Most homes from around the world have at least one furniture item made out of wood. We can say that wood has been popular for hundreds of years because of its toughness, versatility and beauty. The material also brings in quite low maintenance. However, cleaning wood furniture is a necessity. Doing it correctly will drastically increase the life of wood furniture. Improper cleaning will easily lead towards scratches and many other problems.
Whenever you want to clean wood furniture, you have to be sure that you follow these steps. This will make the entire process highly effective, which is what you want at the end of the day.
The first thing that you have to do is to identify the finish of the furniture. It can be stain, paint or another treatment. The cleaning method that you want to use is the one that is appropriate for the wood finish that you currently have to clean. If you do not know the finish, use stages based cleaning methods. You basically want to first use a cleanser that is mild and then gradually opt for something stronger when the mild one does not work.
This is the very first cleaner that you want to use and is available in most homes. Use a cotton ball. Moisten it in water and then wipe a furniture part after adding in the dishwashing detergent. Wipe on a test area that is not visible. When you notice that damage appears, you want to use just water. If the area will not show damage, you can use the dishwater detergent. Detergent and water can be mixed in any bucket. Always avoid the unwanted situation in which the wood is soaked. That would lead to problems. After you clean you want to thoroughly dry.
Make sure that you use mineral spirits that are not going to have a damaging effect on wood finish. As before, do test with the use of a cotton ball. If all is good, you want to wash the wood furniture with clean cloths that are soaked in the mineral spirits. Mineral spirits can so easily remove a lot of grime. Wipe residues that remain with the use of water after you are done and do dry the area.
When you tested with the use of mineral spirits and the furniture reacted in a negative way, you want to determine the finish to move forward. Take a cotton swab and dab it into denatured alcohol. Add to a small area. If you see that the finish starts to dissolve, it means that the finish is most likely shellac. If the alcohol does not affect the finish, you most likely have polyurethane, varnish, lacquer or oil. When you have such finish and you cannot clean with water and mild detergent, you want to refinish the furniture piece in order to restore appearance.
Make sure that you also take the necessary steps to prevent future wood furniture damage. Furniture wax is cheap and can be found in most hardware stores. It can do wonders and cleaning wood with wax finish is incredibly easy.
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