How to Clean Wooden Doors: A Step-by-Step Guide

Wooden doors are more durable and enhance the aesthetic of your house. However, cleaning them is quite a challenging task. You need to be careful while using water and harsh chemicals. Letting it be done by professionals can be better and more cost-saving for you. You can try to do it yourself if you want. But before that, educate yourself about the steps you need to go through for the best result. It will help you decide whether or not to call professionals

wooden doors cleaning

How to Clean Wooden Doors?

Wood is still the number one door-making element in Australia. Regular cleaning is an important part of wood door maintenance. Go through the following steps, and you may be able to clean the doors yourself. 

Step 1. Regular Dusting

Though dirt and dust cannot harm wood, it’s safe to dust them.  It prevents dirt buildup and keeps them looking fresh. Use a vacuum cleaner, soft microfibre cloth or feather duster to remove dust from the entire door surface. Pay special attention towards the top and around the edges. This quick routine helps preserve the wood finish. 

Step 2.  Mild Wash

Wooden door care goes beyond dusting. For minor dirt and grime, a gentle wash is the next step in door maintenance tips. You will need the following items for it:

  • A bucket of warm water
  • A few drops of mild dish soap. You should avoid harsh chemicals. These chemicals can damage the protective finish and make them appear dull. This can also increase the risk of staining. 
  • Soft-bristled brush 
  • Microfibre cloths

Mix the mild dish soap with warm water in the bucket and stir. Now, dip the brush into the soapy water. Then, wring it out thoroughly to avoid soaking the wood. Use the brush to lose any dust or dirt before using a dampened microfibre cloth for cleaning wooden surfaces. 

You must rinse the cloth in clean water and wipe the door again to remove the soap residue. If the door is still wet, then wipe it with a fresh, dry microfiber cloth again. 

Step 3. Use Eco-friendly Solutions for stains

Though many may suggest using mineral spirits, we completely oppose it. At Affordable Cleaning and Gardening Services, we only use non-toxic products. Mineral spirits usually contain potassium and are not safe for health. Natural cleaning agents are much better for wood door preservation. 

You can use vinegar, lemon, or baking soda to clean wooden surfaces. They are all-natural stain removers. And they do not emit any bad odour like harsh chemicals. 

After wiping the door with soap and water, you can use a vinegar solution. Make a solution with a 1:1 vinegar-water ratio. This homemade solution is safe for your health and is expert in removing light water stains or sticky spots. 

Finally, consider using lemon oil for a natural, shiny touch on your wooden doors. Apply a small amount to a soft cloth and buff the door gently. Pay special attention to the top and around the corner. Most dirt accumulates in those areas. Be careful while working near the edge. Avoid putting fingers into the hinges to avoid getting pinched. 

Sometimes, the stains are too tough to remove by wiping. You need to opt for advanced stain removal methods. You had better call the professionals for that instead of trying to do it yourself. They have the necessary tools and equipment.

Step 4. Remove Scratches

During the cleaning, you may need to deal with surface scratches for wooden door restoration. Find all the scratches and assess the damage. For shallow scratches, a DIY solution might be sufficient. You can use a wood filler that matches the colour of your door. Wood putty or wood filler sticks are mostly used for this task. 

You may also apply clear protective coatings like varnish to the entire door surface. It adds durability and prevents future damage. 

However, for more serious or extensive damages, we suggest consulting professional restoration services. 

Step 5. Deal with Dents

Dents require a different approach than scratches for proper door refurbishment. Here are some tips for that:

  • Assess the depth of the dent first. Minor dents may be solved by DIY methods. However, the deeper ones need professional help to ensure wood finish care. 
  • For small dents, you can try using fillers and steam treatment. 
  • Apply steam to the dented area and gently press outward with a damp cloth. The steam can help soften wood fibres. It allows them to reshape slightly.

Step 6. Door Handles

Your cleaning wooden door mission is not complete without attention to the hardware. It’s the commonly touched area of the door and is more likely to spread germs if not cleaned regularly. Here is what you need to do:

  • Door handles can be made of different types of materials like metal, brass, or wood. Choose your cleaning method based on the handle material to avoid damaging the finish. 
  • Mild soap with warm water is safe for most handle types. Wipe down the handle using a damp cloth, then dry with another clean cloth. You can use vinegar or baking soda if the handle is made of stainless steel or brass. 
  • Door handles have crevices around the base that can trap dirt. You can use a cotton swab dipping in the cleaning solution to reach these areas. 

Step 7. Use Wood Polish

If the door is years old and has lost some of its color, try some wood polish. This is not mandatory, but it enhances the beauty of the doors. You need to select the wood polish wisely. The ideal polish depends on the type of wood the door is made of.  For example:

  • Oak benefits from oil-based polishes with a bit of wax. It rings out the warmth and depth of the wood. 
  • Pine is a relatively softer wood. Opt for a beeswax or paste polish to avoid a greasy buildup. 
  • Beeswax polish is the best for the luxurious mahogany woods.
wood cleaning techniques

Common Wooden Door Cleaning Mistakes

During DIY cleaning, people often make some common mistakes. Keep a mental note for yourself to avoid these mistakes for a better cleaning result. 

  • Using harsh chemicals. They damage the finish and strip wood. For healthy and safe cleaning, you can contact Affordable Cleaning and Gardening Services who use only natural and safe products. 
  • Avoid excessive water use. Too much water can warp or swell the wood. 
  • While using a bristle brush, you must be gentle with the scrub. Scrubbing too hard leaves scratches and marks. 
  • Wooden doors stay as good as new with regular cleaning. Dust the doors at least once a week. This prevents the colour from getting stained. 

How Often to Clean Wooden Doors?

The cleaning frequency for wooden doors depends on several factors. The type of wood that was used, the position of the door, and the environmental factors. 

Doors that are used frequently require more frequent cleaning. A weekly or bi-weekly based cleaning to remove dust, fingerprints, and smudges is required. If the door is not used much frequently, cleaning every one or two months is okay. 

Your environment also affects the cleaning frequency, for instance:

  • High humidity can cause doors to swell and attract dust mites. So, in such conditions, frequent cleaning is needed. Consider cleaning every 1-2 weeks. 
  • Exterior doors often get exposed to direct sunlight, dust, and debris. Clean them more often than the interior doors.
wood care

Final Words

Wooden door cleaning is comparatively easier than cleaning other house items. You can try DIY solutions following the above-mentioned steps. Nonetheless, if you do not have enough time or the door is somewhat damaged, get professional help. 

Affordable Cleaning and Gardening Services has been serving the city for years now. We ensure a proper restoration of your doors using no harsh chemicals. The green cleansers we use are more effective, hygienic, and healthy and do not emit any bad odour. We confirm both the hygiene and cleanliness of your wooden doors.