5 Steps to Clean Handcrafted Wood Furniture
You’ve found the perfect piece of furniture – handcrafted from the finest wood, made with skill and workmanship, and a perfect match for your home’s interior. You’ve placed it in the perfect location – in your living room, bedroom, dining room, or anywhere else in your home – and are ready to show it off to visitors. You’re expecting this furniture to be a long-term investment due to its high-quality materials and build, and it’s true that all furniture made by Secret Compartment Furniture is made to last – however, you do need to put in some effort to help slow the process of aging. Caring for your furniture is a must, because no matter its quality, time and the elements will take their toll on the color and polish. However, before you embark on your cleaning routine, it’s crucial to think about what steps you need to take to clean your furniture the right way.
1. Choose the right cleaner and polish
Many commercial cleaners contain harsh chemicals that will degrade your furniture if applied regularly. Chemicals such as ammonia, generally used to rid your furniture of stains, dirt, grime, and odors, strip the furniture of its polish and damage the wood underneath. Ammonia also softens the finish on your furniture over time, and when the finish is gone, it can allow dirt and bacteria to get in and cause permanent damage. That’s why it’s important to find a cleaner that will disinfect your furniture, remove dirt and grime, and avoid damaging the finish – all while leaving behind a fresh scent and appearance. Heirloom Essentials Cleaner meets these criteria, and is conveniently sold on Secret Compartment Furniture’s website, where you can buy it with your furniture purchase.
It’s also important to choose the right furniture polish to follow up after your cleaner. Commercial polish contains ingredients such as wax and silicone, which add a shine to the wood; however, they build up over time and leave an opaque, waxy film. This causes your furniture to look dull and dirty instead of shiny and polished. Instead, use a silicone-free polish such as Heirloom Essentials Polish, sold by the same company that makes the Heirloom Essentials Cleaner. Both the cleaner and polish come in two scents: Cherry Blossom and Crisp Linen.
Before you can proceed with the deep cleaning process, you need to get rid of the surface particles that will combine with your cleaner and disrupt its effectiveness. Using a dry cloth can scratch the wood surface, as the dust particles will get caught in it; similarly, a feather duster can cause damage if its quills break off and scratch the surface of your furniture. Instead, dusting the furniture with a microfiber cloth or using a damp cloth allows you to collect the dust without damaging the wood, and prepares you for the next step: deep cleaning.
3. Deep clean
Using a clean rag or soft cloth, wipe down the surface of the table using your cleaner. Spray the cleaner in an even layer on the surface of your furniture, making sure to include the sides and bottom of any compartments or cabinets. Then, move the rag in circles to work the cleaner into the surface of the furniture, removing grease, fingerprints, and surface stains. Make sure to remove all of the cleaner and allow the surface to dry before moving on to the next step. If certain areas, such as heavy stains, require more cleaning, concentrate on rubbing that spot with a soft cloth, and apply slightly more cleaner to that area if necessary.
After the surface of the furniture is clean and dry, apply a polish to add some extra shine and protect the wood from deteriorating. Just as with the cleaner, spray a small amount of polish and rub it into the surface of the wood with a soft cloth. If you use a polish that doesn’t include wax or silicone, you don’t have to worry about minimizing the amount that you use; simply polish after every cleaning.
You should go through this cleaning routine regularly, but the time intervals between cleanings can vary greatly depending upon how often you use your furniture and what kind of environment it’s kept in. If your furniture is used daily, you can clean and polish as often as once a week; in other cases, you may want to restrict cleanings to once every few weeks. It’s important to remember, however, that frequent cleanings are essential to the upkeep of your furniture. Dusting, the step that comes before cleaning, should be done frequently; allowing dust to pile up on top of your furniture not only hurts its appearance, but can lead to scratching when you finally remove the dust.