• Cleaning: 15 – 20 Minutes
  • Drying: 20 – 30 Minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low

Without regular care, wooden headboards can begin to collect dust and get easily stained. It goes without saying that this can impact your health since we spend a significant amount of time sleeping, and being around dust is not ideal. 

There are many types of headboard materials, such as metal, wood, and fabric. However, wooden headboards are one of the most popular since they are easy to clean while giving your room a more sophisticated look. 

Wood is sensitive to excess moisture, and cleaning products that are not designed specifically for it may do more harm than good. Therefore, we recommend choosing cleaning products with care and also adopting appropriate cleaning methods.   

The best way to clean your wooden headboard is to prepare a suitable cleaning solution, move the mattress to make space, use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust, wipe down the headboard, and finally let it dry.

1. Prepare Your Cleaning Solution

There are several cleaning solutions you can use on your wooden headboard. Take note that it is always best to try them out in an inconspicuous area before cleaning the rest of the headboard.

We recommend using a dedicated wood-friendly cleaner to ensure safe and effective cleaning. However, if you are looking for an inexpensive and easy solution, there are common homemade solutions listed below that can keep your wooden headboard pristine. 

Dedicated Wood Cleaner

If you want quick and effective cleaning results without fearing any staining or damage, we recommend using the Weiman Cabinet & Wood Clean & Shine Spray. This spray is specifically designed to remove grease, grime, and dirt from wood and can help you clean your headboard within minutes.

More importantly, using this cleaning solution doesn’t damage the finish of the wood and is perfect if convenience and effectiveness are what you are looking for.

Distilled Water

Using distilled water to clean your wooden headboard is the most cost-effective method. Since distilled water is free from minerals usually present in hard water, it doesn’t leave water marks when it dries.

This solution is best for light cleaning or when you only want to get rid of some dust or dirt from your wooden headboard. Distilled water is the least effective solution for cleaning stains, grease, and grime, and you may have to use a tougher solution for those. 

Water & Vinegar

A diluted white vinegar solution can help clean a polished wooden headboard within a few minutes. Mix 1 cup of distilled water with 2 to 3 tablespoons of white vinegar to make a wood-friendly cleaning solution for your headboard.

This solution can effectively eliminate tough dirt and stains on the wood, but you must ensure the white vinegar is appropriately diluted. A high concentration of vinegar in the solution can cause damage to the wood finishing – that’s why we recommend testing the mixture in a small, inconspicuous area beforehand.

Water & Dishwashing Liquid

If you want to remove oil stains or grease from your wooden headboard, the most suitable homemade cleaning solution for you is a mild dishwashing liquid solution with water.

We recommend a mixing ratio of 1 cup of distilled water with 3 to 4 drops of mild dishwashing liquid. This solution can help you easily get rid of grease since dishwashing detergents are specially formulated to lift oil from the wooden surface. 

Ensure to dilute the dishwashing liquid properly before application since undiluted dishwashing liquid can potentially damage, stain, or discolor the wood. Try out the solution in a small hidden area to see the final results before applying it to larger parts of the headboard. 

Mineral Spirits

A mineral spirit is a type of cleaning solution that you can use to clean oil-based paint surfaces. If you are not sure whether your wooden headboard is coated with oil-based paints or not, we recommend against using this cleaning solution.

Nevertheless, if you are using mineral spirits as a cleaner for your headboard, it is advisable to test it out in an inconspicuous area before proceeding to use it on the entire surface.

2. Pull Away the Mattress

After choosing your cleaning solution, pull away the mattress from the headboard before beginning to clean. A mattress can easily catch dust and dirt that falls from the headboard, which is why it is best to remove it beforehand.

Another reason why this step is essential is that cleaning solutions can often leave stains on mattresses. Therefore, it is good practice to pull away the mattress prior to cleaning. 

3. Vacuum Any Loose Dirt or Dust

With the mattress out of the way, you can perform general cleaning by vacuuming the surface of the headboard. This is because dust, dirt, cobwebs, allergens, germs, and many different types of pollutants may accumulate on the surface if not maintained regularly. 

Wooden headboards that have been carved or have specific designs and textures on them can accumulate more dust and dirt than regular headboards with flat surfaces. The dust often gets trapped in crevices, making cleaning more challenging.

