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Maintenance and Care of Wood Furniture

Care and Maintenance of Wood Furniture Header

Hand Polishes Wood with Chamois

Today's cleaning products are not only cheaper but are safer for the general public. Advances in chemistry have led to multiple cleaning products, specific for each room or item in your house. The earliest cleaning product was plain water. The fall of the Roman Empire prior to the Middle Ages led to reduced cleanliness and a rise in disease. During the 17th century cleanliness experienced a renewal and most cleaning products were made from ash, oil and animal/plant fat. Over the centuries soap was considered a luxury product and was expensive.

During the 1800's, chemistry led to advances in cheaper soap production and became available to the general public at a lower cost. With advances in chemistry and following World War II, detergents and cleaners were developed and gained popularity over soaps. Currently there is an abundance of products to choose from, but not all of them are appropriate for cleaning furniture made from wood. Materials such as wood require specific cleaning products which differ from products used on metal or brass.

Caring for Wood Bedroom Furniture

From cherry to particle board, wood furniture requires special attention when being cleaned. Certain chemicals are harsh and can strip the veneer and splinter the wood. From scratches to polishes, here is a list of items and techniques you can use to keep your wood furniture looking pristine and luxurious.

  • Silicone based furniture polish should be avoided as the silicone can penetrate the finish.
  • Alcohol will cause permanent damage to wood surface and should be avoided.
  • Bees Wax furniture polish is excellent for protecting finished wood.
  • Household cleaners that include ammonia will also destroy the finish of your furniture.
  • A simple mixture of three cups of olive oil and one cup of vinegar can be used to clean and polish. Make sure to wipe dry after use.
  • Blot instead of wiping when cleaning spills.
  • Small scratches can be filled in by store bought furniture scratch filler.
  • For larger scratches, using a felt tip pen or shoe polish that matches the finish quickly fills in the damaged area.
  • Hands Spray Aerosol Polish on Wood
  • Stubborn water spots can be removed by rubbing a small amount of mayonnaise with a soft cloth.
  • Candle wax can be difficult to remove and can damage the finish when being scraped off. The best technique is to wait until the wax cools, then apply ice. Once the wax become extremely hard, use a plastic spatula to scrape it off and then polish with a rich furniture cream polish.
  • Use specific wood furniture creams, polishes and finish from the hardware section.
  • Avoid direct sunlight exposure as it can lighten the finish.
  • Make sure to dust the surface before applying a cleaner/polish, as it will simply rub the debris into the grain of the wood.
  • Apply adhesive felt glides to lamps when placing on top of a nightstand, to prevent scratches.

  • Do not leave newspapers or magazine on the nightstand as the ink can bleed onto the finish and into the wood.
  • If nail polish, hair spray, perfume or cologne is spilled, do not blot it off. Blotting will push the compound to penetrate the surface faster. Allow the liquid to evaporate from the finish and use a high quality automotive polishing compound. Then apply a fresh coat of furniture polish.
  • Nail polish is one of the most dangerous compounds on wood as it may require the entire piece to be refinished to balance variances in color and texture.
  • Avoid over polishing- try to limit it to 4-5 times a year as polish can build up on the surface.
  • If moving furniture from one room to another or to a new house, allow the furniture to acclimate to its new location by keeping it covered overnight or for several hours.
  • Inspect the wood for cracks, sawdust, small holes and splits which may be caused by termites or other wood- borers. Contact professionals to help remedy the situation if you believe an infestation has occurred.
  • Never use kitchen or bathroom cleaners on wood.
  • Only use soft material to clean wood such as flannel, microfiber or velour.
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