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I am obsessed with cleaning, so, I just had to find out – can I use Lysol on wood?
Would it be safe to use on wooden furniture and wooden floors?
My home was mostly wood, so I thought to myself, “this information will be of extreme importance.”
So, can you use Lysol on wood? The answer is yes – but only on finished, varnished, and sealed wood. Lysol is a liquid solution, and therefore, could potentially damage the porous surface of raw wood.
I researched everything from end to end, and I was lucky enough to learn about it because it saved me a floor replacement.
To understand things better, let me give you a brief introduction to wood, first.
A Note in Cleaning Wood and Wooden Floors
Wood, in its sense alone, is a porous material because its structure is the most drastically affecting factor in its behavior as a material.
On a brief note, what this means is that wood can absorb water and spread all throughout the entire structure via its capillaries.
Over time, this exposure to water can damage and ruin the wood from the inside, which will, of course, manifest outside.
So, in simpler terms, exposing your porous wood to water is going to be harmful, and can potentially damage it over time.
And since Lysol is an alcohol-based agent, which means it’s liquid, would it be fine to use it on wooden floors?
Can I Use Lysol on Wood Floors?
Yes and no – it is kind of confusing, so, let me explain.
I, too, was confused. Since Lysol was the only cleaning product I knew ever since I was a kid, I thought that it was perfectly safe – but I was wrong.
Lysol products are certified and licensed for cleaning, yes. However, their effectiveness does not apply to all types of wood.
There are a couple of things to consider in knowing its capacity – I learned it this way and it has been a lot easier to understand.
Type of Wood Flooring You Have
There are many different types of flooring available. For wooden flooring, though, there are 2: porous and non-porous wood.
From their terms alone, it’s easy to understand and get to what they are.
Porous wood materials are those that are like sponges. Their structure is like they’re cut across the end grain, and they’re not sealed in any way, causing water to travel down the entire material via the capillaries.
Non-porous wood materials, on the other hand, are materials that are wood but are sealed and protected from any external conditions. Unlike regular, untreated wood, these products won’t spread the water.
They restrict both the transfer of air and water.
Some samples of non-porous wooden flooring include hardwood laminate, laminated wood, as well as sealed and varnished wood.
Age and Condition of the Wood
And while the factor above is important, it’s also good to consider the age and overall status/condition of the wood.
I, myself have had this house for a decade now, and I’ve noticed a bit of chipping on the surface of my wooden flooring.
This is already a sign that improper and incorrect usage can damage it.
If your wooden flooring has the same type of condition, then you need to think deeply about cleaning it with a liquid cleaner.
It’s old enough, so the seal or the varnish on the wood’s exterior layer could already be worn out.
Note: If you go on to Lysol’s website, as well as a couple of their advertising material, you’ll notice their note about it being safe for hardwood flooring. It’s true, but not 100% - it is, in fact, kind of vague.
It’s safe for hardwood floors, yes, but only hardwood floors that have been polished, varnished, or laminated – non-porous surfaces.
It would not be ideal for porous surfaces because it can absorb the liquid and spread to the deeper parts of the wood.
Can I Use Lysol on Wood?
Let me now discuss with you the complete truth about it. Yes, it’s safe for you to use Lysol on wood, but only for a select number of wood types.
Using Lysol on Enhanced Wood
Laminated wood, wood with a water-resistant finish, as well as those coated with wax, gloss (and semi-gloss), as well as oil, can also be safe from the harsh effects of water on wood.
The same thing goes for varnished or treated wood flooring that is guaranteed to be non-porous.
But, of course, the cleaning should be done in extreme moderation. They’re usually protected and kept safe from small amounts of liquid, guaranteeing unchanged quality.
Using Lysol on Real Wood
But what if you’ll use Lysol on real, raw, and untreated wood? Would that be fine?
As much as we want to believe that it is, it wouldn’t be. Wood flooring that isn’t sealed, varnished, or treated will eventually be damaged because of the liquidity of the cleaning material.
However, you can spray Lysol on it to disinfect – but only on the surface, refrain from soaking it with liquid completely.
Moreover, you also need to consider that in doing this, it should just be occasional.
Even if the liquid or water amount you expose it to is just minimal, it can still potentially damage the wood’s structure.
What you can do is spray Lysol cleaner on a cloth damply, and then pat it onto the surface of the wooden floor.
Tip: Ensure that the surface wouldn’t soak in liquids heavily.
Can I Use Lysol All Purpose Cleaner on Wood?
Lysol’s all-purpose cleaner is a cleaner you want to get for your household. I always stock and store 2 of these, and it’s perfect for a quick and urgent cleanup of my walls, floors, and other furniture.
Do it in moderation, though, because overusing it can leave marks and stains on the wood’s surface.
And yes, I use it to clean sealed and varnished wood! It’s perfectly safe – except for unvarnished or untreated wood.
Even if it’s an all-purpose cleaner, it’s not a reliable cleaning agent for untreated wood.
If your wooden floors, walls, or other types of furniture are neither sealed nor varnished, then eventually, they can be damaged over time.
How Can You Clean Porous Flooring?
If you can’t use Lysol or any other type of liquid cleaning agent for this matter, what options are available for cleaning porous surfaces?
Sweeping and/or Vacuuming
You can never go wrong with vacuuming or steaming, right? It’s one of the best and most ideal ways of cleaning any type of surface – including unvarnished and unsealed wood.
It’s simple, you just have to sweep or vacuum the floor to remove all dust and dirt on the wooden floor.
For stuck dirt, spray a mild cleaning solution (Lysol) on a cloth, and gently dump it onto the spot or area where the stuck sticky dirt is.
NOTE: Refrain from soaking your wooden floors with any type of liquid, even if it’s purposely engineered for cleaning.
Another option you could take is to clean and steam your floors.
It’s a much lighter version of wet cleaning, but it’s an ideal way to clean wood because it disinfects, deeply cleanses, and can remove all impurities.
For steaming, steam it for about 10 to 20 minutes at the medium to the highest setting.
That’s it! That is how you can clean your non-porous wood or wooden surfaces using Lysol!
If you feel like you need more information, here are some of the most asked and thrown questions about the usage of Lysol on wood.
What Happens to Wood If You Put Heavy Lysol on It?
Applying any liquid material to unfinished or untreated wood will damage it. The fibers of the wood will absorb the liquid, and it’ll spread it throughout the entire structure.
Nothing bad will happen, though, if you apply Lysol on finished or varnished wood.
How Do You Sanitize Untreated Wood?
You can sanitize untreated or unfinished wood by lightly spraying a disinfectant and cleaning solution on it, moderately.
Simply spray it lightly onto the surface, and then wipe all the areas that’ll be soaked in liquid.
So, can I use Lysol on wood? The answer will depend on the type of wood you’re dealing with.
Lysol is a world-renowned leader when it comes to cleaning products, so all in their arsenal are pretty high-quality.
However, never risk and attempt applying any type of liquid to unfinished or unvarnished wood because it can damage it over time.
Always think about the type of wood you’re dealing with, as well as the age and condition before cleaning it!