How To Clean A Cuckoo Clock

If you need to clean your cuckoo clock, it is essential that you take the proper steps to ensure any potential damage to the timepiece. Clocks that are cleaned by improper methods can cause these items to shift, break, or become damaged so that the clock will fail to keep the proper time or stop working completely. If you are concerned about the status of your clock, consider taking it to a professional clockmaker or a jeweler who specializes in clocks for a cleaning or repairs so you can be certain your clock will last to cuckoo again.

Consider the clock itself is two actual pieces. The first piece of the clock is the case. Usually made of solid hardwoods, the case of the clock should be properly maintained to keep the beauty of the wood. Additionally, most cuckoo clocks are decorated with heavy carvings or wooden figurines, so you should take great care in cleaning the more decorative clocks due to the fragility of these items. Finally, clocks that have painted details or decorations should be carefully cleaned, since some cleansing agents can remove or damage the wood’s finish or the paint itself.

Turn to products that will gently remove and dirt, grime, and build up accumulated over the years of display or storage. For general cleaning, avoid using furniture polishes or waxes that can add to your problem. Instead, consider dry dusting or use products made with natural oils like lemon oil or orange oil to keep the wood properly nourished to prevent cracking.


The main workings of the clock are held within the case. These workings are often tiny and intricate, proving to be easily lost or damaged, so take the cleaning process with the utmost care. Antique cuckoo clocks especially should be treated with the upmost respect as cleaning could do more damage than you could afford to fix. If you decide to have a go just take care to use the proper cleaning materials.


Before you begin the cleaning process, assemble the necessary cleaning tools. Often, the best tool you can use to cleaning clocks or any other items with small working parts is a simple Q-tip and soapy water. Take care not to soak the clock or any materials with water or any other liquid. Also, use a gentle touch to swab the piece instead of scrubbing the items. Although dirt or grime can stop a clock from running, the workings of a clock do not need to be scrubbed clean in order to work. Be very careful around the bellows that make the ‘Cuckoo’ sound, these are more fragile than almost any other part. There are two bellows in each clock one for the ‘cuck’ and the other for the ‘coo’. Often there may be some wear to the bellows themselves.


A cuckoo clock is a great piece to add character and beauty to any home. Having a clock in clean and working condition is essential for any owner of a cuckoo clock, especially if you are looking to keep the clock as an heirloom piece for future generations. If the clock is valuble its best not to even start to clean its better left to an expert.

Tags: clock, how to clean

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