White furniture looks elegant, fashionable, and beautiful. But there are some downsides to owning white furniture. The biggest problem is it shows dirt and stains easily. Over time, your white furniture can get yellowed or discolored. So, do you struggle to keep your IKEA furniture looking clean and bright? Do not worry, we have the solutions for how to whiten yellowed IKEA furniture.
We know that white wood furniture that has yellowed is aesthetic eyesores. But with our guide, you can easily learn how to clean yellowed white furniture.
The problem with white furniture
Who doesn’t love white furniture? It has a clean and bright look. You can place your white furniture in the room, and it will work.
But there is a problem. When you have white furniture, some items may start yellowing. And that antique yellow aesthetic doesn’t work when the item is the only odd color in the room. It looks cheap and ruins your interior design.
And if that furniture is in the kitchen, it looks dirty and unkempt. It is a common problem with IKEA white furniture. But do not worry. You are not alone in your yellow troubles. Many people report their white IKEA furniture has been yellowed. And it can happen with both old and new items.
The common trend is that most white furniture items turn yellow when they are exposed to heat and sunlight.
Why does IKEA furniture turn yellow?
As we said before, you are not alone in this problem. Many people report a problem with their white IKEA furniture. They say yellowing happens when the furniture receives sunlight through windows or when the item is exposed to heat.
Why does it happen? Well, look at the materials tab for IKEA products, and you will that the paint used on the product. Is it a plastic foil? If the material is of plastic foil, you might not be able to solve its discoloration. But if it is paint, the finishing coat is what gives the furniture its yellow hue.
IKEA tends to use acrylic paint, which is very resistant to environmental factors. Yet, the problem is likely with the paint quality. Heat and UV rays can cause components in plastics and varnishes to degrade, resulting in yellowing.
Before you clean the furniture
Before you try to clean white furniture, make sure to dust the furniture with a soft cloth. Remember, dust shows up easily on white wood, making it look grimy, dirty, and dingy. Make sure to dust it with a soft cloth before you clean it thoroughly. And use a dusting cloth instead of a feather duster. Cloth is better at removing dust and will not scratch your furniture.
Then, wipe away dirt with a little soap and water. It is the fastest, safest, and easiest way to clean most wood, including white wood furniture. Once you clean with soap and water, remove soap residue with a damp cloth.
And then finish drying your furniture with a soft towel. Moisture is bad news for your wood, so make sure to remove it.
How to clean?
Now let’s talk about more serious ways for how to whiten yellowed IKEA furniture. There are a couple of ways to clean yellowed IKEA furniture. We will talk about all of them separately.
For this cleaning method, you will need an all-purpose cleaner, white vinegar, and water. Mix half a cup of the cleaner, white vinegar, and half a cup of water in a spray bottle.
Carefully spray the white furniture with the mixture, one cabinet at a time. Then, scrub the surface with a soft sponge working in a circular motion.
Always rinse the sponge, wring it out, and then use it again to wipe the cabinet and remove the cleanser.
When you have finished cleaning with a cleanser, dry the cabined with a soft towel to remove any excess moisture.
Removing yellow grease stains
Grease stains are your worst enemy in the kitchen. Nobody wants to see yellow stains in their white kitchen.
For this method, you will have to use undiluted ammonia. It is better if you can open the windows in the kitchen. Put on a pair of rubber gloves. Wet a sponge with water and wring it out. Then, pour a small amount of ammonia on the sponge and clean from the bottom of the cabinets up, preventing the ammonia from dripping down your arms.
Remember to wear protective equipment when handling undiluted ammonia. Wear a KN95 mask to avoid inhaling fumes, which can irritate your nose and throat. Additionally, wear protective goggles to prevent accidental splashes from getting into your eyes.
Wipe the cabinet by scrubbing gently to cut through the grease. Now, rinse and wring out the sponge and wipe the ammonia off the white cabinet. Finish by drying the cabinet with a dry towel.
Removing tough yellow stains
When you are working with tough yellow stains, you might need to call a good old DIY cleaning friend to help. And that is baking soda.
For this method, mix half a cup of baking soda and a quarter of a cup of water. Make a paste and dip a damp sponge or old soft toothbrush into the paste. Brush the paste and scrub the yellowed spots gently.
Leave the baking soda paste on the furniture for five minutes to work its magic. Wipe away with a damp sponge and then dry the wood with a soft towel or a rag.
Toothpaste and water solution
Did you know toothpaste can be a good cleaning solution? Besides cleaning your teeth, toothpaste can help with yellow stains on your IKEA furniture. Use it to whiten yellowed furniture.
Grab your toothpaste and mix it in a bowl with a tablespoon of water. You need to create a thick mixture.
Spoon this paste and apply it all over the wood furniture. With an old toothbrush or sponge, scrub the paste all over the furniture. It might take some time, but you will love the final result.
This solution can work even for ink stains on your furniture.
Try Trisodium Phosphate
Trisodium phosphate, or TSP, is an alkaline cleaner. It can remove many types of stains and dirt. When your white furniture has yellowed due to grease, cigarette smoke, dirt, cooking fumes, or anything else, you can clean it with TSP.
Dissolve ¼ of a cup in 1 gallon of water, and then dip a sponge or cloth into the solution. Wring out the excess moisture and gently wipe the stained area.
Wipe it dry with a clean cloth afterward. Remember, TSP can irritate your eyes and skin. So, make sure to wear gloves, long sleeves, pants, and safety goggles while cleaning.
Should you bleach it?
A popular way to whiten yellowed furniture is with wood bleach. We suggest this only if everything else fails. Wood bleach can lift stains and brighten the natural color of the wood.
Before you use a product like wood bleach, you have to strip off any finishes or coatings on the wood. Apply the commercial wood bleach according to the directions on the package. Follow the instructions so that you do not damage the wood.
This is why we do not suggest trying wood bleach before anything else. Yes, if all other solutions fail, you might want to try using wood bleach for whitening.