Disinfecting a Wood Furniture

Updated on November 27, 2011
D.K. asks from Bellevue, WA
8 answers

Hello ladies,

Anyone have any tips to disinfect a floor model mahogany wood chest? I do not want to use any strong bleach. Would 7th generation disinfecting wipes (having thymol) be okay to use on wood? Or should I just wipe it with vinegar + water?

Many thanks,

EDIT: I need to disinfect because its a floor model and was sitting on the display for 2-3 years! I am not even sure what all it should be disinfected against!

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answers from Austin on

Why are you needing to disinfect it? If it is just because it is a floor model and people have touched it, any kind of wood cleaner will be fine. If the wood is sealed, the cleaner won't get into the wood anyway, nor would the bacteria.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

If the environment is not warm & wet, germs don't continue to grow.
If anything, I would wipe it down with Murphy's Oil Soap and dry with a fluffy towel-type cloth.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I can't think of any reason to disinfect a piece of furniture so now I am totally curious. If it is just dirty from being in someones barn or something I would use Murphy's Oil soap mixed with water and scrub it. Wood will damage though. It is porous so anything used on it will soak in. If it has something on it that has penetrated the pores I don't think it can ever be sterile so cleaning it would only ever be surface deep...if that makes sense.

I know I had never thought about using wood cutting boards until Alton Brown commented on how the gross stuff was living in the wood, how it COULD NOT BE CLEANED ENOUGH and to throw them out, I did and only use ones that can be washed and sanitized.
I would google the recipe for sanitizing kids toys, it's a mild bleach water solution and we spray it on just about everything at a child care center from cots to cabinets to toys to wooden puzzles. It is not strong, maybe 1 Tablespoon bleach to 1 Quart of water in a spray bottle. Just mist it on and let it air dry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Any all purpose cleaner (Pine Sol--Mr Clean etc) will work to clean it. I would be afraid to use vinegar because it is an acid and may damage the finish. Be sure to dry it well and buff it with a clean dry soft cloth, an old tee shirt would work really well. An old towel may scratch the surface.

Avoid polishes such as Pledge, they have silicone in them in years down the road if you have to re-finish the piece the finish won't take and will bubble. The person restoring the item can add an emulsifier to the finish to keep it from bubbling.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

with my daycare, I spray Lysol on all doors & knobs. ???



answers from Dallas on

Most furniture doesn't need to be disinfected and the products that would disinfect might also destroy the finish. Definitely don't use anything full-strength on it. Germs will not live long on the surface of wood, so the only thing to worry about on a floor model are dust, dirt and fingerprints. Just wipe it down with the furniture cleaner of your choice and it will be fine. Mahogany is beautiful!

If the chest is musty or has mold, you can mix 1 part bleach to 9 parts water in a spray bottle and spray the inside of the chest and then let it dry before closing it back up. Don't let the spray get on your carpet or other fabrics.



answers from Honolulu on

What are you disinfecting aginst?

Scarlet fever will need something different than the flu...



answers from Philadelphia on

you might want to try a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water, do not wipe it! try to dab it , or start with a 60/40 mix first and wipe softly

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