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Definitive Guide on How To Clean Unfinished Wood

Unfinished wood brings a rustic beauty into your home. However, there’s a drawback. They’re extremely difficult to clean. A lot of patience as well as time is needed for this task. With this guide, things will be a bit simpler for you.

How to clean unfinished wood?

There are many ways you can clean unfinished wood. A vinegar solution is an excellent cleaning material. Next, you can use Trisodium Phosphate as well. Mineral spirits are another great choice as they’ll make the wood spotless. Sandpaper is another good alternative for cleaning wood.

This is only a brief overview. You’ll need in-depth information so that you can get the job done. So, spare a minute and read to the end!

Let’s begin!

How To Prepare the Floor to Clean Unfinished Wood In 3 Ways

Before you start cleaning the unfinished wood, you’ll need to prepare it first. 

Start by removing any furniture, objects, or door rugs that are covering the unfinished wood. It’ll be good if you shut the door of the room. In that way, no one will come in and leave fresh footsteps while you’re cleaning.

Then, dry mop the floor to ensure it’s dust-free. Additionally, you can also use a broom to remove dust from the surface layers. 

Next, you’ll need to vacuum the floor to sweep up any remaining dust there is. This’ll ensure that the cleaning agents work their magic on a more profound level. 

Your unfinished wood is now primed for cleaning. 

How To Clean Unfinished Wood: Top Three Ways

Unfinished wood is extremely prone to permanent damage. As a result, every homeowner should invest in a regular cleaning routine. On a side note, the regular routine of cleaning should be applied to Longaberger baskets as well, as many of us use it frequently.

Let’s take a look at some of the best cleaning methods for unfinished wood- 

Method 1: Using Vinegar Solution

If you don’t wish to apply any type of abrasive cleaner, vinegar will suffice. They’re one of the best substances for cleaning purposes. 

First, you should make the vinegar solution. This is a crucial step in the process. You should verify that the solution is not overly diluted. Otherwise, it’ll be ineffective in cleaning the wood. On the other hand, a very concentrated vinegar solution will leave an unpleasant smell. 

To begin making the solution, fill an empty bucket with one cup of vinegar. Then, add one gallon of water and thoroughly mix them. The solution can be scaled as long as the ratio remains unchanged. For example, two cups of vinegar require two cups of water, and so on.

It’s time to start cleaning the unfinished wood. To do so, begin by dipping the mop into the bucket. And then, using a strainer, get rid of the excess liquid. Then, use the wet mop to scrub every inch of the surface.  

Finally, use a dry cloth to wipe down the cleaned area. This’ll keep moisture from penetrating the wood.

Method 2: Applying TSP Cleaner

Trisodium Phosphate is another excellent cleaning agent. However, before cleaning with it, there are a few things you should know about TSP.  Which is, TSP is a highly effective chemical compound that can clean just about anything. It’s been around for a while. However, due to the environmental risks it poses, it’s been phased out for various applications.

Once again, before you start cleaning, you’ll first need to prepare the TSP solution. Just dissolve half a cup of TSP in two gallons of hot water. That’s enough for making the solution.

It’s time to start using the TSP cleaner. If you’re removing a small stain, apply the liquid with a teaspoon. Then, scrub the area with a toothbrush. However, for bigger stains, please use a shoe polish brush instead. 

If you aim to clean the entire wood, a mop is needed. Scrub the entire area with it, making sure to cover every inch. On that note, here are two of our best recommendations for mops-

Product 1Product 2

We hope these mops will serve you well. Let us now proceed further!

When cleaning the entire area with TSP, pause every 10 minutes. Then, with a dry towel, wipe the area you’ve just cleaned. This’ll make sure the moisture doesn’t seep into the wood. However, if that happens, drying the floor will be ineffective. 

Method 3: Using Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits can be very efficient for cleaning unfinished wood. Especially when it comes to removing old masking tape from wood. However, you should use it with caution. This is due to the fact that it can be toxic if breathed in. So, make sure you wear a respirator while using this substance. 

Before you start cleaning, open all the doors and windows for proper ventilation. 

These sprays come in bottles. So, spray a few drops on the wood and gently scrub the area. 

Since the spirits are strong, it is not advisable to scrub with rough rags or brushes. IIf you do this, the wood may be damaged. 

Additionally, if any cleaner remains on the floor, absorb it with a dry, absorbent cloth.

If you follow these three ways correctly; you should be able to clean the unfinished wood easily. 

How To Protect Unfinished Wood: Useful Tips

In this segment, we’ll take a look at what you can do to protect unfinished wood-

Tip 1: Using Doormats

Preventing unfinished wood from becoming dirty is preferable to removing stains. Hence, you should purchase doormats for all entrances to unfinished wood rooms and spaces.

If you implement this, you’ll see the unfinished wood is getting less dirtier than usual. 

Tip 2: Keep the Unfinished Wood Dry

The more frequently you can clean your floor without getting the wood wet, the better.

Getting unfinished wood wet is the most common way for homeowners to damage it. Moisture causes the wood to warp. Consequently, molding can also occur beneath the surface without the owner’s knowledge.

Tip 3: Be Gentle

Unfinished wood necessitates a little more care. Remember that they aren’t protected by any layer.

You should avoid cleaning them with any sharp or abrasive objects. The floor is more fragile and prone to damage.. Hence, you can easily leave marks or scratches on it.

Remember to apply all these tips so that your unfinished wood stays in tip-top shape.

How To Make Unfinished Wood Shine

Let’s face it. No one likes a dull-looking surface. You’ll need to make the unfinished wood stand out. You can accomplish this by making your own wood shiner. 

To make this solution, you’ll need half a cup of olive oil and ⅓ white vinegar. They should be mixed vigorously. You can also dilute the solution to increase its effectiveness. To do this, just add 5 cups of hot water. 

Next, pour the wood shiner into the bucket. And then mop all the areas of the wood. This should be done three times per week. Moreover, you should invest in top-quality primers for treated wood. That’ll also help you make the wood shine.

Using this technique should give your unfinished wood the natural shine it deserves.


Question: How do I use sandpaper to clean unfinished wood?

Answer: To clean unfinished wood, sand the areas with fine-grained sandpaper for at least 5 minutes. But, don’t overdo it, as it could cause tears on the surface. Finally, remove all dust and debris with a vacuum cleaner or a soft-bristled broom.

Question: What is the proper technique for mopping unfinished wood?

Answer: Apply multiple layers of cleaning agent to each area using circular motions. It’s best not to move on until the area you’re mopping has been thoroughly cleaned. This is the proper technique for mopping unfinished wood.

Question: How do I get black stains out of unfinished wood?

Answer: To get rid of black stains, mix water and salt and apply it to the stain. Then, keep rubbing it until the stain is gone. Alternatively, you can make a thick paste of water and baking soda. After applying it to the stain, leave it alone for a few hours. Finally, clean off the wood.


This brings our guide on how to clean unfinished wood to an end. 

Did you enjoy reading it? We certainly hope so. Remember to not miss any steps while implementing these methods. Otherwise, you won’t be able to effectively clean your unfinished wood. 

Do come again soon. Take care!