How to Clean Stripped Wood

How to Clean Stripped Wood. Stripping wood furniture and floors allows you to breathe new life into their appearance. Old paint and varnishes leave behind residues that can make the new paint adhere poorly. If you prefer the look of unfinished wood, you must also properly clean the furniture after stripping and as ongoing maintenance. Expensive chemical cleaners are not necessary to get rid of the grime and keep the wood looking its best.

Things Needed

  • Rags
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Lemon oil
  • Mineral oil
  • Glass jar

Step 1

Wipe all surfaces of the stripped wood with a dry cloth to remove any sawdust or paint flakes. Use a dust mop on wood flooring.

Step 2

Dampen a clean rag with denatured alcohol. Wipe down the stripped wood, moistening the rag with more alcohol as necessary. The alcohol removes any remaining residue on the wood surface.

Step 3

Combine 1 teaspoon lemon oil with 1 pint mineral oil in a glass jar, if you are leaving the wood item unfinished. Alternatively, repaint the wood after the alcohol dries.

Step 4

Rub the mineral oil mixture into the wood with a clean cloth. The oil protects the wood while also preventing drying and cracking.


  • Use an oil soap product instead of mineral oil to keep unfinished wood clean.
  • Remove light surface stains on unfinished wood, sanding them away with a fine-grit sandpaper.


  • Mineral oil is highly flammable. Keep it away from open flames.


  • University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service: Removing an Old Finish From Wood
  • Michigan State University Extension: Homemade Cleaners