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Matthew Krimmel

Best Wood Furniture Cleaners: The 5 Best Cleaners to Use

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This is the next article in our series of recommendations for how to clean a bar. Be sure to check out our additional articles about glass and surface cleaner options, cleaning tips for wood furniture, and how to clean bar floor mats. Today, our focus is on the best wood furniture cleaners for your bar layout.

Many bars have wooden furniture in their bar setup, so we've compiled our list of products that help your furniture shine brightly. They work for daily cleaning, in addition to intensive seasonal cleaning tasks. You want to make sure that the furniture for storing and displaying bar liquor looks great.

If you're starting a bar, make sure that your bartender and barback have the most effective cleaning supplies available. You'll also want to include cleaning expenses in your restaurant business plan.

It's always a good idea to test any cleaner you use. Do this on a surface in an inconspicuous area before applying it to the area you want to clean. When you manage a bar, cleaning is one of the tasks that aren't much fun but can make a big difference.

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Best Wood Furniture Cleaners

1. Murphy Original Formula Oil Soap

This classic wood cleaner takes care of your wooden furniture, floors, cabinets, tile, and linoleum. In fact, we've also included it on our list of best wood floor cleaners.

Murphy Original Formula Oil Soap has been around for generations and still packs the same cleaning punch as when your grandparents used it. There isn't added oil in it; only the raw material of pine oil that's transformed into soap.

Clean and Restore Wood Trim

Murphy Original Formula Oil Soap is ideal for cleaning and restoring wood trim and molding around your bar. Use some warm water and mild dish soap to clean your wood trim. 

Wipe down wood trim and molding to cut through dirt and grime. Scrub harder to clean hardened spots in the high-trafficked areas of your bar, such as the wood trim along your entryway.

You'll also want to clean the wood trim that's higher up on the bar walls. Use a broom to remove dust and cobwebs in crown molding before getting up there to wipe and clean it thoroughly.

Wood Panels and Carvings

A bar owner, bartender, and barback should take pride in their bar’s appearance, especially if it has a unique design. Pay close attention to detailed woodwork in your bar layout, such as wood panels and decorative carvings. Use a toothbrush to scrub the crevices and remove dirt and grime built up over time.

It might sound like a tedious task, but a good, detailed cleaning will make a good impression on your patrons. Next, use a wood trim cleaner, like Murphy Original Formula Oil Soap, to restore your wood's natural shine.

Rinse and Dry Wood After Water Exposure

When you apply water to wood trim, thoroughly rinse it. It will prevent leftover soap residue from dulling and warping the finish after it dries. After rinsing the wood, use a cloth or towel to get it as dry as possible.

Perform this process more often for your bar layout areas that see higher traffic. It will ensure that your wood trim, paneling, and other furnishings remain in top condition for many years to come.

2. Old English Wood Polish and Restorer

Old English Wood Polish and Restorer is ideal for darker-colored wooden furniture. It will clean your bar tables and chairs, leaving them with a brilliant shine.

If your bar countertop is wood, then use Old English Wood Polish and Restorer to scrub the dirt and stains from your wood. You can also apply it to any cabinets, woodwork, and paneling you might have in your bar.

Clean and Condition Your Wood

This cleaner works best for medium and darker wood surfaces, such as mahogany and cherry. It conditions the wood's natural luster to keep it looking shiny and healthy.

Restore Damaged Wood Surfaces

Old English Wood Polish and Restorer helps restore damaged wood surfaces. It hides unsightly scratches and nicks. Have you wanted to fix the blemish on your bar counter? This product can do it quickly and effectively.

How to Use Old English Wood Polish and Restorer

To use it, shake the container well and apply a small amount on a clean cloth or towel. Wipe scratches and nicks and spread over the entire surface.

Wipe the area dry with a clean cloth or towel until you see a lustrous shine. Avoid using it near fabrics, including carpet, curtains, and upholstery.

3. Orange Glo Wood Furniture 2-in-1 Clean and Polish Spray

Reveal your wood's natural color and radiance with Orange Glo's Wood Furniture 2-in-1 Clean and Polish Spray. Remove dirt, stains, and grease buildup from your wooden furniture and countertops in one easy step. This means less time spent cleaning and more time spent bartending.

Avoid using this for wood floors as it will make them slippery and potentially hazardous. Also, avoid using it on unfinished or lacquered surfaces, teak, or damaged finished wood.

