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Easy Tips for Hardwood Furniture Care

With a little care, you can maintain the beauty of your hardwood furniture. Here are a few tips to help you keep your furniture looking like the day you first saw it at the store!

How Do I Clean my Solid Wood Furniture?

Over time you may notice that fingerprints, dust, cooking oils, fumes, or smoking residue creates a grimy film over the finish of your furniture. This residue will not disappear by simply dusting the surface.

How can you remove this build-up?

First, get a soft, damp cloth and wipe the furniture, following the direction of the wood grain. Wipe the surface with a dry rag to remove any moisture. This cleaning process usually works to restore a beautiful patina to your furniture.

If you need to use a cleaner, find a mild soap. Do not try alcohol, nail polish remover, or other solvents that may damage the wood finish. Add the detergent to a bucket of water and wet your rag, wringing it out well to avoid excess water.

Try cleaning a part of the furniture that is not noticeable to make sure the soap does not mar or discolor the finish. If the soap does not leave marks, continue wiping the furniture. Always remember to dry the furniture with a soft cloth to prevent any possibility of water damage.

What Is a Natural Cleaning Option for Hardwood Furniture?

Start by mixing ½ cup of white vinegar and ½ gallon of water. For a convenient, no-mess cleaning application, pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the surface of your furniture and clean using a soft rag. Use a bottle that sprays a fine mist since too much water can seep through the finish and harm the wood. Wipe dry with a soft, clean rag.

How Do I Maintain my Solid Wood Furniture?

To keep hardwood from drying out, polish the furniture a couple of times a year. Purchase a high-quality furniture polish and apply it according to the manufacturer's instructions. Remember to use a soft cloth to ensure you do not scratch the wood.

Avoid silicone polishes because they may damage the furniture’s finish if used too often. A hardwood retailer can help you find a polish that fits your needs.

What Is a Natural Furniture Polish Option?

  • ¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup vinegar

Mix the above ingredients and test the polish on a small, inconspicuous area first. If you are satisfied with the results, use a little of this solution and a soft rag to polish the furniture.

Using a soft dry cloth, buff the hardwood to produce a lovely shine. You only need to polish furniture a few times a year.

Helpful Furniture Care Tips

  • Placement. Choose spots for your furniture where they are not close to heat sources. Dry air from heat systems such as wood-burning stoves, radiators, or vents could cause the wood to crack. Direct sunlight may fade the wood. Place furniture far enough away from windows and glass doors to avoid direct sunlight.
  • Humidity. When humidity is not controlled, solid wood expands and contracts according to the conditions in the environment. This expanding and contracting may cause small splits in the grain patterns or panel joints. Because this is a regular occurrence when hardwood furniture is used outside of a controlled environment, this is not considered defective materials or workmanship.

    If it is important to you to avoid these cracks due to humidity, keep the environment controlled at 35% - 45% humidity. This control enhances the longevity of your hardwood furniture.

  • Clean. When wiping furniture, always move with the wood grain.
  • Dust. Regularly dust the furniture using a soft cloth. This eliminates dust build-up and keeps the furniture clean.
  • Spills. Spills happen. Clean up the spill immediately. If liquid sits on hardwood furniture, it may damage the finish.
  • Turpentine or Mineral Spirits. Use either of these to remove a build-up of polish or to clean filthy furniture.
  • Storage. Store hardwood furniture such as table leaves where the temperature and humidity are controlled. Perhaps you like to store things in the basement or attic. Remember that changes in humidity and temperature may cause the wood to swell or shrink. This could cause a problem when you want to fit the table leaves into the table for your houseful of company. Do you have a closet where you could store them instead?
  • Scratches. Sliding those beautiful glass figurines off their spots so you can dust beneath them could scratch the surface. Lift the figures while dusting or glue felt to the bottom so that you can slide them without scratching the top of the furniture.
  • Hot items. Place hot beverages on coasters. If you need a hot pad to hold a serving dish, it is likely too hot to sit directly on your hardwood table.

Memory Lane Furniture wants you to enjoy the beauty of your new furniture for a long time. Hopefully, these tips will help you keep your furniture in excellent condition. We want to help make your home's surroundings lovely and relaxing!

Any questions? Please contact us, and we will be delighted to serve you.

How to Remove Water Stains

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