With a little bit of care, your wooden furniture can avoid repairs and last for years to come.
We all have that one piece of wooden furniture that’s special to us. Maybe it’s a nightstand that your grandfather built, or a farmhouse-style dining table that’s large enough to seat your entire family. It might be the bookshelves that house your vintage comic books, or the shaker-style bedframe that you fell in love with at first sight. Whatever that piece is, you want to keep it in beautiful condition. With regular care and attention, your wooden furniture can avoid the need for repairs and look its best for years of enjoyment.
To protect for your favorite pieces, follow these helpful wooden furniture cleaning and care tips.
- 1. Clean with soap and water.
A damp washcloth and mild dish soap are usually all you need to clean your furniture. After cleaning, rinse with a soap-free, damp cloth; then dry the surface with a third washcloth. Avoid all cleaners containing ammonia; ammonia can damage wooden furniture.
- 2. Polish furniture after cleaning.
Every time you clean wooden furniture, some of the polish will come off. Polishing can help bring back the shine and protect the surface. Make sure that you use a furniture polish that does not contain a high amount of alcohol. Polishes that contain alcohol can damage wood finishes.
- 3. Dust your furniture.
Use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth or brush to dust your furniture. Frequent dusting helps protect the finish from unwanted grit and dirt build-up.
- 4. Use coasters for glasses.
Always use coasters with felt or cork bottoms to reduce unsightly water rings. Never let water stand on the surface of your wooden furniture.
- 5. Use trivets for hot dishes.
Protect furniture from hot serving dishes with a natural fiber table cloth, oven mitt or trivet. Placing hot plates and dishes directly on a wooden surface can result in unwanted burn marks and stains.
- 6. Keep furniture out of direct sunlight.
Sunlight can dry out furniture and fade wood surfaces. The heat from the sun can melt finishes and create hard-to-repair cracks.
- 7. Protect furniture from pets.
Our furry friends can accidentally scratch and damage furniture. To prevent pet damage, protect wooden surfaces with a natural fiber table cloth, chair cover or protective pad.
- 8. Do not place coffeemakers under upper cabinets.
Steam from coffeemakers may damage the finish of wooden cabinets. Instead, place coffeemakers on kitchen islands or other open areas.
How too much or too little moisture can affect wood furniture.
Because wood breathes, it is susceptible to dry and wet conditions. Too much moisture can lead to mildew, while too much dryness can weaken joints and cause your furniture to lose its natural luster. Maintaining this delicate balance for your furniture is important to keeping it looking beautiful year after year.
Follow these care tips to help prevent moisture or dryness from damaging your furniture:
- Avoid placing wood furniture in steamy bathrooms or laundry areas.
- Maintain a consistent temperature in your home. Dramatic temperate changes can affect the humidity levels, which can create more moisture in the air.
- Don’t let your home get too dry. Excessively dry areas can cause your wood furniture to shrink, split or become brittle.
- Protect wood surfaces from direct contact with water. Place glass surfaces over table tops or use coasters, trivets and natural fiber table cloths and pads to protect your furniture from hot or wet surfaces.
- Never allow moisture to be trapped between glass and a wood surface. Make sure surfaces are completely dry before the glass is replaced.