You may have seen blonde wood plywood at your local hardware store. This has become a popular type of plywood because of its low cost.
It’s usually prepared from lighter color species of wood such as ash, maple, or birch.
And even though it often costs less than the cheapest plywood, it is still made using the same process of gluing layers of veneer together.
If you are engaging in a home project that uses plywood for making furniture, then blonde wood is a good choice.
Many times, you do not even need to stain or varnish the wood once the furniture is complete, thanks to its unique light color that looks attractive.
However, with regular usage cleaning the light-toned blonde wood furniture is important to upkeep its beauty.
And this should be done with caution so that you do not damage the finish.
Cleaning Blonde Wood Furniture
The first step is to ask those in the local hardware store or wherever you purchase the blonde wood for cleaning tips.
Quite often, they have products available or at least good suggestions as to what to use to clean this type of wood furniture.
Because the different stains, finishes and exact types of wood used to create blonde wood are different, there is no single cleaning solution that will fit all types.
However, it is always best to start with the mildest, gentlest type of cleaning solution first and then work your way up.
Clear dish soap and microfiber cloths tend to work well in cleaning most types of blonde wood.
Once you have tested out the dish soap to ensure that it does not stain the wood, you may also add cheesecloth, mineral spirits, or semi-solid furniture polish.
Once you have all the cleaning products you need, it’s time to get started…
Step 1- Wipe
Wipe down the wood furniture with a microfiber cloth that is barely damp with plain water. This is to remove any surface dirt, grime, or debris.
Once you have wiped the furniture with the slightly damp microfiber cloth, wipe it again with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any residue of water.
Step 2- Dish Soap
Before you clean the entire piece with dish soap, start by applying the cleaning solution to a small, unseen area and judge the results.
That way, you’ll know if the cleaning solution only removes the dirt or if it stains the wood itself.
You’ll want to use the dish soap on any spots that were not picked up by the slightly damp microfiber cloth.
Add a drop of dish soap directly to the spot and start to gently work out the spot using the slightly damp microfiber cloth.
Remember to not soak the wood in water or leave the dish soap behind once the spot is gone.
Wipe down with another slightly damp microfiber cloth before wiping again with a dry one to pick up all the moisture.
Step 3- Mineral Spirits
While dish soap works well, it may not be enough to get rid of the entire spot. This is where mineral spirits may work.
Just like the dish soap, test it out on a small, unseen area of the wood first to ensure that it will not stain or remove the finish.
If it works, then apply a small amount to a clean microfiber cloth and rub the sticky spot.
Be sure you are in a well-ventilated area. Working outside or in your garage with the garage door open is recommended.
If the mineral spirits cannot remove the spot, then you should consider refinishing the entire piece.
Step 4- Wax
This will depend on the type of blonde wood furniture, but you may be able to apply a semi-solid wax with cheesecloth.
Let the wax paste sit on the surface after application for a few minutes.
Then buff it using a clean microfiber cloth. Do not use a polish spray as that may cause damage to the finish.
If you have a situation in which you are not sure what to do, call a local furniture repair company for advice.
Can You Paint or Stain Blonde Wood?
Let me be frank, no, you cannot paint or stain blonde wood very easily. And if you try to, it’s very tricky.
The reason being is that the wood is too light in color and lacks the grain pattern necessary to adhere to paint or stain.
Very often, most blonde woods come primed (with a sealing primer) rather than unfinished.
This not only gives the wood more of a white-washed appearance but also fills the pores of wood which prevents further soaking.
This is also the reason why it’s challenging to paint, stain or varnish this type of wood.
With all this, it also means that cleaning blonde wood is much easier as dirt and dust do not show up as easily.
Rather than spending dollars on hiring a professional cleaning service for your furniture, you can keep them in their best shape only by frequent dusting.
Follow these tips when you dust:
- Lightly dampen a microfiber cloth and wipe down the furniture
- Capture and remove dust instead of spreading it around the surface when dusting furniture
- Never, ever shake dust into the air; doing so will scatter it and cause it to float until it lands on furnishings once again
If you see any molds or mildews, don’t hesitate to contact a professional as soon as possible. These can be difficult to remove and may require the use of harsh chemicals.
Blonde Wood Furniture Caring Tips for Protection
When it comes to blonde wood, avoiding direct sunlight and heat sources is the best way to protect the furniture.
The sun can cause the wood to fade, and heat sources can damage the wood over time.
So, if that’s the issue for you in your home, use window treatments, such as curtains or blinds, to help keep the sun from bleaching the wood.
You can also use a bit of furniture polish or beeswax to buff out any scratches. This will help to protect the wood and keep it looking its best.
If, over time, the drawers of your blonde wood cabinets turn sticky, consider rubbing the upper edge with a white candle.
Blonde wood being cheaper, may sometimes also get a lingering smell due to cooking or other reasons.
To get rid of them, try using a mixture of water and vinegar to clean the affected areas.
Alternatively, place a shallow pan of charcoal briquettes, talcum powder, or baking soda to keep the odor out.
The Bottom Line
Blonde wood or white wood is basically low-grade softwood plywood that is cheaper.
So, you might save money by purchasing this type of wood furniture.
With that said, maintaining the blonde wood furniture is important which should be done by following the right cleaning steps and products.
This will help you keep your furniture for long without losing its beauty.
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Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.