Quality wood furniture can last a lifetime and is often passed down through multiple generations. Still, even the highest quality wood is susceptible to scratches and abrasions if not properly cared for.
When purchasing furniture, it’s always a good idea to ask for specific cleaning and care instructions. For furnishings, already in your home, here are 5 tips to keep your wood furniture looking its best for many generations to come.
- Dust Often
No one really likes to dust, but the chore is one of the best ways to take care of your furniture. Airborne particles can build a filmy layer on wood that scratches the surface. Always use soft cloth like cotton T-shirts, cloth diapers or microfiber to avoid damage.
- Don’t Mistreat Furniture
To avoid rings and heat damage, always use coasters when setting glasses or mugs on wood tables, and never place hot food directly on them without the protection of a table mat or potholder. Incorporate decorative placemats or a tablecloth to protect your dining room table from food and drink spills.
- Protect Your Wood
Most commercial polishes and sprays contain either petroleum distillates or silicone oil for a fresh and shiny finish, and to offer some protection for your wood. Make sure not to use too much because it can cause build-up that combines with dirt to create a dull, sticky film. Never use these products with a wax protectant because the combination will result in another gooey mess.
- Keep Wood Smelling Fresh
Sometimes older pieces will develop an unpleasant odour, especially if they’ve been stored. You can sprinkle the surface with baking soda to freshen it up, and place a pan of charcoal inside drawers to absorb smells that emanate from inside. You can even leave the piece outside in a shaded area on a warm, dry day to give relief from a malodorous stench and make your furniture good as new.
- Remove Tough Stains
Despite your best efforts, sometimes the inevitable happens and your beautiful wood furniture gets stained. No matter what kind of stain you have, be sure to clean it as quickly as possible — the longer it sits, the harder it will be to remove.
- For white rings from wet glasses, apply a paste of equal amounts white toothpaste and baking soda. Rub it into the stain until it’s gone. Then, wipe off the furniture and buff with a dry cloth.
- For dark spots from water damage, try gently blotting the stain with a cloth soaked in vinegar.
- For crayon marks, apply mayonnaise over the area. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before rubbing clean with a damp cloth and buffing with a dry cloth.
Taking proper care of your wood furniture isn’t hard or even that time-consuming, and the reward for your effort will be a home filled with beautiful wood furniture that looks and feels as good as the day you got it — now and for years to come.