How to Clean Cedar Furniture

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft scrub brush

  • 1 quart water

  • Container

  • 1/4 cup ammonia

  • Bleach containing 5 percent hypochlorite

  • Water

  • Bucket

  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar

  • Garden hose attached to a water faucet

Homeowners often choose cedar furniture for its durable, rot-resistant qualities. Yet over time, your cedar furniture, particularly unstained pieces, can become soiled from dust, dirt and grime and stains that collect on its surface. The best practice is to clean it as you notice that the furniture becomes soiled. If you routinely clean the furniture, you will prolong its life and restore its original appearance.


General Cleaning

Step 1

Combine 1 quart of water, 1/4 cup of ammonia and 2 tbsp. of white vinegar in a container.

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Step 2

Dip a soft scrub brush into the cleaning mixture, and scrub the surfaces of the cedar furniture to remove dust, dirt and grime. Rinse the brush in clean water as it becomes soiled.


Step 3

Rinse the furniture thoroughly with a water from a garden hose. Allow the furniture to dry in full sun.

Mildew Removal

Step 1

Mix 1.5 gallons of water with 1 quart of bleach containing 5 percent sodium hypochlorite.


Step 2

Dip a clean, soft-bristled scrub brush in the cleaning solution and scrub the mildewed areas of the wood.

Step 3

Rinse thoroughly with water from a garden hose, and allow to dry in a sunny area.


Commercial wood cleaners or brighteners can also be used to restore your cedar furniture's appearance. Be sure to follow the product directions.


Ensure that the furniture has the opportunity to dry out thoroughly in the sun so it won't develop water stains.

Aggressive scrubbing with caustic cleaners is not recommended by the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association.

Power washing is often used by contractors to clean cedar, but it can damage the finish.

Never mix ammonia and bleach. A toxic chemical reaction will result.


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