Many owners of wooden furnishings these days have very little or no knowledge as per the correct means to caring for their pieces of furniture. The dilemma is all pervasive : should you dust, clean or wax….? While all the experts around will have varying opinions on how to tend to you wooden furniture, it basically depends on the finish of the piece of furniture. One way to clarify how to go about the care of your product is to ask for specific care and cleaning guidelines when you purchase a piece of furniture.
The general methods to cleaning and caring for your pieces of wooden furniture, both old and new and how as to effectively go about them are all discussed in detail below.
1. DUSTING :
Do not ever avoid dusting a piece of wooden furniture. Frequent dusting helps eliminate airborne deposits that may build up a filmy layer and scratch the surface of your furniture.
Use clean, dry, soft cloths or feather dusters to effectively remove dust; however, to avoid scattering the dust into the air, which results in it floating back down onto the surface of the furniture, dampen the cloth very slightly.
For dusting purposes you may use tools such a classic feather duster for delicate objects such as silk lampshades and pieces of art. The use of treated clothes is advised rather than silicon based sprays, which can be very damaging over time to finer pieces of furniture. Use cloth pieces containing lanolin as they attract dust and dust clings on well to them.
2. CLEANING :
Never use all-purpose sprays unless your furniture has a plastic or protective coating, such as the kind on children’s furniture and kitchen tables.
Always avoid cleaning wooden furniture pieces with water. Sticky spots may need to be treated with soap and water. In such cases dip the cloth in a mild soap or detergent dissolved in water. Make sure the cloth is nearly dry by wringing it dry before wiping the affected area. Once done, immediately wipe the area affected on the furniture dry with a soft, clean, dry cloth.
You may carry out cleaning of your wooden furniture with the use of oil polishes, cleaner and furniture oils, which protect the wood by making the surface slippery. Most sprays and polishes available commercially contain silicone oil, which offer some protection, as far as possible avoid using them, especially on fine pieces of woodwork. While many experts will advise you to use home made recipes, avoid making them yourselves unless you are well versed in the art.
3. DEEP CLEANING :
From time to time deep cleaning of your furniture will be required to remove layers of grime. In such an instance use an oil based soap and water. Rinse and dry well. Products with a milky appearance are formulated and available commercially. They dissolve both solvent-based and oil-based residues. Do not ever use mixtures that contain boiled linseed oil, turpentine or white vinegars. They darken the wood and attract dust and lint. Instead apply paste wax.
4. SCRATCHING THE SURFACE :
Scratches are something everyone experiences with wooden furniture. It annoys most wooden furniture owners. If it is the top of the furniture that is slightly scratched you may apply paste wax or use a felt-tip touch-up pen.
For the treatment of deeper scratches that gouge into the wood, use wood filler or a coloured filler wax stick available at hardware stores or home improvement stores. Sadly difficult to get in India one may try ordering them online. Match them as closely as possible to the colour of your furniture piece, applying several thin layers rather than one thick layer.