Easy ways to care for furniture
SOLID wood furniture is a thing of beauty, and initially can be quite costly. In order to maintain the look of the pieces, special care needs to be taken.
Homeowners can either rub it in using their finger if they’re dealing with a small spot or use a soft cloth on larger areas. Cleaning fine wood furniture can be downright dangerous if the wrong methods are used. Start with gentle cleaners, and work up to stronger solutions if necessary. But first, test them on areas that are not visible, just to be on the safe side.
1. Cleaning furniture with water won’t hurt it, just be careful not to soak it. Use an old toothbrush to get to hard-to-reach areas and wipe the dirt off the surface with a soft cloth or paper towels until they come up fairly clean. Once you’re done, dry off any residual moisture with a soft cloth.
2. After a good cleaning, the best way to protect the finish is to use a good quality furniture wax. Follow the instructions on the bottle. Wait a few minutes and then buff with a soft cloth. You’ll see a beautiful shine return to the finish that will last for months.
3. Try to keep your furniture out of the sun. The heat of the sun that travels through windows will bake the fine finish, causing fading and shrinkage, which will cause cracks.
4. Dry heat will cause the wood to dry and shrink, leaving cracks, so keep your heaters away from your furniture too. 5. If you need to polish the handles or hinges, try to keep the abrasive metal cleaner away from the wood. This is easier said than done, but if the cleaner comes into contact with the wood, note that it will stain the wood.
6. You can use a single layer wood sealer on your wood furniture. This will leave a matt finish and enhance the grain, and you will only have to wipe your furniture with a damp cloth to maintain it. Once this is done, no polishes or oils will penetrate the seal.
7. There are several ways to remove a white ring or spot caused by a hot coffee mug.
Rub the wood using a mild abrasive like white toothpaste mixed with bicarbonate of soda. Homeowners can either rub it in using their finger if they’re dealing with a small spot or use a soft cloth on larger areas.
Alternatively, they can place a soft cloth or towel over the spot and carefully iron it for 10 to 20 seconds at a time, with the iron at a medium setting. Always keep the iron moving and constantly check your progress.
8. Restoring or refinishing an older or antique piece of furniture to its original glory might seem like a good idea, and many times it is. But, it’s important to get advice from someone who is knowledgeable about the item you are considering. You may find that your piece is valuable and just needs a proper cleaning. Any extensive work should be left to a professional.
9. Try and avoid all-purpose furniture sprays, unless the furniture piece has a plastic coating that is sometimes used on kitchen tables or kids furniture.
10. Dust often. Small particles of dust may seem harmless, but enough build-up can scratch the wood’s finish. Dust at least weekly with a soft, lint-free cloth. Lightly dampen the cloth with water or simply use a microfiber cloth that will attract the dust particles.
Take care of your prized furniture, and it will take care of you for years to come.