wood furniture cleaning

Regular wood furniture cleaning is essential - even if you're flawless in the weekly dusting department.

Dirt and grime tend to build up on wood furniture over time, ever so slyly circumventing the dusting process.

To keep your wood surfaces clean, wash wood furniture at least once a year.

And when things get tough - as in scratches and stains -  these wood furniture cleaning tips can help.

Wood Furniture Cleaning and Care

How you take care of your wood furniture depends on the type of wood (solid or veneer), and the way it has been treated or finished.

When you take care of wood furniture, you're taking care of the finish, and there are various types.

The wood can have a soft oil finish or a factory-applied hard finish. A layer of polyurethane can even protect it. Dust wood furniture weekly with a very soft cloth or feather duster. 

Wash wood furniture once a year. Dampen a cloth with a mild soap solution and wipe the wood. Rinse, then wipe dry.

A few times a year, polish natural woods to keep them from drying out. Always use the same kind of wood furniture polish. If you use oil polish one time, and wax polish the next, you'll end up with a cloudy finish.

Avoid silicone finishes because they are hard to remove and can build up over time. They also show smudges more.

Laminates, varnishes, and sealed wood surfaces do not need polishing. Just wipe them off with a damp cloth.

Removing Stains and Scratches

Here's how to disguise scratches, remove dullness, and restore oils. Use this to clean and restore wood furniture itself (not the finish). 

You'll need: 3 tablespoons boiled linseed oil, and 1 quart hot water.

Place ingredients in a two-quart saucepan over heat until the moisture is as warm as your gloved hand can withstand.

Dip a soft, clean cloth in the solution and squeeze over the pan until it doesn't drip. Go over an area of about 1 to 2 feet, redipping the cloth in the warm solution as needed.

Follow immediately with a clean, dry, absorbent cloth until all oil is removed. Boiled linseed oil allowed to remain on the wood will become tacky. Continue until the wood furniture is clean.

Keep Wood Furniture Looking Good

  • To prevent problems with wood furniture, always use coasters and trivets. 
  • Put felt under bowls and figurines on wood furniture to prevent them from scratching the wood. 
  • Protect wood from direct sunlight, which can dry out and bleach the wood. And keep wood furniture away from heat vents.

A final word about cleaning wood furniture cleaning: If your dining room table has leaves, don't store them in the garage or basement.

The different humidity can cause the wood to swell or shrink so that the leaves may not fit when you need them. Store leaves as close to the table as possible; perhaps in a hall closet.

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