How Do I Clean Wood Railings?

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Wood railings can be cleaned with ease if you know the right products to use. While there are several retail cleaning products available for purchase, these can be expensive items that are priced too high for our budgets. Instead, consider making your own homemade wood cleaner that will clean wood railings without breaking the bank.


Vinegar is an inexpensive product (a few dollars per bottle at any grocery store) and works perfectly to clean and disinfect wood railings without causing damage. In a spray bottle, mix a solution of two cups water and one cup distilled white vinegar. Spray onto a rag and wipe over the wood railings as necessary until they are clean. The vinegar is harsh enough to break up dirt and bacteria, while mild enough to use on both finished and unfinished wood railings.

Olive Oil and Lemon Juice

This combination works to clean and moisturize wood surfaces. The lemon juice breaks up dirt and bacteria, while the olive oil penetrates into the wood, leaving a glossy shine. In a spray bottle, mix one cup of olive oil with one-half cup of lemon juice. Spray onto a rag and wipe over the wood railings until clean and polished. This solution works wonderfully on all wood surfaces, so consider using this mixture as an all-purpose wood cleaner.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil also works to moisture wood surfaces, making it perfect for wood railings. To use, mix one cup of vegetable oil with two teaspoons vinegar (for disinfectant quality) in a spray bottle. Spray onto a rag and rub into the wood surface, applying a thin, even layer. This will polish and clean wood railings, and should be repeated every one to two weeks to keep railings looking their best.


Mel Frank

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.