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June 01, 2021

How to Maintain Wooden Furniture - 6 Awesome Tips

Wooden furniture - it’s pleasing to the eyes, brings a certain charm to the home, and is most desired, but it requires good handling and proper maintenance if you want it to last for years.

Wooden furniture can be of various shapes and sizes - chairs, dining tables, sofas, coffee tables, bookshelves, etc. The purpose and usage differs from home to home, but one thing that stands common to all kinds of wooden furniture is handling it with care and preventing it from damage.

For any wooden furniture to last you for years it is important to have an understanding of how to maintain wooden furniture. Here are six wooden furniture care tips that are simple and effective. 

Wooden furniture care tips

1.   Regular dusting

Dusting away loose dust is important when it comes to protecting wooden furniture. When you don’t dust regularly, the particles begin to form a layer that could result in scratches on the surface. To prevent your wooden furniture from any kind of scratches it is highly recommended that you dust on a regular basis. If the accumulation of dust is tough, try using warm water with mild soap to wipe it clean. But make sure that once cleaned with water it must be wiped well with a dry cloth to avoid residual moisture.

Materials you can use for dusting wooden furniture are:

  • Cotton cloth – this could be one of your old t-shirts or if possible, using old worn out but clean cotton saree does a great job of dusting.
  • Microfibre towels – if you use microfiber towels, you can make use of an old one or there is a variety of microfiber towels for cleaning and dusting purpose available in the market that you can easily purchase.
  • The feather duster – the good ol’ duster that will wipe the dust away delicately.

2.    Humidity is an enemy of wooden furniture

When it comes to wooden furniture, humid weather could cause more damage than you could imagine. The reason - wood absorbs moisture when the atmosphere is humid. This leads to swelling and shrinking. Especially for furniture that are in parts, humidity causes wood to expand in different directions and as a result the pieces may no longer fit together or become distorted. Hence it is essential to be aware of the rise and fall of humidity.

What you can do to take care of wooden furniture?

There are few ways you can prevent your wooden furniture from getting damaged due to humidity:

  • A humidifier with humidistats will be a great addition to your home that will help maintain the relative humid levels.
  • Keep the windows open and let there be ventilation. Make sure that there is enough sunlight coming into the room. Plenty of air and sunlight can help stabilise the humid levels.
  • Use camphor and naphthalene balls. They are great at absorbing moisture and can help with control dampness caused by humidity.

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3.   Avoid exposure to sunlight 

Too much light can cause a great amount of discoloration to wood furniture polish and may cause your furniture to look patchy. This happens because light is a source of energy that interacts with every surface it comes in contact with, this leads to damage of wooden furniture surfaces.

While sunlight may be the most powerful energy to cause damage, one should also be aware that any kind of bright light with great intensity can cause light damage. This damage could be permanent and restoring your furniture to its original form could be tricky. Hence make sure that your wooden furniture is not exposed to bright light.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Draw your curtains to protect from direct sunlight or cover the furniture.
  • If you are not using the furniture, let it stay in the dark.
  • Use dim light instead of bright blue light to minimise the damage.

4. Use coasters and placemats 

One of the best ways to protect wooden furniture is to take care of it like you would take care of a baby. Handling your wooden furniture with utmost care will last you a lifetime. So, any kind of mishandling should be refrained.

Nobody likes rings or spilled stains on their wood furniture. For instance, you have a beautiful wooden table – avoid placing cups directly on the surface; instead use a coaster. Using coasters and placemats will help maintain and protect wooden furniture from getting stained.

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5.   Remove tough stains

Preventing your furniture from getting stained may be inevitable. However, there are ways to fix this problem. But there’s a condition - make sure that the stain does not sit for long. One must quickly jump to the rescue as soon as your furniture gets stained.

A good wood furniture cleaner can do the trick:

  • From dark spots to water damage, reach out for vinegar. Soak a cloth in vinegar and gently blot the stain till the mark disappears - one of the best ways to protect wooden furniture.
  • When it comes to removing tough stains such as white rings – white toothpaste and baking soda make an incredible restorer. Take equal parts of toothpaste and baking soda to form a paste. Rub it on the stain until it disappears – wipe it off and remember buff with a soft dry cloth. When you buff the shine and colour will be restored.
  • Mayonnaise is versatile in nature, it's delicious and makes a great wood furniture cleaner, too. E.g. for crayon marks, apply some mayonnaise on the affected area. Make sure you leave it for a couple of minutes before you wipe it off with a damp cloth. Buffing the area after is a must

6. Wax and oil regularly

Wooden furniture ages gracefully, but as it ages, it may begin to lose its shine. Regularly waxing and oiling your wooden furniture will not only help retain its charm but also prevent it from getting damaged. Consider it as regular furniture grooming. However, if you plan to do it yourself it is important that you do it correctly.

How to polish your wooden furniture correctly?

  • Make sure your furniture is dust free, cleaned and dried properly.
  • Polishing should be done in parts. When you divide and polish, it becomes easier to get the job done.
  • Avoid using too much of the product as it can result in build-up and can be quite frustrating.
  • Once you have applied the product, buffing well is a must. After buffing, leave the area and continue to the next.
  • Do not use a product with wax protectant or mix anything – this combination may result in a gooey mess.
  • Be patient, polishing may take time, but in the end, your efforts will be worth it.

Over to you

Maintaining wooden furniture is often something that furniture lovers struggle with. Protecting wooden furniture requires regular maintenance. The more regular you are with your routine wooden furniture maintenance, the easier it gets to maintain it in the long term. Whether you’re buying wooden furniture online or getting it made by a carpenter, ensure you ask for maintenance tips when making the purchase.

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