Spills or stains? How to clean your reclaimed lumber

Wood Deck Floor Cleaning With High Pressure Water Jet

The reclaimed lumber available from The Lumber Baron is hand-selected for its quality and condition. It is important to understand, however, that this lumber has a long history which usually involves decades of exposure to the elements. Before using it for interior projects, it is a good idea to give your reclaimed lumber a thorough cleaning, so we offer you these tips for achieving the best results.

Remove Unwanted Materials

We make an effort to remove most non-wood debris before we offer it for sale, but some objects may get missed. Begin the cleaning process by examining your reclaimed lumber carefully, looking for staples, nails, or other foreign objects. This will make cleaning the lumber easier and saves you from additional problems like hitting nails with a saw blade during the application process.

Rinse with Water

Place your reclaimed lumber on a relatively flat surface such as sawhorses which elevate it from the ground. With a water hose, rinse off the majority of dust and dirt. You can use a pressure washer if desired, but keep in mind that using the wrong pressure setting can cause unwanted marks or even remove some of the characteristics of the reclaimed lumber.

Sand the Surface

Unless you are trying to preserve the original surface of the material, we recommend sanding your reclaimed lumber before you attempt to clean it thoroughly. Use a medium-to-fine grit sandpaper which can remove splinters, scrapes or other marks on the wood surface. Don’t worry about making the surface silky smooth because you can do that before applying a final finish.

Wash with Soapy Water

Using a biodegradable soap and a medium-bristle brush, wash the surface thoroughly. For a more antibacterial application, add 1 cup of household bleach to 2 gallons of soapy water. Be sure that your soap does not contain ammonia, as mixing ammonia with bleach can cause respiratory distress. Allow the wood to dry naturally before using it.

Final Cleaning

The wood is now ready to be cut to size. After making all necessary cuts, sand the material for a smooth finish. Rinse it again with a water hose and allow it to dry completely. This will remove sawdust and other grit, preparing the reclaimed lumber for fastening and applying a sealant finish.

Your reclaimed lumber is now ready for use in your home projects. If the lumber sits unused for an extended time, repeat the steps above as necessary. Keep in mind that we provide on-site milling, which can eliminate a large percentage of the cleaning process by providing you with a smooth surface at the outset. For more information about caring for your reclaimed lumber, contact The Lumber Baron.

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