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.
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!)
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.
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.
More Wood Cleaning & Care Tips
Have you ever used vinegar to clean a wood surface?