How to Use Orange Glo Wood Furniture 2-in-1 Clean and Polish Spray

Apply Orange Glo Wood Furniture 2-in-1 Clean and Polish Spray onto a soft cloth, then wipe your surface until it shines. If you need to do some heavy cleaning, spray Orange Glo on your wood furniture or countertops and let it stand for about five minutes before wiping.

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4. Pledge Multi-Surface Furniture Polish Spray

Pledge Multi-Surface Furniture Polish Spray cleans dust and smudges off hard surfaces. It can polish wood, laminate, granite, leather, quartz, and steel. How's that for versatility? It’s one effective tool for your bartender and barback to stay ahead of dirt and dust on all surfaces.

Tough Action With a Soft Scent

This Pledge spray works on wood furniture with hard finishes such as varnish, shellac, and polyurethane. It leaves behind a sweet lemon scent without any residue. Add this to your bar supplies list to get your bar looking and smelling great.

How to Use Pledge Multi-Surface Polish Spray

Shake the can and apply it directly to the furniture's surface before wiping it clean with a cloth or towel. Pledge Multi-Surface Furniture Polish Spray gets rid of dust and most seasonal allergens trapped in dust–good news for spring allergy sufferers. Similar to the other products on our list, it works best on non-porous surfaces.

5. Scott's Liquid Gold Wood Furniture Cleaner and Polish

Here's a wood furniture cleaner and polish that visibly hydrates and nourishes wood. Use Scott's Liquid Gold Wood Furniture Cleaner and Polish to dust, clean, and polish your bar furniture and countertops.

Natural Oils for Natural Beauty

It contains natural oils that give wooden surfaces a luminous shine. This cleaner enhances the natural beauty, texture, and grain of real wood. Scott's Liquid Gold Wood Furniture Cleaner and Polish also reduces cracking, fading, and warping–ideal for bars that see a lot of daily traffic.

How to Clean Wood Furniture Made of Pine

Pinewood furniture requires extra care when cleaning it, but maintaining it is a much easier task. It's a softer wood, making it more vulnerable to wear and tear from customers. 

However, a quick daily touch-up and a seasonal deep cleaning will keep your pinewood bar furniture looking brand new. Shiny furniture can improve your bar’s appearance and contribute to higher customer satisfaction.

Daily Cleaning

Quick and light daily cleaning will keep your pinewood furniture looking optimal. Clean any drink spills as soon as possible to prevent damage to the finish, and–eventually–the wood.

An occasional dusting of your bar furniture will protect it against wear. Dust particles can gradually dull the surface of your tables and cause fine scratches.

Bar staff can use placemats on your tables and encourage your guests to use coasters for their bar glasses for happy hour drinks. If you want to protect your wood tables, consider placing a tablecloth down to protect their finishes.

Seasonal Cleaning

We recommend doing a seasonal deep cleaning on your pinewood furniture. Remove everything from the chairs and table before thoroughly dusting the entire surfaces. 

Then, using your cleaner, wipe down your furniture to remove dirt and protect its finish. Wipe off any excess cleaner right away.

Add a Protective Finish

Avoid using acidic products and cold or lukewarm water for cleaning pinewood furniture. Mix your cleaner with hot water for deep cleaning dirt and grime.

For heavy buildup on your wood furniture, purchase a ball of steel wool or sandpaper to buff the surface. Apply clear paste wax to add a protective finish.

Follow a Daily and Seasonal Bar Cleaning Checklist

Follow a daily and seasonal bar cleaning checklist to keep up with dirt and grime buildup on your wood furniture. Your layout should present a clean and polished look to your customers, even during the busiest evenings and weekends of the year.

When you envision the classiest bars, you probably picture them with wood furniture and trimmings that shine brightly. Yours can fit this description, too, with the right cleaning supplies and other bartender tools.

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Take a Proactive Approach to Wood Cleaning

By keeping up with this bar cleaning checklist, you'll have a proactive approach to keeping your wood furniture and paneling clean and polished. Light daily cleaning will make it easier when doing the heavy seasonal cleaning every few months. If you have a home bar, think about adding these to your list of home bar essentials.

You could include a cleaning routine as part of your bar training program for your staff. In the long run, this will save you and your bar staff time and allow you to focus on your bar profitability.

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