We can all agree that reclaimed lumber is gorgeous and one-of-a-kind, and it can be utilized to create a variety of decor items and furnishings; anything from chairs and tables to accent shelves and flooring can be made from reclaimed lumber.
If you have interior products from salvaged wood in your home we can only assume that you want to do everything you can to keep it looking good and protect it from dirt and damage. Cleaning salvaged wood, however, requires a slightly different approach than cleaning new wood. So, whether you have repurposed wood shelves, wallboard, flooring, or any other piece of wood, this is your guide on how to clean reclaimed wood.
What Are Some Ways To Clean Your Repurposed Wood?
One of the reasons people like salvaged wood is because of its unique age and character. Years of exposure, usage, and natural aging, resulting in a finish known as “patina.” When cleaning reclaimed timber furniture, the last thing you want to do is remove or damage the patina.
There are a few methods for cleaning repurposed wood without ruining its distinctive character.
Brush and Wipe
When cleaning recycled wood, whether it has been refinished or is still rough, keep it simple. If all you need to do is remove surface dust, a soft bristle brush would suffice. Brushes are useful because they can reach deeper into the nooks and crannies that characterize the surface of antique wood.
After brushing the surface, you can dampen a lint-free cloth lightly with water and gently wipe it down. It’s critical to select a lint-free cloth since the rough edges of salvaged wood, especially raw wood, may readily accumulate lint.
Use a vacuum cleaner
Alternatively, you may use your vacuum cleaner’s brush attachment to remove dust from the surface of salvaged wood furniture. The attachment’s bristles perform just as effectively to extract dust or dirt, which the vacuum can then simply remove.
Clean the wood with natural cleaners
Many chemical furniture cleaners contain ammonia. These cleaners, depending on how your reclaimed lumber furniture was finished, can damage the porous wood and remove its patina.
Instead, try the following wood cleaners:
A simple mixture of water, white vinegar, and a bit of olive oil in a spray bottle are sufficient to clean the surface of untreated repurposed wood without any unwanted harm to the wood. It’s also completely natural and non-toxic.
There are various safe choices for treated/sealed salvaged wood. Common methods include treating and cleaning the surface with furniture wax. An oil-based wood furniture soap is also effective. For the best results, carefully follow the instructions that come with these items.
How To Protect Your Salvaged Lumber?
While cleaning is an essential part of maintaining any piece of furniture, recycled timber must also be preserved. You should be mindful of possible harmful environmental factors whether the timber is untreated or sealed.
Avoid direct sunlight exposure
Direct sunlight can discolor or deform the wood. Avoiding sunlight is especially crucial for treated recycled wood. When exposed to the sun’s high UV rays, wood finishes can fade and deteriorate. This radiation can also cause the finish to erode, leaving the wood vulnerable to more harm.
Stay away from direct moisture
Excessive moisture may be harmful to any wood surface, even recycled wood. While most coatings have a strong level of moisture protection, water damage can still occur. Water damage to untreated salvaged wood furniture may be considerably more severe. Always use coasters for beverages on tables and for other regularly used furniture, and make sure to clean up any spillage quickly.
Keep the temperatures stable
Temperature fluctuations, especially fast changes, can cause significant damage to any type of wood. When wood is abruptly heated or cooled, it can shrink or expand excessively. As a result, the wood may distort, crack, or even split.
Temperature changes are seldom an issue indoors. Nonetheless, avoid placing any wood furniture too close to heat sources in the house or air conditioners.
We hope our guide has been helpful in answering your questions on how to clean reclaimed wood furnishings. One of the best ways to ensure you’re obtaining a high-quality piece of wood that has been professionally stained or treated is to buy repurposed wood furniture from a reputable source. It’s also a good idea to learn more about it before investing in this special type of wood, so take a look at our products for some inspiration!