When cleaning, note that you are not cleaning the wood but the polyurethane. Therefore, use cleaning products suitable for the coating rather than the wood.
What can I use to clean polyurethane?
Primarily, people seek professional assistance when dealing with woodwork because they want the best outcome. Before deciding what cleaning products to get for your furniture, you should first test if the varnish used is polyurethane.
How to test if the varnish used is polyurethane.
Rub a few drops of boiled linseed oil on the wood. If it beads up, it is another finish, not an oil-based polyurethane.
Also, you can rub a little acetone found in nail polish remover over a slightly visible spot in a small, circular motion.
This test is because many other finishes look like polyurethane but react differently to various cleaning products. Finishes like lacquer will dissolve completely, and Sherac will become sticky after a while. However, polyurethane will repel the acetone and bead up like water.
Therefore, if you realize that the finish used on your furniture is not polyurethane, use lacquer furniture care or other finish care products to clean. However, it is essential to consider the time for polyurethane to dry before cleaning.
I recommend you take caution and care when cleaning any other wood furniture product.
Tools and products for cleaning polyurethane
The market has many products and tools that can be said to clean your wood, but the wrong products will harm your polyurethane coat over time and significantly destroy it.
The right tools that will not harm polyurethane varnish
Look for the Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum (for carpet and hard floors) with Lift-Away Handheld HEPA Filter and Anti-Allergy Seal (NV352), Lavender.
Purchase Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Multipurpose Heavy Duty Steamer for Floors, cars, and home use.
SANGFOR Dust Pan and Broom Set Clean Broom and Dustpan Set Upright Stand Up Dustpan Broom Combo with Long Handle for Home Kitchen Room Office Lobby Floor use.
Microfiber Mop Floor Cleaning System- Washable Pads Perfect Cleaner for Hardwood, Laminate, and Tile – 360 Dry Wet Reusable Dust Mops with Soft Refill Pads Handle for Wood, Walls, Vinyl, and Kitchen.
products for cleaning polyurethane.
Pledge: This is a tremendous multi-surface polish spray that works well on polyurethane and wood surfaces.
It offers a high-gloss finish which aids in keeping dust and dirt away from the polyurethane surface.
Windex is a popular cleaner for polyurethane. It helps in removing a filmy residue.
I would recommend using this product sparingly because you don’t want to leave much alcohol on the polyurethane wood surface. Now that we know what products to use, let’s get started on how to clean polyurethane using the products mentioned above.
How to Clean Polyurethane on Wood surface.
After establishing the tools and products that will safely clean your polyurethane wood surfaces, the next is knowing how to clean various levels of dirt in your wood without distorting the appearance.
You should also consider the type of woodwork you are cleaning. It could be a coffee table, cabinet, or home decor like a carving. Once you have determined the finish, you apply the same guidelines for cleaning.
Common Types of dirt in your wood surface to clean
The most common type of wood surfaces is dust and grease.
As long as the wind blows, the dust will be all over. Hence, cleaning dust is a must and should be included in your regular cleaning routine.
Therefore, the best way to clean the dust on your wood is with a piece of cloth, and the best cloth to use is a microfiber cloth.
- Using the microfiber cloth, do gentle strokes on the surface to remove the dust.
Always consider being gentle on your surfaces because you are not cleaning the wood but the varnish.
This gentleness is because furniture polish and wax could build up over time and harm the finish’s appearance.
- Therefore, the first way to clean grease is to use a moist cloth and wipe away the dirt and grease. If the cloth doesn’t clean the grease thoroughly, there are other options.
Alternative ways to clean grease
- Vinegar: A vinegar mixture and water will break up the grease or smudges without distorting the finish.
- Rub alcohol: In small amounts, rubbing alcohol will work perfectly to clean your polyurethane surface and remove most grease and stains.
- Mineral spirits: add an available amount of mineral spirit to a clean cloth or rag and wipe gently over the finish on the wood.
These steps will remove most of the grease and smudges on the wood surface. However, use the mineral spirit in small amounts, and it is recommended that you dilute it with water.
Mineral spirit brings back the natural look of the wood, the original shine, and luster. Note that there may be fumes when using mineral spirit. Therefore, ensure that you use them in a well-ventilated room.
see our top poly for pine floors
Cleaning Sticky Polyurethane
Polyurethane may become sticky on your wood because something was applied to the polyurethane surface and left a residue or because of the finish in the woodworking process.
