Asked on Aug 6, 2019

How do I remove all the grime from this table?

DDColumbia GBLaura Pittman


40ish year old tables from my moms... pledged & waxed to death i fear. I dont even remember what they looked like new. Suggestions for cleaning?

7 answers
  • Kathy Gunter Law
    on Aug 6, 2019

    Plastic scrape like these to gently remove excess.

    Then mix a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to scrub with a toothbrush.

    • Krissy
      on Aug 7, 2019

      Use Crud Cutter , you can find it at Menards , Walmart ect . Spray & the grim will wipe off , you may have to do this twice . Works like a charm !

  • MAngelo
    on Aug 6, 2019

    The hydrogen peroxide / baking soda solution suggested by Kathy Gunter Law should work, but you really need to be careful with the peroxide -- too much can lighten the wood. You might also try a mix of lemon juice and olive oil -- one part juice to two parts oil. Either process you decide, be sure to use a soft cloth, like an old tshirt and go in the direction of the wood. In corners and raised spaces, GENTLY scrub with a soft toothbrush. You may need to do a few times as with either choice, you do not want the wood to get soaked, especially with the peroxide. You can use a plastic scraper but you must be really careful as you can easily scratch the wood. After you have most of the grime gone, you can switch to Murphy's wood soap, but I would use that as my last step just to ensure all the "sticky grime" feel is gone.

    IF it is really, really dirty and neither of the above steps work.... here is a link that I found when cleaning up an old table I got from Goodwill that was just covered with Lord knows what kind of gunk. I ended up using the mineral spirit option and it worked, but the piece of furniture I was using was not really old, and I painted it, so if it ended up getting stripped by the spirits while cleaning, I wasn't too concerned. If you choose one of these options, maybe try on a hidden spot first?" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank">

    Good luck!

  • Jan Clark
    on Aug 6, 2019

    Since you're thinking this is probably furniture polish and age, I would try something else. Put the table on a drop cloth and mix about a quart of warm water with a tablespoon of Dawn dish washing liquid. Stir to make sure the soap is evenly distributed and then, using a dish scrubby, gently rub the soapy mixture on the surface. You can work in sections or whatever. Wipe away any big clumps that come up as you work. Once you're happy with the result, use a rag, soaked in clean warm water, to rinse away any leftover soap and residue.

  • KathyF
    on Aug 7, 2019

    Denatured alcohol! I got that tip from a person that re-purposes wood furniture for a living.

  • Laura Pittman
    on Aug 7, 2019

    I've found that usually a good grease cutting cleaner will cut it right out.

  • Columbia GB
    on Aug 7, 2019

    Unless you intend to refinish it, I'd try Murphy's Oil Soap first, because it won't harm the wood.

    From the manufacturer:

    "Economical, natural cleaner is ideal for mopping wood floors, paneling, and other large wood surfaces. Safely cleans finished wood furniture, cabinets, and floors. Murphy Oil Soap removes wax build-up while leaving no residue behind."

    You can buy it most anywhere.

  • DD
    on Aug 7, 2019

    Hi Cindy I like Formby's products they make Formby's Build-Up Remover that states:

    Wood furniture treatment cleans away dirt and gently dissolves wax build-up from wood surfaces.

    Hope that helps, good luck with your project!!

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