Maintaining the look of your wooden furniture can be a very tricky task. From picking the right materials to choosing the proper method, one wrong move can potentially destroy your expensive furniture. In this article, we will be discussing the best practices for keeping them looking like the day they were bought.
Dusting vs. Cleaning
One of the biggest questions is whether to dust off the furniture, or to clean them with soap and water. Both are great ways to clean wooden items, yet each one has a different function. Regular dusting keeps the dust off of your furniture, preventing dust buildup. This buildup can create a filmy layer that, if left alone, could damage the wooden article’s surface.
Cleaning, on the other hand, can take out more than just dust. It can remove unwanted marks from the surface, as well as sticky spots that could potentially damage the furniture. However, there are more things to consider than just picking up a wet rag and start wiping away.
Here are some easy steps on removing stains and spots from your wooden articles:
- Dip the cloth in a bowl with either mild soap, or a mixture of detergent and water.
- Wring the material until it’s almost dry then wipe the stained or sticky area with the fabric.
- Remove the remaining soap on the surface with a dry, clean cloth.
This method not only works on furniture but also on house frames, like structural oak beams or cedar beams.
Keeping the Dust Out
When choosing to dust your wooden items, using the right tool makes a whole world of difference. Some of the preferred dusting materials are:
- Classic dusters – feather dusters made with ostrich feathers are great to use with delicate and fragile surfaces. Another type of duster, this time made with lamb’s wool, attracts and makes dust cling to the material. This works well with hard-to-reach and curved areas of your furniture.
- Cloths – soft, lint-free cloths, preferably made from cotton, make great dust-trappers. Make sure to dampen them with a little water before use.
Chemicals and Mixtures
All-purpose cleaning sprays are not recommended for wooden furniture unless they have an outer plastic coating. Chemical cleaners, oil polishes, and furniture oils, while making the surface slippery, do not give a protective covering. Also, a high percentage of oil can cause smearing, leaving fingerprints on the surface and attracting dust.
Some experts, however, recommend a simple homemade remedy for grimy and dull wood surfaces. In a container, mix equal parts of denatured alcohol, gum turpentine, olive oil, and lemon juice. Apply to the surface with a piece of cloth, and use another dry cloth to give a shiny finish.
These are just some tips for cleaning your wooden pieces of furniture. Cleaning and dusting them the right way not only cleans the items, it also preserves them for more extended use.