the mixture to a toothpaste-like paste, and apply to the marks with your fingers or a soft cloth. 

Leave this mixture for a few minutes and wipe away all traces with a clean, damp cloth. Remember to buff dry, afterward. Need to remove stains from white wood furniture? The above cleaning hack will work for that too. 

A quick note about the bicarbonate of soda:

More commonly known as baking soda, it is ideal for gentle cleaning and minor stain removal throughout the home. And it’s just as effective at removing odors. Cleaning your wood furniture with baking soda will remove grime, stains, and musty smells. 

how to clean oak furniture

Sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet or couch and leave overnight. Then just vacuum it up in the morning. This will work for mild odors, but for extra-strength odor removal that’s safe for most carpets and upholstery, our specialized stain and odor remover is your best bet.

Removing Water Marks

If your old oak table has watermarks from tea and coffee cups, don’t worry, there’s a hack for that too. And although it may sound a bit odd, the trick is to use mayonnaise. Any variant will work, you don’t need to use a particular brand.

Just add a layer of good old mayo to the watermarks, and leave it to sit for a while. Then just wipe away with a damp cloth, and buff dry afterward as with the above methods. The oil in the mayonnaise will not only resolve most watermarks without damage, but they feed the wood, too. 

how to clean oak hardwood floors

And protect your floor under that heavy oak cabinet or table with some protector pads. They also prevent rust marks on carpets from metal-legged furniture, as well as scratch marks on your wood floors. They’ll save you hundreds of dollars in damage.  


Don’t stress about how to clean oak furniture or any of your other household surfaces. It’s easier than you think when you have the right products. 

As suppliers of top-quality cleaning products and equipment, we have what you need to clean wood floors, carpets, tiles, and more. Browse our range today and you’re sure to find just what you need for a deep clean of your home or office.

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