Cleaning Old Church Pews

In yesterday’s post, I said I would share the ways Branch Basics came in handy for things leading up to the wedding – cleaning old church pews was one way. I was fortunate enough to have a friend whose parents have all the old church pews from the church that Sam grew up in before they did some remodeling. Sam is a super sentimental person and he loves his hometown church so much, so it was such a blessing for me to have access to these pews.

My dad and I drove to Mississippi and loaded enough pews on a trailer to make up the first row of the ceremony seating for family. We did all this without Sam knowing. I actually got my fingers smashed between two pews as we were loading and I told Sam my nephew shut the door on my fingers 🙂

The pews had been sitting in an outdoor shed for years so they accumulated a lot of dirt and grime and the paint and finish were chipping off. Basically, they were really dirty.

Since they needed to be clean enough to sit on in fancy wedding attire, we had to do some serious wiping down. Normally on stained wood you would use very little concentrate (like 1 tsp in a gallon of water) so the stain wouldn’t streak or breakdown, but because the stain was basically worn away I went ahead and used a little more. I filled the concentrate about halfway to the 1:5 dilution line on the 32 oz. empty spray bottle and filled the rest with water. Then I went to town with a brush and rags. Look at the difference a little Branch Basics soap and water can make!

Big difference, huh? For the spots that were really stained with grime, I let it sit for 30 seconds to a minute after spraying to allow time for the enzymes to break down the dirt. I was impressed with how well Branch Basics made the white parts look white again. I was very pleased with how they turned out!

Sam didn’t find out about the pews or see them until the rehearsal, the night before the wedding. I even snuck it into the program without him knowing by never sending him the final proof. He’s a crier and may or may not have shed a tear when he finally did find out 🙂  They worked out so well and gave our ceremony a special little touch.

Here’s a shot of our program pages (I just love our caricatures so I had to share!) and one from the rehearsal so you can see the pews set up for the wedding. (Excuse the back of my mom being the center of the shot but it’s the only picture I have that shows how the pews were in place.) They looked great and Sam loved them so I was happy! And they were dirt-free!

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  1. Our church has janitor used some.lysol cleaner on a couple of pews at s 100 year old church
    How can we get rid of white film.

    1. Hi, you could take damp microfiber cloths and wipe them down. You could also spray the microfiber cloths with BB All Purpose and wipe them down as well too. We would recommend testing in a hidden spot first.


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