Classic wood furniture never goes out of fashion and is frequently viewed as family heirlooms and flea market finds in a farmhouse, antique, and mid-century modern interiors. Wood furniture can, however, also be challenging to clean. It tends to display grime or dirt over time, which can’t be cleaned with a duster. And occasionally, even though you try to clean wood furniture, it leaves behind shiny streaks. There are a variety of terms that get thrown around when it comes to the upkeep of wood furniture, such as dusting, wiping, waxing, and polishing. You’ll probably have to tackle all four of these cleaning activities every now and then to keep wood furniture looking at its finest. Keep reading to learn how to clean wood furniture grime plus care instructions to keep old wood furniture looking fresh for years.
1. Dust it Well
No one likes dusting, but it is one of the simplest ways to take care of your wooden furniture. On wood, airborne particles can produce a filmy layer that scratches the surface. Frequent dusting prevents this accumulation from occurring. To reduce damage, always use soft fabric such as cotton T-shirts, cloth diapers, or microfiber. Make sure you clean any dust off using a smooth, dry cloth. Woolen dusters are perfect for ornate carvings or areas that are difficult to reach because they attract and retain dust efficiently. A polished piece of furniture makes for a radiant room. It is advisable to clean your sofas, chairs, etc. once every two months. A feather duster like an ostrich-feather duster removes dust from fragile surfaces that are easily damaged. Feather dusters may be used on items such as silk lampshades, mirrors, picture frames, art, and delicate collectibles, in addition to wood furniture.
2. Minimal Exposure to Sunlight
Be cautious when exposing wooden furniture to sunlight for extended durations. The consequence is a “spotting” phenomenon where bright and dark spots appear around the cross-section. You might use a tablecloth on a wooden table to manage its damage. Sunlight, heat, and other environmental factors on your fine furniture can be devastating. Do not place delicate furnishings in front of uncovered windows or fireplaces, as light and heating will harm and ruin the wood.
3. Be Mindful of Temperature
Prevent using extremely hot and cold cleaners for enhanced maintenance on wooden furniture. They tend to leave a mark that distorts the surface’s original texture. Ensure that the exposure to cleaning fluids is limited to appropriate periods of time and not too long. Wood can swell or contract, depending on the atmosphere around it. You might need to use a humidifier in your home if you live in a dry place. And if you live in a humid climate, moisture in your home may need to be managed to prolong the life of wooden furniture.
4. Don’t Mistreat Furniture
You should be very careful not to leave sharp items too close to wooden furniture. To prevent heat and rings, do use the coaster when placing glasses or mugs on the tables of wood, and never put hot food on them without the safety of a hotplate or potholder. Include decorative placemats or table linen to shield your tables from food and drink spills.
5. Oil and Wax Regularly
It is highly recommended to oil and wax wood because it gives it a shiny varnish. It also adds a protective layer, thus enlivening its appearance with a coating on the surface. If you were able to oil and wax your wooden units once every three months, it would be great. For a fresh and shiny finish, most commercial polishes and sprays contain either petroleum distillates or silicone oil to give your furniture some protection. Be sure not to use too much stuff, as it can create a dull, sticky film by creating accumulation that combines with dirt. When using products to help prevent this buildup, please make sure to buff properly and never use these products with a wax protectant because the mixture will result in another greasy mess.
6. Keep Your Wood Clean
Dusting isn’t enough often and you’ll find it appropriate to clean your furniture with wood. Never use all-purpose cleaners that can cause the finish to be affected. Dip a cloth in water which contains a mild dish detergent if you have a spot that is heavily stained or sticky. Wring it out as much as you can and wipe the area gently. Be sure to follow up with a moist cloth rinse containing only water, then clean with a soft dry cloth promptly. To clean furniture, you can use warm water and mild dish soap. Take care not to soak it for longer periods of time. Clean it until the stain wears off. Then, with a towel, the remaining moisture can be cleaned away later.
7. Treat Wear and Tear
Wood furniture can sustain wounds even with the best treatment. Using a product for slight nicks and scratches is recommended. A liquid polish masks abrasions, preserving the inherent elegance of the wood. If the damage is too severe for polishes or touch-up sticks to be handled, you can need to turn to something more severe. Inject new life by painting a piece of broken furniture and give it some more good years. By skipping sanding, painting also helps you to save time, which you can’t do if you choose to re-stain.
8. Keep Wood Smelling Fresh
Older pieces can develop an unpleasant odour sometimes, especially if they have been stored. To refresh it you can sprinkle the surface with baking soda and put a pan of charcoal inside the drawers to absorb the smells that emanate from the inside. On a sunny, dry day you can even leave the piece out in a shaded area to give relief from a pungent smell and make your furniture as good as new. With a vinegar and water solution, you can eliminate the odour from your furniture. This is an old tip that almost always works. Make a solution made of water and white vinegar in equal parts. Simply soak and scrub the surface with a clean rag.
9. Remove Tough Stains
Often the unthinkable happens, despite your best intentions, and your beautiful wood furniture gets stained. Make sure to clean it as soon as possible, no matter what kind of stain you have the longer it remains, the harder it’ll be to remove.
- Using a paste with equal amounts of white toothpaste and baking soda for white rings from wet glasses. When it’s gone, rub it into the stain. Then, clean with a dry cloth off the furniture and buff.
- Try gently blotting the stain with a cloth soaked in vinegar to remove dark spots from water damage.
- Apply mayonnaise to the region for pencil marks. Before rubbing clean with a moist cloth and buffing with a dry cloth, let it sit for a few minutes.
10. DIY Furniture Care Tips
Odors and oddities can be harmful to even the highest-quality wood furnishings. Fortunately, there are a few basic ways to take care of your wooden furniture.
- If a vintage piece has a pungent smell, on a humid, dry day, air it outside. Remember to shade from direct sunlight.
- For odour absorption, pour talcum powder or baking soda over the surface.
- For drawers that cling, use white candle wax to rub the upper edges.