Cleaning woodwork

The Old House Web
Problem: I have great old woodwork in good shape, but I'd like it tobe cleaner and brighter. I've tried wood soap, but it still looks the same.

Solution: There are a couple of readily available cleaners you mayfind helpful:

  • First, try tri-sodium phosphate (TSP), which is an excellent cleaner of painted materials, and is readily available at paint stores, hardware stores and some grocery stores.
  • If TSP is not available, try a product called "Simple Green." You should be able to find this as building supply stores, hardware stores or grocery stores.
  • With either product, apply the cleaner to a small area. Start with a small enough section so that it doesn't dry until the final step. If the surface is dry before you reach the final step, you're working on too large an area.
  • Apply the cleaning solution, and while the area is wet, scrub with a rag saturated in the solution or soft-bristle brush. This helps release the ground in dirt.
  • Wipe off the dirt and cleaner with a clean, wet (water) rag.
  • Repeat as needed.
  • Keep a rinsing bucket of water next to you as you move along, changing the water in bucket frequently.
  • Finally, dry off the section before moving onto the next section.

-- Frederick, on the OHW bulletin boards

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