How do I clean an old soda crate?

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I recently purchased some old wooden soda crates that I plan to turn into end tables. However I want to clean them up a bit first but still keep the original look. How can I clean these up without ruining the original finish? I am mainly just looking to remove the surface dirt. Tried a toothbrush but that didn't do much.
q how do i clean an old soda crate
q how do i clean an old soda crate
  10 answers
  • Darryl J. Gary Darryl J. Gary on Oct 04, 2017
    Sand light power wash soft let dry seal

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Oct 05, 2017
    Keep in mind that these crates were not made to be used as indoor furniture, so totally transforming them will not be easy. How do you plan to ensure that the end tables are level?

    • Bren Bren on Oct 05, 2017
      I'm not going to totally transform them. They are actually going to be more of an accent piece. I still want to clean them before I do this though.

  • Ebbjdl Ebbjdl on Oct 05, 2017
    Start by filling in the cracked wood with wood glue, let dry completely. Next, use Murphy's oil soap, and it will give a nice shine to the wood, not too bright. Also sand the edges lightly with a low grade sandpaper. That should look real nice. EJL.

  • Irvin Ozzie Osborne Irvin Ozzie Osborne on Oct 05, 2017
    you may ruin the value and the value and the eye and antique appeal. work around the problem without changing you can seal them wth a spray varnish and then use a heavier finish.

  • Wendy Terrill Wendy Terrill on Oct 05, 2017
    I have used orange cleaner and a soft cloth on mine. Good luck with your project.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Oct 05, 2017
    Yes, it is important to clean them before using them as furniture.
    As they have been used on the ground, you don't know what sort of organic matter or critters might still be harbouring in the fibres, or what sort of odor they might give off once they are in the warmth of an indoor space.

    'Sounds like you are taking a reasonable approach. Enjoy the project.

  • Juli Juli on Oct 06, 2017
    I saw where someone used oxyclean to clean their deck. It looked really nice afterward. You might try finding it on the internet, and check it out. I don't know if it would cause any damage to the print on the crates. You might be able to call the manufacturer and ask them, or just try on a small area.

  • Ginny Ginny on Oct 06, 2017
    I would use a light solution of Dawn or other dish washing detergent in warm water using a soft brush, then put the crates in the sun the dry for a day or so.

  • Ft.29298732 Ft.29298732 on Jan 16, 2020

    I agree on not overdoing it. Most have already been rained on and weathered naturally over the years. Use a light hand, soft dish brush very gently if absolutely necessary, and then rinse them off while you shower! You could do the light cleaning there too!

  • Michelle Michelle on Nov 10, 2020

    I've used bio green cleaner. It freshens up, removes the dirt. I've used it on furniture and have found that I didn't need to refinish. Removed the gunk and i just buffed with a cotton cloth