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Keeping wood paneling walls clean can restore the beauty and integrity of a room. Dirt and grime build up on the surface of the walls over time and diminish the finish and natural beauty of the panel. Luckily, there are a few simple methods that you can use to clean wood paneling walls. One of the most effective tips for cleaning wood paneling is using natural products such as Murphy(r) Oil Soap or Colgate-Palmolive’s Wood Paneling Soap. These products can be used to clean your wood paneling without harming it. Deep cleaning your home is always good to keep your paneling walls without dust.

Read this detailed guide to cleaning wood paneling so you can make your paneling look new.

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How to Start Cleaning Your Wood Paneling

Cleaning wood paneling walls can be a challenge. The natural oil and dirt on these walls can easily be hidden by the paneling’s finish. Hence, a full-scale cleaning is needed. In this article, we’ll explore the basics of cleaning wood paneling walls. This will ensure that your walls are as clean as possible. Listed below are some of the best cleaning methods for your wood paneling walls. Follow these simple steps to make your wood paneling walls as clean as possible.

The First Step is Thorough Testing

Before you start your wood paneling wall cleaning project, you should test out all of the products on the paneling. While some general all-purpose cleaners can work wonders on wood paneling, it’s best to test the cleaner on a small area first. Take a clean rag and apply the solution to the paneling. 

Make sure to work from the bottom to the top to ensure that all areas are clean. Don’t forget to rinse the solution and buff the wood paneling walls dry before using them again. Oil soap works well too. Mineral spirits can be used if the stain is particularly stubborn. Apply it lightly to the affected area and leave it to dry completely before applying more solution.

Concoct as a Natural Cleaner

A staggering 92% of the American population intends to use green and eco-friendly practices for their spring cleaning, and 26% consider the purchase of natural cleaning products significant. 

To clean your wood wall panels, prepare a solution that contains a half cup of olive oil and one-half cup of white vinegar. Mix the solution with warm water, then scrub the paneling with a rag. Changing the water as needed will help reduce the amount of cleaning solution that gets wasted. When the paneling is clean, use a dry microfiber rag and rinse it with clean water. Don’t forget to buff it with a dry cloth afterward to remove any remaining dirt.

clean wood panneling walls

Take Advantage of Mineral Spirits

Mineral Spirits are comprised of 100% petroleum distillates and include no additives. If the dirt and grime are stubborn, you can use mineral spirits to scrub the surface. While mineral spirits may be flammable and will require caution, they can effectively clean your paneling. Make sure to use adequate ventilation for the room when applying mineral spirits. Mineral spirits will help restore the natural look of your paneling. And don’t forget to use the right tools when cleaning your wood paneling walls! This will save you time and money!

If you have unfinished wood paneling, you can also use a solution of 1/4 cup of mineral oil and 1/4 cup of vinegar. This solution works well on unfinished paneling, but be careful not to use too much as it may cause discoloration and warping. If you have any problems with the oil solution, make sure to dry the area in sections. If you cannot do so, you might need to wait several days for the oil to dry properly.

Apply Effective Solutions to Older Wood

Generally, a solution containing two cups of hot water with four tablespoons of gum turpentine and eight tbsp. of linseed oil should work well on wood paneling walls. If the wood is too old for dish soap, use a linseed oil-based product instead. The linseed oil-based solution will clean the wood paneling and restore its luster and appeal.

How to Clean Wood Paneling with a Natural Solvent?

Using a solvent to clean wood paneling walls can be a powerful method to remove surface dust and grime. This solvent is composed of a combination of half-cup olive oil, one-half cup white vinegar, and two cups warm water. Using a microfiber rag or soft brush attachment, you should clean and scrub the wood paneling walls. Rinse the walls thoroughly with a damp rag, and repeat the process as necessary. You may also want to try mixing water and vinegar and applying it to the walls.

Before you start using a solvent, make sure to carefully follow the cleaning instructions. Apply the solvent to small sections of paneling, working from bottom to top to prevent drips. Make sure to use light pressure while cleaning the wall paneling, but not too hard. Dry the paneling thoroughly afterward using a lint-free cloth. Don’t allow the solvent to dry on the wood paneling, as this may cause haze or discoloration. Also, make sure to change the solvent after every two or three weeks.

clean wood panneling walls

Complete the Finish with Oils, Wax, and Polish

There are several ways to maintain the wood’s finish. Oils, waxes, and polishes can be applied in liquid, paste, or solid form. Most waxes are water-based and can be used on other surfaces as well. The waxes are usually a soft substance that provides little protection against scratches. Moreover, these materials do not penetrate the wood and therefore can be applied over other finishes.

You can clean wood paneling using an oil-type paste or liquid polish. An oil-type paste gives a satin finish, which is more durable than hard wax. You should keep in mind that oil-type polishes need to be renewed more frequently than hard waxes. Oil-type polishes should not be applied over hard waxes, as they can dull the appearance of the wood. They also tend to attract dirt and grime.

Be Careful with Wiping

Before applying any cleaning solution to the wood paneling, you must wipe it off quickly. While using a cleaning solution, always wipe along the grain of the wood. Remember to wipe off the solution quickly after application, as leaving it on the paneling for too long will result in a whitish haze. Bare wood is prone to absorb grease, crayon, and fingerprints. Using oil soap will replenish oils and create a clean sheen. Apply the oil soap on the wood paneling in small portions, as this will not show up on a high-gloss finish.

Before applying an oil finish to wood paneling, make sure that the wall is thoroughly cleaned. For the first few times, you can apply a little on a small section to test the effectiveness of the method. If the surface is dry, apply furniture oil or lemon oil to restore it to its original condition. Apply oil in the direction of the grain to prevent any uneven soaking of the wood.

You can also apply a coat of wood oil to the wall before you use the oily solution. The oil will help protect the paneling against scratches, but will also help in removing dirt and loose dust from the walls. Use rubber gloves while cleaning wood paneling, as the oily solution will cause your hands to be quite hot. You may also want to use a microfiber cloth for the same purpose.

clean wood panneling walls

Use a Gentle Rubbing Technique

If you want to maintain the beauty of your paneling, you must clean them regularly. While the average cleaning schedule is two to four times per year, it’s important to clean your paneling at least twice that often if you want to maintain its look. For best results, you should use a soft cloth, a vacuum cleaner brush attachment, and a mild cleaning solution. One of the most useful tips for cleaning wood paneling is to clean them every two to four weeks, but more often if the walls are exposed to dust and open windows.

If you have persistent wall stains, you can use a heavy-duty cleaning agent to remove them. You must first test the cleaning solution on a hidden area. You must not scrub too hard as it could damage the paint. Do not let the cleaning solution dry on the paneling as it can lead to discoloration and haze. Whenever possible, change the cleaning solution after a few hours.

clean wood panelling walls

Avoid Water and Use Erasers

Using too much water to clean wood paneling walls is not advisable. It might ruin the finish and give the paneling a gray tint. Moreover, water will make your cleaning rag dirty if left in a bucket of water. To prevent this problem, use a cleaning solution made especially for wood paneling walls. Scrubbing the wood with water or soft cloth should not damage the paneling.

You should also consider using a soft brush to clean wood paneling walls. The combination of water and vinegar will help you disinfect the wall surface while also cleaning the wood. Make sure you dry the surface completely before applying more cleaning solution to the wall. The surface should be dry overnight before you move on.

Follow our tips for cleaning wood paneling. But if you are still wondering how to clean wood paneling? You should consider hiring a professional cleaning company like MyCleaningAngel to do the hard work for you!

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