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Wood offers a warm and classy touch to your home décor. Most people opt for wooden furniture for its versatility, durability and classic appeal. But wooden furniture may entail some cleaning and care for its preservation and longevity. Different varieties of wood, in fact, call for different methods of cleaning. So, should you simply dust or wax your wooden pieces? With time, wooden furniture gathers grime that may not be possible to remove with just dusting. It may need some serious cleaning. You can easily restore the beauty of your wooden stuff by following some simple cleaning guidelines.
How to Clean Different Types of Wooden Furniture
Without a doubt, wooden furniture looks great and may also last for a long time with suitable maintenance. It can certainly benefit from proper treatment and overhaul from time to time. Before you begin cleaning, you may like to see the furniture’s finishing so that you can accordingly buy an appropriate wood cleaner. Ensure that you read the label of the cleaner carefully before buying it and follow the instructions properly. Alternatively, you can cover your wooden furniture with protective pads or mats to prevent scratching, marks or dust from appearing on the furniture. Getting rid of dust must be your topmost priority irrespective of the kind of wood finishing. From daily dusting to occasional deep cleaning and fixing the damages regularly, you can have your wooden articles looking their best with a few manageable cleaning methods.
Tips to Clean Painted Wooden Furniture
Cleaning painted wooden furniture may be effortless as compared to caring for other types of wooden surfaces. You may like to avoid using waxes and polishes as it can ruin the decoration and colour. Some important things to bear in mind are:
- You can dust painted wooden furniture regularly with a hand-held vacuum cleaner. Attach a brush attachment with the vacuum to take away dust without scratching. If a brush attachment is not available, go in for a soft microfibre cloth in its place.
- At times you can wipe the wooden tops using a sponge to get rid of marks and smudges that are easily removable.
- You can also prepare a solution using washing liquid to brush the surfaces. Take a cotton ball and dip it in the liquid dish soap and wipe a discreet portion (a spot that isn’t easily visible) of a chair or cabinet to check if it results in any changes to the wood texture. If none, you can use the detergent and water mix to sponge the entire surface.
- In case you wish to wax, it is advisable to do so only once every year using hard paste wax.
- If you don’t want to use a commercial wax, you can make one with beeswax to safeguard your furniture. Mix grated beeswax and coconut/olive oil in the ratio 1:4. Heat this mix until the wax completely melts. You can use a microwave to warm the mix. Keep checking every few seconds and stir to combine the oil and wax well. Upon cooling apply the mix to the wood in thin, even layers, and allow it to dry between coats.
Tips to Clean Oiled Wooden Furniture
Oiled wooden furniture has a soft, warm sheen and may require the sporadic application of furniture oil to ensure that the surface remains clean and shiny. Some vital things to keep in mind include the following:
- Refrain from waxing an oil-finish surface, for wax can block the wood pores causing it to become dry and brittle.
- In case there are white spots which appear due to wet drinking glasses being placed directly on the surface, try rubbing them off with a small amount of toothpaste dabbed on a clean cloth.
- You can also try removing the water spots by using a gentle abrasive and some oil. Apt abrasives can be salt, ash, or pumice. Oils like petroleum jelly, olive oil or cooking oil can be good options to use with the abrasive chosen.
- You can also mix a tablespoon of baking soda with sufficient water to form a thin paste. Gently spread the paste over the water rings. Rub the paste in circular motions onto the wood till the spots or marks disappear.
Tips to Clean Polished Wooden Furniture
Polished wood furniture can be restored using lacquer, varnish or wax. You can use any commercial polish to clean the wood tops quickly. Some useful cleaning tips are as follows:
- In the case of antiques, it may be better to apply paste wax which provides a long-lasting and harder finish instead of a liquid or spray polish.
- You can smear polished wood exteriors with a clean cloth soaked in tea and then polish it till clean.
- You can apply mayonnaise on the wooden outsides to eliminate any white spots or rings. It can also be used to eradicate watermarks and crayon marks. Allow the mayonnaise to sit for about an hour. Then wipe it off with a clean and soft cloth and follow it up with polish.
- Polished wood furniture is prone to a build-up of grime over time which makes it lose its lustre. You may use black tea to abolish this build-up as black tea has tannins which can effectively help remove grime and enhance the well-being of the wood. Soak two or three black tea bags in a cup of hot water for about 4 to 5 minutes. Let the solution cool. Immerse a soft cloth into the mix, wring out the excess water and then use it to clean the wood surfaces.
Tips to Clean Speciality Wooden Furniture
Speciality wood includes rattan, wicker, cane, bamboo, and rush. They typically possess a natural finish. However, some pieces can have a shellac coating or varnish. Keep the following tips in mind while cleaning such pieces:
- Vacuum often using a brush attachment. Dusting should be a regular part of the cleaning routine. You can also use a dampened microfiber cloth to clean the exteriors.
- You can rinse speciality wood pieces with water to reinstate moisture in its fibres. But remember not to do so with rush wood as it can get damaged by moisture.
- Consider polishing your wood equipment to maintain its exquisiteness at least twice in a year. Blend some olive or vegetable oil with white vinegar in equal measures and then apply it on the wood with a soft cloth. Later, buff to make it glossy. This fusion also aids in adding moisture to the wood. However, test it first on a small, discreet part of your wood gear before you begin cleaning.
- Refrain from using any traditional dusting sprays, ammonia-based cleaners, commercial wood polishes, or wax as the residue from these products can build up over time.
- In the case of speciality wood furniture, where you place it matters. You should not put this kind of furniture near a heat source (like a radiator) as the temperature variations can ruin the wood.
Wood furniture is quite durable, requiring little intervention. Also, cleaning wood furniture mostly depends on the category of wood surface you are managing. But it need not be a chore. More often than not, simply a soft cloth with some water can work very well. Once in a while, you may need to spiff it up to renew its look and protect it from the usual wear and tear. The wood finish can be brought back safely and effectively to its impeccable condition with a proper cleaning strategy and the right cleaning products. Always remember to scan the manufacturer’s directions to identify for any specific cleaning suggestions provided by them.