Wood walls and paneling are a stylish complement to any interior, and given proper care, may remain beautiful for many years. Five simple steps can help you clean, restore, and maintain wood walls or paneling, using products that have few harsh chemicals! First, assemble your supplies. Then, prepare for the room for cleaning. Next, dry mop the walls or paneling. Follow by wet mopping. Finally, complete the project by restoring the room to order and handling your supplies.
Keep in mind that the following instructions for these five simple steps apply only to finished wood walls or paneling. Do not attempt on unfinished wood surfaces. This procedure may strip wax from wood surfaces, so plan to reapply wax, if necessary, after cleaning.
Assemble supplies. Most of the supplies listed below can be purchased at any large hardware or home improvement store. Check the internet for items that cannot be found in your local area. Do not make substitutions unless you are certain of performance. Prepare for cleaning wood walls or paneling with the following supplies:
• One (1) Rubbermaid 19 Qt. Double Mop Bucket
• One (1) O-Cedar Hardwood Floor N More Microfiber Dust Mop
• Four (4) O-Cedar Hardwood Floor N More Microfiber Dust Mop Refills (or more, if necessary)
• One (1) 16-ounce bottle of Murphy's Oil Soap (or more, as needed)
• Two (2) pairs of household latex or rubber gloves
• One sinkful of warm water mixed with two ounces (one-quarter cup) of Murphy's Oil Soap
• Drop cloths or sheet plastic to protect furniture, accessories, and floors from drips or spills
• Masking tape to secure drop cloths or sheet plastic, if necessary
• Several terrycloth towels to wipe drips or spills
• Floor or ceiling fan(s) to ventilate working area and aid in drying
• Sturdy stepladder to reach higher surfaces, if necessary
Prepare for cleaning. Plan to spend several hours at a time completing the cleaning tasks that follow. Prevent animals or children from entering the working area during the project.
• Ventilate the working area. If windows can be opened, allow fresh air to circulate. If windows must remain closed, use floor or ceiling fan(s) to circulate air.
• Move furniture and accessories away from wood wall or paneling, and drape with drop cloths or sheet plastic.
• Cover exposed floors with drop cloths or sheet plastic and secure to baseboard with masking tape, if necessary.
• Remove all decorations, nails, tacks, tape, debris, residue, or other protrusions from the surface of the wood wall or paneling.
• Set up the sturdy stepladder, if necessary, to reach higher surfaces.
• Don latex or rubber gloves.
Dry mop the wood walls or paneling. Make sure that all protrusions like nails, tacks, or splinters are removed from the wood wall or paneling before beginning. This procedure will remove dust and cobwebs from the wood surface before wet mopping begins.
• Place one of the O-Cedar Microfiber Dust Mop Refills on the O-Cedar Microfiber Dust Mop. Keep the Dust Mop Refill dry.
• Using an up-and-down sweeping motion, dry mop the wall from top to bottom. Swivel the mop head freely to aid in the sweeping motion. If necessary, mount the stepladder to reach higher surfaces.
• When the dry Dust Mop Refill becomes dirty, replace it with a clean one. Keep dry mopping until every wall surface has been treated.
• Place the dry, dirty Dust Mop Refills in the sinkful of warm water mixed with Murphy's Oil Soap. When dry mopping is completed, agitate Dust Mop Refills in the sinkful of soapy water, until refills are clean. Rinse with clear water and wring. Set aside in preparation for wet mopping.
Wet mop the wood walls or paneling. Make sure that the area is well-ventilated. Wear gloves and work clothes, because you are likely to get wet!
• Fill one side of the double bucket with plain warm water. Place one-half cup of Murphy's Oil soap in the other side, and fill with warm water.
• Spread a terrycloth towel on the floor. Place the Rubbermaid double bucket on it. Place another terrycloth towel within easy reach, to wipe drips, spills, or baseboards.
• Place one of the wet, wrung-out Dust Mop Refills in the Murphy's Oil Solution on one side of the Rubbermaid double bucket. Saturate with the solution and squeeze loosely.
• Place the wet Dust Mop Refill on the O-Cedar Dust Mop.
• Using the same up-and-down sweeping motion as above, wet mop the wood wall or paneling from top to bottom, freely swiveling the mop head to aid in cleaning. If necessary, mount the stepladder to reach higher surfaces.
• Use a terrycloth towel to wipe drips or spills, and also to clean baseboards as you go, if desired.
• When Dust Mop Refill becomes dirty, rinse it in the clear water on the other side of the Rubbermaid double bucket. Use again by saturating with Murphy's Oil Soap solution and squeezing loosely. Replace on Dust Mop and continue wet mopping.
• When Dust Mop Refill becomes excessively dirty, set aside for machine washing, and replace with another Dust Mop Refill from those used in the dry mopping step.
• When water on both sides of the double bucket becomes dirty, replace with more clean water and Murphy's Oil Soap solution. Continue wet mopping.
• When all wood walls or paneling have been cleaned with this procedure, use terrycloth towels to wipe excessive moisture or drips from walls.
• Direct air flow from fans toward walls or paneling to aid in drying.
• If necessary, after drying, re-apply wax following manufacturer's directions.
Complete project by restoring room to order and handling supplies.
• When walls are completely dry, remove drop cloths or sheet plastic from furniture, accessories, and floors. Roll or fold materials and store in a cool, dry location.
• Discard dirty water from Rubbermaid double bucket. Rinse bucket and allow it to dry.
• Replace stepladder, Dust Mop, bucket, gloves, and other supplies in storage area.
• Machine wash terrycloth towels and Dust Mop Refills in warm water with detergent. Machine or line dry. Store in a cool, dry location.
• Replace furniture and accessories as before.
• Relax. You've earned it. Make a cup of tea, settle down, and enjoy the clean scent and bright finish of your freshly-washed wood walls or paneling!