Steel wool is a great way to clean up tough stains on your wood. Tougher stains, such as watermarks and ink marks, can be difficult to remove. Once you try steel wool, though, you’ll be hooked!
However, that doesn’t mean you should just give up! With a little time and effort, you can make your wood furniture look new again.
What is Steel Wool and How is it Made?
Steel wool is a cloth-like material that is wrapped around long, steel wires. The wire wool is then twisted together to form a strand. The strands are compressed, heated, and stretched into thin rods of steel wool fibers which are used for cleaning and polishing.
Steel wool can be made from either stainless steel or carbon steel. Stainless steel is softer and safer for many aged wood project projects, but carbon steel has a better resolution and resists corrosion better.
The Step by Step Guide on How to Use Steel Wool on Wood:
Steel wool is great for your wood furniture and cabinets. It will remove those tough stains easily. With a little bit of elbow grease, you’ll have a beautiful piece of furniture that’s easy to maintain and care for!
Plus, steel wool will give your wood a lovely shine and protect against future dust nibs. Here are the methods for using steel wool on wood:
1. Determine the Stain
Check out this guide on how to tell if you have a water stain or an oil stain. Water stains look like they’re fading into the wood while oil stains look greasy and seem to be absorbed into the wood.
2. Get Supplies
Since steel wool is made from actual steel, it can be a bit tough on your hands so grab some gloves before you start scrubbing away!
You’ll also want some vinegar, paper towels, clean rags or cloths, a bucket of warm water with dish soap, a soft-bristled brush (optional), (dish soap is a degreaser, it breaks the bond between the oil and your wood).
3. Pick Out Your Steel Wool
Steel wool is available in different grades; you can choose depending on how heavy-duty you want the scrubbing to be:
Extra steel wool scours new wood surfaces and light marks.
Fine steel wool is great for removing old excess wax residue from furniture, but won’t do much for water stains or other tough blemishes.
Medium grade steel wool has more abrasiveness than fine steel wool does, which will help remove heavy dirt while still being gentle enough to not damage your wood surface.
Heavy grade sandpaper will effectively remove any tough stains or blemishes from your wood surface. It can also sometimes leave behind grooves so keep that in mind before you decide which grade to use.
4. Prepare Your Work Space
Drape a layer of paper towels onto your work area, then place your gloves on top of those (the oils from your hands will damage the wood if left on for too long).
Then put down an old towel or cloth that you don’t mind getting stained by the vinegar and dish soap (if you’re using them).
You’ll want the wood to be elevated if possible. It’s helpful to have one person holding up the piece while another starts cleaning.
5. Get Started!
Use the steel wool soap mixture to scrub away all of those wood stains! You can use a soft-bristled brush to get into any cracks or nooks on your furniture piece as well, but be gentle overuse could cause damage.
6. Begin Scrubbing
If you are unable to scrub all 4 sides at once because they don’t fit on the towel beneath your work area, go ahead and switch them out one by one until all sides have been thoroughly scrubbed down. You may want someone to hold up the piece while you scrub!
7. Cleaning Up
As you can imagine, this type of cleaning does create a bit of a mess so make sure you have plenty of paper towels on hand to clean up any spills and your wash water often.
8. Dry off Your Project
Use clean rags or a paper towel to dry the wood floor off. This will also help eliminate any streaks left behind by the steel wool and give it a nice shine!
9. Protect Your Project
Now that you’ve finished cleaning and drying the wood, it’s time to protect it against future stains!
Get some furniture wax and follow the directions on how to use furniture paste wax. You can also get a clear matte finish spray if you want a less shiny look.
10. Enjoy Your Clean Piece of Furniture!
All clean! Now, it’s time to protect your fresh-faced wood so that future stains have a harder time sticking just like you should do with your skin after spending some time in the sun!
Apply a good coat of polyurethane, tung oil, mineral spirits, or sealant with a tack cloth after a satin finish, and watch as your wood shines once again!
Additional Tips for Use Steel Wool on Wood
The steel wool pad is only used on raw wood that has not been painted or sealed in any way. If you’re unsure about whether your piece of furniture is pre-sealed, look for factory markings.
There are a multiplicity of ways to use steel wool on wood in order to restore furniture and make it look its best.
Almost everyone knows that steel wool is a great material, but few know how exactly they can use it. Some ways you can use steel wool on wood include:
- Before using the steel wool on wood, make sure to read the directions on the package closely, as this will vary depending on the type of steel wool or sandpaper you have purchased.
Once you are ready to begin using the steel wool on wood, make sure to pair it with a good cleaner in order to get rid of any dirt or debris that may be present.
- Using an abrasive cleaner or soap is also a good idea since this will help scuff the wood so that the steel wool will have something to grip onto.
After you clean and dry the surface, you should be ready to begin using your steel wool or sandpaper on wood.
- Do not press too hard when scrubbing with steel wool on wood because this can damage it. Continue in small circles until the wood stain is completely gone.
Also, be sure not to leave coarse steel wool on bare wood for too long because it can also damage the surface. If you use a gentle scrubber instead, this will help prevent any unnecessary damage to your furniture.
What Are the Benefits of Using Steel Wool on Wood?
There are many benefits of using steel wool on wood when it comes to cleaning and restoring furniture pieces. Some benefits you’ll get from using steel wool on wood include:
01. Steel Wool Can be Used for Many Different Wood Projects
Steel wool is a versatile product that can be used for many different types of projects, including those involving wood.
02. Steel Wool Makes the Wood Look Good as New
By using steel wool, you can remove scuff marks and make the weathered wood look good as new. This is a great way to breathe new life into older pieces of furniture that have been in your family for many years.
03. The Appearance of the Wood Will Be Enhanced
Using steel wool on wood will make it look brighter and more beautiful, which is a nice way to enhance the appearance of your furniture.
04. Steel Wool Keeps Wood Looking New for Years to Come
Another benefit of using steel wool on wood is that it protects against future stains from forming, which makes cleaning much easier in the long run.
05. It’s Reusable and Affordable
Steel wool is a great product that can be reused, which helps to prevent waste and keep costs down. In addition, it’s much more affordable than purchasing new pieces of furniture.
Steel wool is a great way to remove tough stains from wood, and the process can be easy if you know what tricks to use. If you have any questions about this process or need help choosing some steel wool for your project, let us know.
We are happy to provide all of the necessary information on how best to clean up those pesky spills without damaging your beautiful piece of furniture even more!