The most basic guideline for furniture maintenance is very simple
and straightforward. It is to handle furniture carefully and
thoughtfully. There are a few suggestions that can be made for
cleaning furniture made of different surfaces. As it has been found,
that a number of the cleaning practices followed normally, actually
damages the furniture. Here are a few tips to clean, polish and
maintain your furniture:
- The simplest way of maintaining furniture is
to use it carefully and keep it clean.
- Wooden furniture should be cleaned only when
there is a build up of wax or dirt.
- Unfinished wood, painted wood and wood with
sturdy finish should be cleaned regularly.
- The finish on giltwood is water soluble
therefore it should be dusted and not cleaned. A professional should
- Before cleaning wood, decide whether the
surface is stable enough to use a cleaning or polishing agent. As
the cleaning agent can damage some surfaces. If the surface is
damage to begin with then give the furniture to a conservator.
- Find out what kind of dirt has settled on
the furniture and what kind of surface the piece has. The simplest
thing to do is to find out what will remove the dirt without
damaging the surface.
- Loose dust can be easily removed with
lint-free cloth by gently wipe the surface of the furniture with
this cloth. Dust can be removed by wiping with a damp cloth. Dust
can scratch the surface therefore work carefully. To dust carved
surfaces use a soft natural bristle brush. Do not use a feather
duster, as it will scratch the surface.
- If the surface condition is good then you
can use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust. But do not let the metal
and plastic parts of the vacuum cleaner drag over the surface you
are cleaning, as it will result in scratches.
- Wax, oil and other dirt, that has built up
on the furniture can be removed by using mineral spirit, naphtha or
paint thinner. You will have to find out which solvent removes the
dirt. For this, dip cotton ball in the solvent and apply on a small
area of the furniture that is not visible to the eye. If there is no
damage to the surface then you can use the solvent. Use diluted
- Finished wood can be cleaned with a cloth
dampened in cleaning solvent. Clean a small area at a time and the
cleaning solution should be used in small quantities. Too much
solvent can damage the furniture surface. Wipe the cleaned surface
with a wet cloth to remove cleaner residue. Finally wipe clean with
a soft dry cloth.
- Applying hard paste wax can reduce
maintenance of furniture. Hard wax surface is easy to dust and