If the polyurethane surface is sticky due to the woodworking process, it is possible; that the wood used contains natural oil that prevents the drying process. When applying polyurethane, ensure that the first layer is dry before applying the second to prevent a sticky varnish.
Also, the polyurethane surface may be sticky due to food or drink spills. If this is the case, you can safely clean the surface with vinegar.
How to clean sticky polyurethane with vinegar
- Mix vinegar and water.
- Put a clean rag in the solution.
- Wring out the cloth and wipe the dirty area several times with several passes until the stickiness is off.
Water stains (Getting water stains out of polyurethane)
These are the most common dirt particles that harm your polyurethane wood surface. It could be an eyesore that will make you second guess whether the wood piece has a stain.
To safely remove a water stain;
- Use baking soda. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one tablespoon of water to form a paste.
- Gently rub the water stain until it is removed using a clean cloth or rag. Do not rub roughly to avoid making a permanent mark on the surface.
- Use vinegar. To remove a water stain, add olive oil to a small portion of vinegar.
- After mixing the oil and vinegar, use a clean cloth and apply it to the stain. Use a small circular motion to wipe the stain until it is gone.
- Use petroleum jelly. Before going to bed, take a small amount of petroleum jelly and place it on the water ring on the wood. Allow it to sit overnight and wipe clean in the morning to get a refreshed spot on the wood surface, making it appear new.
- Non-gel toothpaste. Take a small amount of non-gel toothpaste and apply it to a clean cloth. Gently wipe the watermark using a circular motion until it’s gone.
Scuffs and scratches (how to clean)
Light scratches and scuffs are unavoidable, mainly when the table, for example, is being used in a family. Sharp utensils and abrasives cause scratches, and sharp objects like ballpoint pens scratch or dent the wood surface. Use a pad when writing on the surface.
There is a belief that some scratches tell a story over time, but be careful to avoid deep surface scratches. If your wood surface gets a scratch through the mentioned methods or any other, it can be covered by applying the same colored stain to your table.
Pro-tip on cleaning and storing polyurethane brush.
Type of Polyurethane
Polyurethane is a very tough varnish made so that its microscopic chains of resin molecules will bond tightly with one another when it dries. Polyurethane coats the wood with a plastic-like coating. The outcome is a more resistant finish to water, solvents, abrasion, and effects than traditional varnishes. This nature makes polyurethane the perfect varnish ever.
There are two types of polyurethane: water-based polyurethane and oil-based polyurethane.
This water-based poly is the one that looks like milk in the container but dries crystal clear. When you don’t want to keep the color of the wood, this is the best option.
characteristics of water-based polyurethane.
- They are more watery than oil-based polyurethane. Therefore, you will need to apply more layers.
- It dries faster than oil-based polyurethane.
- They are less harmful because they have a low content of VOCs.
- It is easy to clean with soap and water.
The best water-based polyurethane to use on your wood includes
- Bona Mega wood floor finish, Bona Traffic; Check price
- General Finishes High-Performance Water-Based Topcoat; Check Price
It becomes slightly amber and warms up a color.
characteristics of oil-based polyurethane.
- This poly forms rugged and long-lasting in just a few coats.
- They take longer to dry than water-based polyurethane; thus, you should also wait longer for each layer to dry after applying it.
- They contain high levels of VOCs and are hence not available countrywide.
- Clean up with mineral spirits.
The best oil-based polyurethane products include
In addition, another kind is modified, the water-based oil-modified polyurethane. This type looks cloudy while in the can but dries into a rugged, amber-colored film, like oil.
Characteristics of water-based oil-modified polyurethane
- It dries fast.
- It is compatible with all woods.
- It has similar low VOC levels to water-based polyurethane.
- It’s easily cleaned up with water.
The best water-based oil-modified polyurethane is
- Satin and Minwax 710330000; Check Price
Whether at work or home, every piece of woodwork is a living piece of history expressed by many characters and experiences from your past.Just like we secure the future and protect the past through sustainable development, embrace the idea of regularly and safely cleaning your wood surfaces to maintain and preserve them.