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How to Clean and Protect Wood Furniture

Tips for Cleaning and Protecting Wood Furniture

Learn how to clean and protect wood furniture so that it can keep looking its best and last longer.

Real solid wooden furniture is a true investment. Not only do these pieces cost more but they are made to last a lifetime.

With the proper care and maintenance, your wood furniture will last and be able to be passed down to future generations.

From protecting your furniture from water to cleaning to maintain its dust-free shine, how you treat your wood furniture now will determine how long your investment will last.

Someone cleaning a wood table with text that says, "How to clean and protect wood furniture".

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Why Water is Bad for Your Wood Furniture

Water can damage the finish of your wood furniture. This can leave your furniture looking murky or stained.

If you have ever left a cold glass on your wood coffee table you have likely seen the effect of sweating glasses on your table surface.

Using water to clean your wooden furniture can cause this same kind of damage to your finish, though it may take longer to become noticeable.

Unfinished wood surfaces can absorb the water when you try to use it for cleaning. This can lead to swelling and cracking of the surface and warping, which can be difficult if not impossible to repair without fully refinishing your surfaces.

Simple Tips on How to Clean and Protect Your Wood Furniture

Choosing the Right Cleaners for Your Hardwood Furniture

When cleaning your wooden furniture you want to look for a cleaner that is not water-based. A quality oil-based cleaner will remove dirt and grime while leaving behind a beautiful shine that will last.

And oil soap like Murphy’s Oil Soap is great for dealing with tough messes on your wooden furniture. (You can also use Murphy’s oil soap to make wooden floors shine without using wax).

If you are cleaning a really tough mess, go over it once for cleaning then again to buff it to a beautiful shine.

For lighter easy cleanings, try a simple furniture polish that will help to wipe away mild messes and leave behind a beautiful shine.

Be careful to not use too much cleaner as it can leave behind a cloudy finish that can be difficult to remove without damaging the original finish underneath.

You can make your own easy-to-use wood furniture cleaner using mineral oil and some citrus essential oil for a frugal DIY option.

For a more eco-friendly option, you can use a long lasting vegetable oil like olive oil that tends to last for years before it spoils. Avoid using oils that will go rancid quickly in the summer heat.

Cleaning Your Wood Furniture

Cleaning your wood furniture can be tricky. You need to get a good clean and a nice buff without risking scratching the poly coating and leaving behind unsightly streaks.

Having the right cleaner and cleaning tools is important to help protect the finish of your wood furniture.

Cleaning cloths should be soft and scratch-free. For the best results use a soft 100% cotton cloth like a flour sack towel or a smooth microfiber cloth with a soft texture to ensure that you are not scratching your surfaces.

Dusting Your Wood Furniture

The best tool you can use for dusting your wood furniture is a soft microfiber rag. These cleaning rags will trap dust and buff the surface leaving behind a great shine.

They can also be washed and line dried, allowing you to keep using the same ones for a simple and frugal dust trapping option.

You can easily dust and trap dust using a commercial duster. However, avoid old-fashioned feather dusters that nearly send the dust up into the air and back around your home.

Alternatively, you can use a damp cotton cloth such as a flour sack towel. Lightly dampen with a spray of furniture polish to help pick up the dust and buff a shine into the wood.

Avoid using any kind of water when dusting as this can turn the dust into mud and cause damage to the wood or the finish of the wood.

Polishing Your Wood Furniture

After cleaning your wood furniture or dusting, you want to make sure you leave behind a beautiful shine. Polishing wooden furniture is easy.

Choose a soft cotton or suede microfiber cloth and a light furniture polish. Spray your surface or apply a bit of polish to the corner of your cloth.

Rub the polish into the wood surface and buff with a dry piece of the cloth until an even streak-free shine is accomplished.

Rewax Your Wooden Furniture

To help keep your furniture looking great, consider rewaxing it regularly.

This will help keep unfinished wood surfaces looking great and buff out scratches to make your surface smooth again and protect your wood from water damage. Remember to keep your furniture wax coating thin.

You may also want to read this article on how to protect hardwood floors from scratches.

Protect Your Wood Surfaces from Everyday Damage

While you clean and care for your furniture you also need to make a point to protect it from everyday wear and tear.

Coasters are a great way to protect your wood furniture from damage when you sit drinks and such down on it.

Keep a tray on tables or a table runner to take the brunt of things like keys being tossed down. This will help prevent scratches that will damage your surfaces.

Consider adding a clear plastic topper to your wood tables.

Beautiful large wooden dining tables are an amazing addition to your space but these tend to get beaten up from everyday use. From silverware to writing utensils.

While placemats are a great way to reduce this damage, an even better portion is a plexiglass topper. This will allow the topper to take the damage while your wood remains unscratched.

Repair Damage to Your Wooden Furniture

Should your wooden furniture be damaged, there are some great ways to help fill in scratches and leave your furniture looking great again.

Furniture repair kits include wax filler for scratch and marking pens that can help repair and hide damage to your wooden furniture to keep it looking great longer.

After using these products consider waxing or using a protectant over your repair to make sure that it stays in place and lasts.

Consider using a restore and finish product on older wood furniture to help bring it back as close as possible to its original luster and shine.

Final Thoughts on How to Clean and Protect Wood Furniture

How you care for your wooden furniture will determine how good they look and how long they last. Be sure to clean your furniture with the right tools and products. Water is not good for wood, so avoid it.

Dust and polish your wooden furniture to make it shine. Rewax regularly to keep your furniture looking great and use other protective methods like clear plastic toppers to protect your furniture from everyday damage.

I hope you found the tips on how to clean and protect wood furniture helpful. Leave your comment below.

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