The beauty of wood gives it a timeless appeal, and talented artisans produce both traditional and contemporary designs that add style and function to your home. When cleaned and looked after properly, solid wood furniture and floors can last for generations. Wood veneers and laminates also are popular. Although not quite as durable, they provide that same visual richness and appeal at more affordable prices.
Between the different types of wood, veneers, and laminates, this wide variety of surfaces can cause confusion when it comes to finding the best wood cleaner. Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t always clarify which applications their wood cleaners are most suitable for.
This guide highlights some of the best wood cleaner formulas and their features; including ingredients, ease of application, stain removal, UV resistance, and more.
Our Top Picks
The choice of wood cleaners is vast, and their uses often overlap. Below are some of the top-performing wood cleaners available in their respective categories.
Howard Products ORS016 Orange Oil Wood Polish cleans and polishes with a spray and thorough wipe. Although beeswax is the traditional finish for fine wood furniture and is certainly nourishing, it’s tedious to apply and the residue can attract dirt. Citrus oils are equally beneficial for wood and don’t leave that sticky finish.
This orange oil cleans by lifting dirt and dust away from surfaces with just a quick spray and wipe with a lint-free or microfiber cloth. The oil also penetrates below the surface, replenishing moisture lost through heat and exposure to air conditioning. The result is an attractive luster, long-lasting protection, and a pleasant smell in a cleaner that is gentle enough for precious antiques or new wood pieces.
Wood floors can take a lot of rough treatment, especially with kids or pets around, but Black Diamond Stoneworks Wood & Laminate Cleaner tackles the challenges of cleaning wood floors. The cleaner also leaves a tough, durable polymer finish that helps protect the surface from further harm. The nontoxic, hypoallergenic formula is biodegradable and safe around children and pets once dry.
Apply the cleaner via spray bottle (economical refills are available) and then wipe with a microfiber cloth or mop. It leaves a streak-free finish without rinsing, though it’s important to pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions for best performance. In general, Black Diamond is effective at removing dust, dirt, and oily marks from hardwood and laminate flooring and can be used on less common flooring products like bamboo and cork.
Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner is a mild, plant-based floor cleaner supplied as a concentrate, which also makes it economical. Just dilute the formula as directed and apply with a mop. The cleaner is kind to skin (though you should avoid getting it in your eyes) yet effective at cutting through grease and grime. The pleasant pine scent comes from its natural ingredients.
Though it is designed primarily as an overall household and wood floor cleaner, there’s no reason you can’t clean furniture with it by making up enough solution to wipe down surfaces. Dr. Bronner’s floor cleaner contains no bleaches, synthetic dyes, preservatives, or fragrances. It is not animal tested and is certified vegan.
The allergens found in household dust can be a serious problem for sensitive individuals, but this Pledge disinfectant can remove dust and pet dander from hard surfaces. The lemon-scented wood-cleaning aerosol works well as both a stain remover and polish, leaving a scratch-resistant coating.
Application is easy. Just spray the cleaner onto a suitable cloth or directly onto furniture, then wipe off. A major benefit of a multisurface cleaner is that the same product can clean wood furniture, plus any steel or plastic fittings. This Pledge disinfectant is less effective on bare wood and should not be used on floors, as it can make them slippery. The cleaner can be used on laminates, sealed and varnished surfaces, and most hard surfaces throughout the home.
Weiman Wood Cleaner and Polisher Wipes may appear simple, but they offer a number of useful features. As with many of the best wood cleaners, the formula focuses on plant-based ingredients and no silicone or wax. This leaves a warm glow without sticky residue.
These versatile cloths contain sunscreen to reduce the drying and fading caused by ultraviolet rays. Wood furniture that is a little past its prime can recover cleanliness and shine with the Weiman wipes, which also provide a degree of surface restoration. The formula is designed to disguise minor scratches and is well-suited for a quick wood furniture cleanup.
This convenient resealable tub contains 30 wipes. While the chemicals leave a nontoxic finish when dry, the wipes carry a warning against eye contact or swallowing.
Rejuvenate Cabinet & Furniture Restorer has cleaning power plus the ability to revive wood surfaces that have been scratched or faded where the sun’s harmful UV rays have struck. The polymer-based formula works by first filling in surface marks, then bringing back the natural warm color, then adding a shine. A single coat is all that’s required, leaving the treated wood with a UV-resistant coating that shrugs off stains and will last several months. To help with easy application, purchase of the cleaner includes a microfiber mitt.
Rejuvenate is safe for use on all solid wood furniture, laminates, and Formica, though it’s not recommended for veneered tables. Rejuvenate also produces a floor cleaner with the same restorative benefits.