How to Clean Solid Cherry Wood Furniture

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Murphy’s Liquid Oil Soap

  • Lint-free cloth

  • 1 gallon distilled water

  • Clean 1 gallon closable container

  • Iodine

  • Denatured alcohol

  • Cotton swabs

  • Small container or plastic cup


Clean your cherry furniture with Murphy’s Oil Soap every 2 to 3 weeks to prevent your wood from drying out. This is especially important as climate conditions change between the seasons.

Properly cleaning your solid cherry furniture may seem like a difficult task considering all of the products available on the market meant to clean wood products as it may be hard to know which ones are appropriate for solid cherry. Once you know which items can be used, however, the actual cleaning process is quite simple and requires very few tools. Solid cherry furniture can be quite attractive, fitting into many different styles of homes and offices, but solid cherry usually comes with a high price tag. If properly cleaned, well-built solid cherry furniture can last for decades.


Step 1

Clean with Murphy's Oil Soap using a lint-free cloth. Dilute ¼ cup of oil soap in 1 gallon of distilled water. Dilute the oil soap in a large bucket, and transfer the remaining mixture to closable containers so that you can use the product later. Used 2-liter bottles work well for storing the oil soap mixture.

Step 2

Pour a little bit of the oil soap mixture on your lint-free cloth until it is damp but not soaking wet. Never pour the oil soap mixture directly onto any wood surface as this may cause your wood furniture to absorb water and swell, which can sometimes cause damage to the structure of the furniture. Slowly rub the oil soap mixture into the furniture, working in circles going with the grain of the wood. Wipe off any excess moisture with a clean, dry cloth if necessary.


Step 3

Let the table fully dry for at least 30 minutes. If the item was in bad shape or had not been cleaned in a long time, you may want to go over the table again. Use the same process as the first time, always making sure to not leave excess moisture on the furniture.

Step 4

Hide scratches on dark colored cherry furniture by applying iodine directly to the scratch with a cotton swab. Do not use an excessive amount of iodine; the cotton swab should not be dripping with iodine when you use it to hide scratches.

Step 5

Hide scratches on light colored cherry furniture by applying iodine mixed with denatured alcohol. Pre-mix the iodine and denatured alcohol in a small container or disposable plastic cup in equal parts. As with light colored furniture, do not apply an excessive amount of the iodine and denatured alcohol mixture, and avoid getting the mixture on parts of the table that are not scratched.


references & resources

Christopher Godwin

Christopher Godwin is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. He spent his formative years as a chef and bartender crafting signature dishes and cocktails as the head of an upscale catering firm. He has since ventured into sharing original creations and expertise with the public. Godwin has published poetry, fiction and nonfiction in publications like "Spork Magazine," "Cold Mountain Review" and "From Abalone To Zest."