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How to clean wooden furniture

Wood is essential for IKEA. Our wooden furniture ages well and is very strong. However, if you want to keep it perfect for as long as possible, they should be properly looked after. See how to clean wooden furniture depending on what type it is – pine, oak, beech or bamboo – and learn a few small tips for all types of natural wooden furniture. Make sure that you take a look!

Did you know that all our wood is sourced in compliance with the IWAY Forestry Standard, which bans the use of wood from sources involved in forest-related conflicts or illegal harvests? This year, 100% of our wood will be FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified or come from recycled sources.  
Along with sustainability, take note of these tips so that all your wooden furniture is preserved as best as possible over time.  

Tips for cleaning and caring for all types of natural wooden furniture 

  • If you can, clean off the dust every day. If not, at least once a week. 
  • You should always clean in the direction of the grain, using a soft cloth without rubbing or scratching. Dust with great care to keep the furniture pristine.  
  • Don't use ammonia. It wears the wood down and removes its shine. 
  • Most wooden furniture (below you'll see the specifications) can simply be cleaned with a dry cloth or duster; nothing else is required. Some furniture might tolerate some moisture for cleaning and some have their own specific trick.  
  • Avoid exposing wooden furniture to direct sunlight if you don't want it to lose its colour and shine. 
  • Along with the sun, you should protect it from moisture if it isn't treated. Dry it as soon as possible if any water falls on its surface.  
  • If you have outdoor wooden furniture, you should apply a layer of brown VÅRDA varnish specifically for outdoor use. Protect the surface, add shine and colour, and maintain the appearance of the wood.

Take a look at the features of the different woods and how to clean them:

1. How to clean pine 

A good example of one of our pine pieces of furniture is the famous IVAR storage system or the wardrobe with doors of the same name. Both are made from solid pine, a natural material that gets better over time.  

Use a dry cloth to clean it because if you add water or moisture, you might leave a mark and ruin the wood; especially if it's not treated, like in this case. 

To give it some shine and make it more resilient, choose the wood treatment oil mentioned in the following point. Now you have no choice but to keep reading...  

2. Cleaning and maintaining oak 

Knowing how to clean wooden furniture is essential, especially when it comes to oak, one of the most common woods. Oak is very hard, solid and resistant, with a highly visible grain. The colour gets slightly darker over time and changes to a golden brown colour. It's fascinating! 

To clean it, simply use a clean and slightly moist cloth. Immediately afterwards, take a dry cloth and remove the leftover moisture. 
As we said earlier, if you want your countertops to be shinier and resistant to moisture, apply a layer of wood treatment oil: highlight its natural characteristics, improve its water resistance and protect the surface by giving it a shiny finish. Apply it and it'll be dry in four to six hours. And we're all set! 

3. Taking care of beech wood 

Beech wood is perhaps lesser known than the two previous types of wood, but it has exceptional quality. It is a hard and resilient wood, with a homogeneous grain that resists impacts well. If it is exposed to sunlight, beech transforms from a cream colour to a light pinkish brown colour.  

Like with oak, use a damp cloth to clean it and then use a dry cloth to quickly dry it. 

4. How to keep bamboo furniture perfect 

Here are some tricks to keep your bamboo furniture clean, even in those nooks and crannies between its weaves (if it has them). 

  • Trick 1: for a more superficial cleaning or for furniture without weaving, dampen a clean cloth in a bowl containing a mix of hot water and a little bit of bleach (very little, three or four drops). Clean it well with the damp cloth and remove the remaining moisture. 
  • Trick 2: mix the juice of three lemons with one litre of water in a spray bottle. Spray the furniture or surface well and scrub the dirtiest areas using a toothbrush. Dry it. It will be left clean, disinfected and shining. 

We love it when customers use our products in a creative way. Why not try to do something new with them yourself? But do remember, any modifications or changes that you make to IKEA products will prevent them from being resold or used for their original use, thus invalidating IKEA product warranties and your right to return.