Can You Use Vinegar On Wood? Here’s What You Need To Know

You can use vinegar on wood if the wood has a hard finish -- don't use vinegar on raw wood, and be sure to dilute the vinegar at least half and half with water.

What You Should Know Before Using Vinegar On Wood

As you surely know by now, I’m a big proponent of white vinegar as a household cleaner and disinfectant, but I also know that it’s not the right choice for every surface! If you’ve ever wondered whether you could use vinegar on wood, you’re not alone, and the answer is both nuanced and important to understand.

It turns out that you can use vinegar to clean some wood surfaces, as long as you take a couple of important precautions beforehand. In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know to safely use vinegar on wood, including wood furniture and hardwood floors.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Cleaning With Vinegar

Before using vinegar on wood, dilute it half and half with water.

Why You Should Dilute Vinegar Before Using It On Wood

When cleaning wood surfaces, the goal is remove grime and buildup from the surface without harming the finish or the wood itself. The acidity of undiluted white vinegar can pose a threat to protective finishes and the wood underneath, so it’s critical to dilute vinegar with water if before using it to clean wood.

To dilute white vinegar, just combine equal amounts of vinegar and water. (If you so desire, you can also add a drop or two of olive oil or lemon essential oil to your diluted vinegar — either one will help to condition wood surfaces and leave them nice and shiny!)

You can use vinegar on some wood surfaces, but you should dilute it first.

Helpful Tips For Cleaning Wood With Vinegar

Using Vinegar On Wood Furniture

Do A Spot Test. It’s always smart to start with a spot test in an inconspicuous area when using an unfamiliar cleaner on a sensitive surface. Spray a bit of diluted vinegar on the wood in a hidden area, let it sit for a minute, then wipe with a clean cloth. If everything looks good, you can clean the rest of the surface with confidence.

Don’t Use On Unfinished Wood. Raw, unfinished wood is very porous, which means you need to be very careful about using liquids of any kind on it, including vinegar. I recommend steering clear of using vinegar on unfinished wood — diluted or not!

Great For Stains And Odors. Vinegar can help remove stains and odors from wood floors and furniture, like those left by pets who have yet to master the finer points of being a good houseguest. Apply diluted vinegar to the affected area, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe with a soft dry cloth. Allow the area to dry thoroughly, then polish as usual.

Although you can use vinegar on wood floors if you are careful, I recommend sticking to solutions meant for wood floors.

Using Vinegar On Hardwood Floors

You can use diluted vinegar to clean hardwood floors effectively, but it can be tricky to do correctly, given their sensitive nature. In the interest of protecting your investment, I recommend sticking with cleaning solutions that are formulated for use on hardwood floors.

Related: Everything You Need To Know To Keep Your Hardwood Floors Clean

Have you ever used vinegar to clean a wood surface?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


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