Some Simple Tips for Wood Furniture Maintenance
Maintaining the beauty and luster of your wood furniture can be easy with a bit of diligence and care. Some wood surfaces get more use (and abuse) than others. Coffee tables and everyday dining tables get constant use. They are regularly exposed to food, drinks, fingerprints and more. They need to be checked daily and cleaned frequently. Wood accent tables and sideboards receive less wear and tear making dust is your biggest concern.
Wipe up drips and spills from your wood or veneer tabletops right away. When left standing, liquids can leave permanent white marks in your finish or seep in causing the finish to separate from the wood.
On wood coffee tables, cocktail tables and end tables in the living room always use drink coasters that keep moisture off the wood surface and that have soft non-scratching undersides. Cork backings are usually wood friendly.
At the dining table, placemats or a table cloth for daily use will help protect your table from dents, scratches and spills. Remove them daily to give the wood a chance to breathe and prevent any residual moisture in the fabric from damaging the wood.
Most of the time, you will only need a soft cloth to care for your wood furniture.
Dusting - Frequently
Regularly dust your wood furniture to remove regular dust and dirt build-up, dust and dirt particles can leave a filmy coating and scratch your wood surfaces. Use a clean soft dry cloth or feather duster. Lambswool dusters and microfiber cloths are both great options as they will hold onto dust rather than kicking it up in the air. Cloths work well for flat surfaces, the duster is good for getting into nooks and crannies on carved pieces. It is important to stay on top of it and dust before you see a buildup. Always dust in the direction of the wood grain.
Cleaning - Occasionally
Important: Before cleaning your wood furniture, always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions.
Only use cleaning products designed for wood, never use all-purpose cleaners or soapy water. Both can ruin your finish. Wood polishes, cleaners and oils help protect your wood by leaving the surface slightly slippery.
Dried on or sticky spots will often come up with a wood cleaning product, but occasionally you will need more power. Use a soft towel that has been dipped in a mild soap and water solution and then wrung nearly dry. Wipe or rub the area with this barely damp cloth in the same direction of the wood grain. Then wipe it completely dry immediately with a clean, dry soft cloth.
Waxing - Rarely
Paste wax products are designed for wood furniture that can further protect your wood finish by creating a hard finish that is more durable than cleaners and polishes. While waxing is more work than spray-on polishes and cleaners, it can protect your wood furniture for much longer. If you use one of these waxes, be sure to avoid using liquid or aerosol polishes afterward as they can dissolve the wax finish, leaving it hazy.
Additional general care tips for wood furniture:
- Keep your wood away from heaters, vents, radiators. Temperature fluctuations can cause wood to expand and contract. Protecting your wood’s natural moisture content helps preserve its finish and beauty.
- Avoid direct sunlight which can fade the color and damage the finish. If your wood furniture is near a window, use drapes, blinds or sheers to block or filter the sunlight.