How to Clean an Old Wood Banister

By Kaye Wagner

Banisters not only help make stairs safer and easier to use, but they accent the staircase and have aesthetic appeal. Because you are constantly touching it, the oils of your hands can transfer to the banister, where they will attract bacteria and viruses. This is enhanced if you have small children who often have sticky fingers. Clean the banister often to remove bacteria and other debris.

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Clean old banisters with a solution that will clean and condition the wood.

Step 1

Put on rubber gloves.

Step 2

Heat 1 gallon hot water. Use water that is hot enough that you have to use rubber gloves to handle.

Step 3

Add 2 tbsp. gum turpentine with 4 tbsp. boiled linseed oil to the water. The turpentine will remove bacteria and the linseed oil will condition the wood.

Step 4

Dip a sponge into the solution and rub it over the old wood banister. Rub until the banister is completely clean.

Step 5

Rinse the banister with clear water.

Step 6

Dry the banister with a clean cloth.