When you walk through the cleaning aisle at your local store and look at the cleaning products, you no doubt notice that the ingredients lists are miles long, featuring chemicals that you can’t even pronounce. As with our food, many people are moving towards simpler cleaning products with minimal ingredients, doing so in the name of health, safety, and transparency.

One of the ways people are doing this is by using rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol can help remove sticky gunk and also acts as a disinfectant—a big reason why we have it in our medicine cabinet. It is cheap, effective, and multi-purpose, making it very attractive to use.

But whatever you do, never use it on your wood furniture.

Why You Should Never Use Rubbing Alcohol on Wood Furniture

Reading this, you might be thinking this seems a bit overboard. It isn’t like you clean with straight rubbing alcohol; you dilute it with water first, and only use it in small amounts. Can a little homemade cleaning spray and disinfectant really do that much damage?

Yes. And this is because of how alcohol interacts with wood and wood finishes. While you might expect it to do nothing or just leave a small stain, rubbing alcohol acts as a solvent when it comes into contact with wood and wood finishes.

To understand how big of a problem this is, you need to know what a solvent does. Solvents are designed to liquify wood finishes, including varnishes and stains. This means that it effectively strips away the upper layers of your furniture, harming their looks, integrity, and value. The damage is instant and cannot be repaired except by a professional.

What to Do if Rubbing Alcohol Comes into Contact with Your Wood Furniture

The good news is that there is very little that you need to do. Simply follow these basic steps:

  1. Remove the rag, bottle, or whatever item that is allowing alcohol to come into contact with the furniture.
  2. Blot the excess alcohol on the furniture; do not wipe as this will spread it and mar more of the surface of the piece. Use something that is highly absorbent so you are sure not to spread it.
  3. Contact a professional furniture restoration service to ensure that the piece will look as it once did. While there are DIY guides online, if a piece has monetary or sentimental value, it is best left to a professional.

Call Rahn’s Furniture Repair

If your precious wood furniture has sustained damage from contact with rubbing alcohol, allow us to help. We have seen plenty of similar accidents over the years and we know exactly how to repair the affected spot without compromising the integrity of the rest of the piece. We have all the tools and materials on hand to perfectly match the stain and finish, ensuring no one will ever know an accident occurred. And with free pickup and return of your furniture, we make it easy for you. Give us a call today.