To ensure you clean your headboard efficiently, it is best to vacuum loose dust, especially within the crevices. This will entrap all the dirt from your headboard and reduce airborne dust.

When using a vacuum cleaner to remove dust, we recommend using a brush extension so that you don’t accidentally damage the wood. If you don’t own a vacuum cleaner, you can carefully wipe the headboard with a duster or non-abrasive cloth to get rid of dirt.

Nevertheless, it is important to also clean the surrounding area to remove any dust that fell from the headboard once you are finished. 

4. Wipe Down Your Headboard with Your Selected Solution

Although wooden headboards do not get stained easily in comparison to headboards made of other materials, cleaning them regularly prevents long-term damage to their appearance.

To begin the cleaning process, you’ll need to wet a microfiber cloth moderately with your selected solution. Ensure to squeeze out any excess solution to prevent any damage to the wood. 

If you have chosen the dedicated wooden headboard cleaner, we recommend first spraying the product onto the cloth to wet it adequately. In case you are using a mineral spirit for cleaning, it is best to moisten the cloth lightly so that it is just enough to wipe the surface of your headboard.

Wipe down the entire headboard with the wet microfiber cloth and pay special attention to marks and grease stains. The microfiber cloth will help you clean your headboard effectively without scratching the wooden surface.

If your headboard has unique designs or textures, wipe the nooks and crevices of the shapes to clean it thoroughly.

5. Wipe Down Your Headboard with Water

After wiping your headboard with your chosen cleaning solution, you also need to clean it with clear, preferably distilled, water to remove any residue from the surface. Rinse the same cloth you’ve been using with clean water or dampen a new microfiber cloth.

Wipe the same areas you cleaned in the previous step of our guide and remove any cleaning solution that might be left on your headboard. This step is critical in the process since it will prevent staining and discoloration of your wooden headboard if you’ve used a more potent cleaning substance. 

6. Dry Your Headboard

Lastly, dry your headboard properly with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Since wood is sensitive to water, this is the most crucial step in the process to preserve your headboard. As you wipe your wooden headboard, the dry microfiber cloth will pick up any moisture left on the surface while preventing scratches.

Drying your headboard also helps prevent the formation of watermarks on the wooden surface. It’s also good practice to ventilate your bedroom by opening your windows. This promotes fresh airflow and dries your wooden headboard faster.

Important Tips For Cleaning Wooden Headboards

To help you care for your wooden headboard properly and preserve it for years, we have listed four highly recommended practices.

Clean Wooden Headboards Regularly

The best way to care for your wooden headboard is to clean it regularly. We recommend cleaning your wooden headboard once every week or two weeks with a damp microfiber cloth, followed by drying it with a dry, clean microfiber cloth.

If this is too time-consuming, you may alternate your cleaning methods with vacuuming the wooden headboard to remove any dust or dirt. Cleaning the wooden surface regularly minimizes the risk of dirt buildup and prevents the chance of bacteria and mold growth.

It’s also important to note that cleaning your headboard regularly can also make your bedroom a healthier place to rest. 

Avoid Leaving the Wooden Surface Wet

Wood is a naturally porous material that absorbs moisture readily. When you leave a wooden surface wet, there is a high chance that water will permeate the surface of the wood which can cause it to expand.

Over time, water retention can cause it to grow mold, rot, and eventually fall apart. Always dry your wooden headboard using the methods that we’ve mentioned in our guide.

Avoid Harsh Cleaning Solutions

Potent solutions such as chemicals, pure vinegar, and alcohol should be kept away from wooden surfaces as they can damage their finishing. Even if you decide to use these substances for cleaning, you should dilute them heavily before use.

To prevent any risk of damage, we recommend using a dedicated cleaning solution instead of one that contains harsh chemicals. 

Test Your Cleaning Solutions on Inconspicuous Areas

If you are unsure about the strength or effect of a cleaning solution, it is best to test it on an inconspicuous area before applying it on the entire wooden surface.

This will help prevent damage to your headboard in the most visible areas and indicate if the solution is safe for use. We recommend testing the cleaning solution in a small part behind the headboard or the bottom section that usually stays out of sight.

Give it a while to set and let it dry completely. If the solution does not discolor or stain, you can proceed to clean your entire wooden headboard with it.