The people at Hardwood Lumber and Millwork put together this informative article on what cleaner to use for hardwood tables and countertops, without damaging them with the wrong products. In this article, they looked at different factors and products and came up with the following conclusion.
There are dozens of household cleaners out there that claim to be safe for wood surfaces. However, they focused on cleaners that are PH neutral – rate between 7 and 8 on the PH scale – and had some form of eco-friendly formula.
It’s important to note that cleaning products are rated by their PH level on a scale of 0 to 14. Cleaners that fall below 7 are considered acidic such as toilet bowl cleaners, rust stain removers, tub and tile cleaners, and mold removers. Products with a PH level above 7 are considered alkaline which includes ammonia, bleach, and degreasers.
Many everyday cleaners on the market skip the neutral rating and are considered alkaline or acidic – and neither group is kind to finished wood. Over time, both acidic and alkaline products have the power to break down the wood’s topcoat. So, even though the product says it is “safe for wood”, its PH rating is important.
All-purpose cleaners are great cleaners, but many have PH levels too far from neutral or required diluting to be “safe for sealed wood surfaces.” Disinfectants and antibacterial cleaners are another group that had a high PH level and not recommended to be used on wood surfaces.
The most well-known version of a PH-neutral cleaner might be blue Dawn dish soap. It’s a great degreaser and with a neutral PH. Dish detergents that are marked as mild are probably PH neutral and won’t harm wood finishes.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is another product that is PH neutral, safe for all unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane finished wood finishes; a water-based cleaning formula, so it dries fast; is residue-free; safe for people, pets and the plant; and is GREENGUARD GOLD certified with very low VOC emissions.
Thank you to the people at Hardwood Lumber and Millwork for this helpful information on what cleaner hardwood tables and countertops without damaging them.