Everyone has that one piece of furniture that is special to them. It may be a nightstand, a large dining table where your extended family had dinner, that vintage bookshelf where you kept your comics when you were young, or that bedframe that you loved at first sight. Whatever that furniture is, you would want to keep it in fresh condition for years to come. Furniture made from quality wood passed down over generations can be maintained longer than you can imagine, provided it is regularly cared for. But you should know that even the best quality wooden furniture is susceptible to abrasion and scratches and needs special treatment. Here are some tips for the care and maintenance of wooden furniture.
Furniture Care: How to Clean Wood Furniture?
Cleaning of furniture with varying degrees of stain
Lightly Soiled Furniture
Wooden furniture can be cleaned without causing any damage to the finish. The steps to clean wood furniture that has only been soiled lightly include:
- Start by dusting the furniture to remove all the dirt accumulated on the surface. Once this is done, you can go ahead and clean the stain.
- Use a gentle cleanser and if that does not help, use stronger liquids. One of the best gentle cleaners is to dilute a dishwasher soap with water and use it for cleaning the surface.
- Soak a soft cloth in the cleaning solution, remove all the excess liquid by wringing it, and wipe the furniture using the cloth. Make sure the cloth is damp and not wet.
- Rinse the cloth very often so that the wood does not get saturated by the solution.
- Once the entire furniture is cleaned with a gentle cleanse, use a second cloth that is dry and wipe the moisture away thoroughly.
Remove Difficult Marks
The method to remove tough stains, especially office furniture care, is slightly different compared to other cleaning methods.
- Make a thin paste of baking soda using water.
- Apply this paste to the tough stains on the furniture and rub gently using a soft cloth so that the stain disappears.
- Once the stain is no longer seen, use a damp clean cloth so that the paste is removed and allow it to dry thoroughly.
- After the furniture is dry, use a cloth to wipe the wood polish on it to add shine and also to preserve the finish.
Remove Old Polish
If your wooden garden furniture maintenance is not done properly or your furniture is old and has a buildup of polish for decades, then to re-energize your antique, you can do the following:
- Bring water to a boil and steep in tea bags.
- Allow this decoction to cool down to room temperature.
- Use a soft cloth, dip it into this solution and wring it out until it becomes damp. Wash the wood using this cloth. The tannic acid from the tea will provide a surprising shine to the wood.
Erase Water Stains from the Wood
Outdoor and even indoor furniture will have water rings as it is exposed to weather extremities. Here is how to erase those marks from the wood as part of your garden furniture maintenance.
- Use non-gel toothpaste on the spot where the marks are present and rub with a soft cloth until the stain is removed.
- If the marks cannot be removed with toothpaste, mix it with baking soda and see if the stubborn marks are gone.
- Use a damp clean cloth to remove the paste completely and allow it to dry thoroughly.
Tips for Maintenance of Wood Furniture
Treat Furniture with Care
One of the important tips for maintaining your furniture is not to mistreat it. Use coasters when placing mugs or glasses on wooden tables. Do not place hot food on a wooden dining table directly without using a potholder. Use placemats or tablecloths to protect the dining table from spills.
One of the best ways to care for furniture is to dust often, though it is not the most liked chore. However, airborne particles build a thin layer on wood, which can cause scratches on the surface. Hence you must prevent this buildup by frequent dusting. To avoid damage from that accumulated dust, use a microfibre cloth or a cotton cloth; also, if there are hard-to-reach places or carvings, use lambswool dusters as they attract dust effectively.
Ensure that the Wood Remains Clean
Apart from dusting, there is also a need for frequent cleaning of the wood. To clean the wood, never use an all-purpose cleaner as it can damage the wood finish. Make sure to use a diluted cleaner and wring out as much solution as possible and then gently wipe the surface. Follow that up immediately with a wipe using a dry cloth.
Even if you have used the best wood for building your furniture, if you expose them to the vagaries of the weather, it is bound to get spoiled. The best tip for your wooden outdoor furniture maintenance is to not place them directly in front of heat and light as they can get damaged or start to fade. When it comes to indoor furniture, do not place your furniture in front of vents, fireplaces, or uncovered windows.
Reoil the Wood
If you have stowed them away for a long time and it has become dry, you should reoil them. Clean it with a gentle cleanser and then prepare the surface using steel wool working with the grain. Then apply furniture oil liberally until the wood soaks the oil. You can then apply a protective coating and allow it to dry for a day, and your favourite furniture looks as good as new.
Treat Wear and Tear Immediately
Despite your best efforts, sometimes wooden furniture can suffer damage. If the scratches are minor, use scratch cover products to hide the abrasions and restore the beauty. However, if the damage is extensive, treat it with touch-up sticks or polishes. One can also paint the furniture as it can add new life to it and last a few more years.
Most people use commercial sprays and polishes that contain silicone oil or petroleum distillates to add shine and also to protect the wood. Such products are not the ideal way to protect your wood as they can lead to a buildup of dust to create a sticky film. But if that is the only way to add shine, ensure you buff the furniture so there is no buildup.
Follow these simple tips, and your furniture can easily be passed down to the next generation looking brand new!