Cedar Closet Maintenance and Care

cedar drawer
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 5-40
What You'll Need
Electric buffer
Soft cloth
Carnauba wax
Sand paper
What You'll Need
Electric buffer
Soft cloth
Carnauba wax
Sand paper

A cedar closet can be a beautiful and efficient way to store things in your home. Cedar Closets have a pleasant aroma that repels moths, but with time the smell fades and the finish gets dull.

There are things you can do to keep your closet looking and smelling great.

Step 1 - Basic Cleaning Methods

First you need to take everything out of the cedar closet. This will keep debris and cleaning products off your things, and make your work easier.

Dusting is an important part of maintaining the closet. The best way to do this is to use the brush attachment of your vacuum and run it over every part of the closet, inside and out. A feather duster will do the job too.

Step 2 - Sand the Wood

sanding blocks leaning against each other

Every couple of years, knock off the layer of oil and dirt from your cedar boards. To do this, simply run a piece of sandpaper over each board in the closet.

Sand in the direction of the wood and never sand across the grain.

You don’t want to sand away a lot. Just remove the top layer with a few strokes in each area. An average sized closet shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to quickly sand.

Use a manual sanding block rather than an electric sander. The latter might be too powerful for the subtle results achieved with a lighter touch.

When you’re done sanding, vacuum or wipe down the closet to remove loose dust before moving your belongings back in.

Step 3 - Clean Between Sandings

Products that contain wax aren’t recommended for use with a cedar closet because they cause problems with the finish on the wood.

To remove any naturally built up wax on the closet, you can use an oil soap cleaner with a soft rag. Using a soft cloth to clean with will keep the wood from being scratched.

If your closet is an antique you should talk to an antique expert about cleaning beforehand to make sure the products you use aren’t damaging to your closet.

To Wax Your Closet

cedar plank wall

You may have heard of using carnauba or other wax on your cedar surfaces. However, it’s best to avoid all kinds of waxes on cedar. It can ruin the natural curing process.

Environment Maintenance

There are few things that can damage your closet, even though cedar is a strong wood. Temperature and humidity are two such culprits.

Keep your home at around room temperature all year round, to avoid moisture damage and warping. Rapid changes in temperature can also damage the closet by creating cracks in the finish and wood.

You can also add moisture absorbers to your closets to keep the moisture level down.

If anything ever spills on the wood, wipe it up immediately and allow it to dry.