How to Remove Clay From Wood

Clay can be a challenge to remove from wood.
Clay can be a challenge to remove from wood. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

You can wipe or mop up mud, but clay can dry to a finish that resembles cement, and it can even mar the tools you're using to try to remove it. Clay can get stuck between bristles of scrub brushes and lock into the pores of sponges, making it a true challenge to remove. Luckily, you can get the clay off your wood objects in a jiffy, if you approach the matter strategically.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint scraper
  • Soft cloths
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Wood oil

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Allow the clay to harden completely on the wood surface. This might seem counterintuitive, but it will make the removal of the clay dramatically easier.

Scrape off as much clay as you can using a paint scraper.

Moisten a soft cloth in white distilled vinegar. Scrub the remnants of dried clay with the vinegar-soaked cloth. The clay should come off easily.

Pour wood oil onto a soft cloth. Rub the wood oil into the wood. Allow it to soak for 20 minutes, then buff the area with a dry cloth.


  • "Liquid Polymer Clay"; Ann Mitchell, et al; 2003
  • "Vim & Vinegar"; Melodie Moore; 1997
  • "Potter's Studio Handbook"; Kristin Muller; 2007
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