Key steps for cleaning pine furniture:
- Determine what type of pine you have before selecting your cleaning method.
- Wipe up spills as soon as they happen.
- Re-apply varnish after eradicating stains.
Pine furniture can bring a lovely warm atmosphere to your home, which is why this affordable, sustainable softwood is also frequently used for common household joinery, like doors and window frames. But how do you clean pine, so that it maintains its warm, soft glow? Read on for advice on how to clean pine furniture and joinery.
Pine is a breathable material – an important detail when it comes to knowing how to clean pine wood furniture. It expands or contracts according to different temperatures, and is absorbent if unvarnished, which means you can easily cause water marks if you don’t know how to clean pine wood properly.
Before you start, be sure to put on protective clothing to prevent your skin and clothes getting damaged while cleaning, and follow the instructions on the labels of any products you use.
How to clean pine doors
Pine is often used for doors and kitchen cupboards, which can get covered in grubby finger marks quickly. If your pine doors are varnished, you should:
- Use a damp – not wet – cloth, along with a commercial cleaner designed for cleaning varnished wooden furniture or parquet to gently rub away surface stains.
- Sand out and re-varnish any areas that contain tough stains, like permanent ink.
If your pine doors are waxed, you should:
- Rub wire wool across the surface, in the direction of the grain, to remove stubborn marks.
- Then apply beeswax according to the product’s instructions to restore the finish.
If you have oiled pine doors, you should:
- Use a dry cloth and a good quality furniture polish to buff away marks.
- Re-oil your furniture at least once every six months.
How to clean a pine table
Pine is also commonly used to make kitchen or dining room tables. Usually, these are varnished to make sure they are water resistant. You can clean your varnished pine table quickly and easily with a damp cloth and a non-abrasive multi-surface cleaner. To avoid permanent stains:
- Clean up spills as soon as they happen.
- Use trivets or mats to place under hot dishes or frozen foods.
- Protect the table’s surface with place mats or a table cloth.
How to clean old pine furniture
Old pine furniture can become badly scratched or stained over the years. Remember to take extra care when cleaning your antique pine furniture and always follow the instructions on any product’s label. To bring it back to its best, you should:
- Rub the item of furniture with fine sandpaper in the direction of the grain – to remove any varnish or build up of dirt and grease.
- Fill any scratches or holes with a wood filler specifically designed for pine – it should match the colour of your furniture.
- Re-apply varnish or wax/oil coats according to preference.
- Buff to a shine with a dry, soft cloth.
How to clean pine floors
As with all pine, firstly identify the type of pine before deciding how to clean it.
Most wooden floors have been coated, so are resistant to stain and water damage. In this case, simply dust the floor to bring up dried dirt such as dust and pet hair, then vacuum with the floor brush attachment. Then mop going with the grain of the wood before buffing with a soft cloth.
Don't use oils, waxes or furniture sprays on these floors as they could make it dangerously slippery.
If you have an old, untreated pine floor, start by dusting and vacuuming the floor as above. Then use plain water - but as little of it as possible so the floor doesn't absorb much, if any. The mop should be entirely wrung out before being applied to the flooring.
You can find out more on our article on how to clean wooden floors.
How to clean unvarnished pine
As you can see above, the key to cleaning pine is identifying whether it is coated. Generally speaking, if it is unvarnished you should:
- Use a soft brush to remove small pieces of dried dirt trapped inside the grooves of the food. The brush should be gentle enough that it doesn’t damage the floor.
- Vacuum to then remove the dirt.
- Use a microfibre cloth to finish off.