The Ultimate Used Furniture Cleaning Kit

updated May 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Lydia Brotherton)

With the season of flea markets and antique fairs now upon us, I’m prepping for the summer influx of secondhand furniture finds and putting together the ultimate used furniture cleaning kit. With most of these household items already in your kitchen, you’ll be ready to get any grimy piece sparkling in no time. 

  • Baking soda. Mixed with water, baking soda forms a paste that polishes silver, lifts coffee and tea stains from ceramic and porcelain, and removes mildew and grime. Also a deodorizer.

  • Borax. Ingredient in homemade cleansers and polishes. Great for porcelain,  stainless steel, and dirty outdoor furniture.

  • Citrus. Deodorizer, ingredient in homemade cleansers and polishes. Removes lime scale and hard water stains.

  • Coconut oil. Removes sticky labels, lifts ink from plastic and vinyl, removes rust, polishes wood and brass. 

  • Murphy’s Oil Soap. A go-to miracle cleaner for restoring wood pieces.

  • Novus. Polishes and removes scratches on lucite and acrylic.  

  • Olive oil. Polishes wood, protects rattan, repairs scratches on leather, and shines stainless steel. 

  • Sandpaper. For removing scratches from wood and an essential step for refinishing.

  • Steel wool. Stick to the super fine variety to remove deep-down dirt and polish wood pieces.

  • Vodka. Deodorizer, removes sticky labels, shines chrome, glass, and porcelain. 

  • White vinegar. Brush on vinyl and wood to remove all manner of smells. Mix with olive oil to remove ring marks on wood.

What is in your used furniture cleaning arsenal?

(Image: Lydia Brotherton / Cory’s Former Factory Loft House Tour)