How to Clean Sticky Wood Surfaces?

2 comments Jul 17, 2023

Joanna asked: How do I remove the sticky residue from my oak kitchen table? I've had this table for over ten years, and over time, a sticky residue has started to develop. What can I do?

Why is my wooden table sticky?

A sticky surface typically comes from an accumulation of dirt, cooking grease and grime. Another possibility is from the buildup of furniture polish, especially waxes or oils.

Fortunately, it's usually enough to give it a good clean without having to strip and refinish the surface of your table. Here's how...

What you will need:

MiracleWipes for Wood Surfaces

What to do:

Wringing out a microfiber cloth
    1. Start by wiping the table with a microfiber cloth to grab as much dust as possible. Be sure to rinse and dry out the fabric afterwards as we'll be using it again.
    2. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a cup. The acidic solution helps remove sticky residue and worn out varnish from your table.
    3. Dip your sponge into the solution and start wiping down the table completely. Avoid scrubbing with too much pressure as it will leave scratch marks on the surface of your table.
    4. Repeat as necessary to remove the buildup. Have a bucket of water handy to wipe down the solution right after.
    5. Make sure to dry out the wood table to ensure that the moisture doesn't eventually damage the wood. 

    Pro tip: 

    You can use a toothbrush or cotton swab to clean through any hard-to-reach gaps in the wood and crevices.

    Still feel a buildup?

    If the above method doesn't obliterate the sticky buildup, we recommend using the following method:

    Bunning's "how to restore wooden furniture" will walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to bring your wood furniture back to looking like it's brand new.

     Or you can watch the video below:

    Wrapping up

    Congratulations! You now know how to clean up sticky surfaces from your wooden furniture. 

    We hope this article brought you some value in any way, and if you ever need more advice or chat, don't hesitate to get in touch with us through our contact form below.

    Or feel free to post your question on our Facebook community page; we strive to help our customers make the best choice for furniture shopping and furniture care.


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    • Titus July 17, 2023 at 7:55 pm

      Hi Julie, using a vinegar solution to clean sticky areas on wood furniture is generally safe, but it’s important to take some precautions. Vinegar is a mild acid that can help remove sticky residue without damaging the wood. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

      Dilution: Dilute the vinegar with water to reduce its acidity. A common ratio is 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. This will help prevent any potential damage to the wood.

      Testing: Before applying the vinegar solution to a visible area, it’s advisable to test it on a small, inconspicuous spot of the furniture. This will allow you to check for any adverse reactions or discoloration.

      Spot cleaning: Apply the vinegar solution sparingly to a clean cloth or sponge, and gently dab the sticky areas of the chair. Avoid excessive saturation, as too much moisture can harm the wood.

      Dry thoroughly: After cleaning, make sure to dry the furniture thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. Excess moisture left on the wood can lead to warping or other damage.

      By following these guidelines, the vinegar solution should help remove the stickiness from the backs and arms of your dining room chairs without harming the wood. However, if you have any concerns or doubts, it’s always best to consult with a professional furniture restorer or contact the manufacturer for specific cleaning recommendations for your furniture set.

    • Julie Brown July 17, 2023 at 7:47 pm

      It is not my Table that is sticky but the backs and 2 arms of my Dining Room Chairs are. We bought this Beautiful Set from a Furniture Store several years ago. We only use it for our family get togethers. Would the Vinegar solution hurt the wood?

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