Easy ways to care for fur­ni­ture

Lesotho Times - - Property -

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.

— Prop­erty24

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