Asked on Jan 15, 2015

How would you clean an old wood plank wall?

Rebecca Ickes
by Rebecca Ickes
We have wood plank walls in the downstairs of our 80s home. Not sure how to clean them.
  17 answers
  • Lori Jackson Lori Jackson on Jan 15, 2015
    I have used Old English with great results.
  • Vickie Ratliff Randall Vickie Ratliff Randall on Jan 15, 2015
    Murphy's Oil soap should work.
  • Pawvfl Pawvfl on Jan 16, 2015
    I ran a professional cleaning service & we always used Murphy's oil soap on the wood. Be sure to rin g your rag out tightly so you don't get the walls to wet.
  • Kimberly A Kimberly A on Jan 16, 2015
    I recently cleaned wood paneling with Murphy's oil soap. This was in a house that no one had lived in for over a dozen years, therefore there were years of grime and mildew all over them. The Murphy's oil soap with warm water and a damp sponge did the trick. Just make sure to change your water frequently and you should have great results. Oh you can then go over it with pledge or old English to polish them which also helps to seal out other dust and dirt.
  • Pamela Jones Pamela Jones on Jan 16, 2015
    I use 1c white vinegar and 1c olive oil and rub it into the wall, will restore it's luster and cover up scratches, disinfect and clean all in 1 step
  • Becky Becky on Jan 16, 2015
    I used a mix of 2 Tbsp Murphy's oil soap to a gallon of water and put it through my Shark steam mop and it was UNBELIEVABLE what it removed off of my wood work! I hadn't seen it look that good since it was installed new.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jan 16, 2015
    Murphy's would be my choice to clean. Could follow up with Old English or similar to condition.
  • Janet Rivenbark Janet Rivenbark on Jan 16, 2015
    I use Murphy's Oil Soap on everything wood: furniture, paneling, cabinets. It works and doesn't harm the wood.
  • Nancy Jenkins Nancy Jenkins on Jan 16, 2015
    Murphy's oil soap all the way.
  • Murphys oil soap ...It is amazing and smells wonderful......
  • Rita H Rita H on Jan 17, 2015
    For Xmas my sister gave me Amish Milk Wood Cleaner. It's the best stuff. If you have tuff built up scam, put it on and let it set for a few minutes then rub, then try it again. It really cleans up furniture.
  • Leanore Leanore on Jan 17, 2015
    Don't know if it's manufactured anymore but Liquid Gold did an amazing job on restoring the luster and shine to vintage wood. My childhood home had wood paneling, wainscotting and elaborate moldings, baseboards, etc. My Mom swore by Murphy's oil soap for cleaning but to make the wood shine and to hide scratches and other small defects it was Liquid Gold all the way.
  • CK CK on Jan 19, 2015
    Remember this about wood: Unless it's unfinished wood you're actually cleaning the finish (whatever it polyurethane, varnish, etc.) rather than the wood itself. You can gently clean any wood with simply some warm water and dish soap. I like using dish soap because it's formulated to remove greasy things on dishes ;-) So.....wash them then dry them with a towel (do a small area at a time) and you'll be good to go! As long as you're not soaking wood, it's fine to wash it gently. After they're clean, then you can decide if you want/need to put on some 'top dressing'.
  • Diane Diane on Jan 27, 2015
    I had this drak wood in a couple of my rooms. Do not attempt to take it off, it leaves big holes in your walls, it was awfull. In one of my rooms i white washed the wood and it turned out nice. All you do is put paint 1/2 and water 1/2 in a bucket. Mix well. Paint over it once, see if it dark enough, if not give it another coat. If it is too dark, add water a small amount at a time. Good luck! Quilt Lady, Utah
  • Patricia Patricia on Feb 10, 2015
    After you clean them you should consider white-washing the walls. You can find instructions from Farm Fresh Vintage Finds Blogger Franklin, TN. You don't have to paint some boards with color if you don't want. But look at the finish at the end and see if you like it.
  • GabbyinPa. GabbyinPa. on Mar 17, 2015
    I use Murphys oil soap. It smells great and does a good job removing the normal dirt as well as nicotine if you're a smoker.
  • Nancy Jenkins Nancy Jenkins on Mar 24, 2015
    All depends on if you are going to paint it over . Use TSP and rinse or less evassive ,vinager and water, more elbow grease needed rinse off. Could use Murphy's after all that if keeping the wood as is.