Cleaning and Maintaining Your Natural Wood Furniture

Your wooden furniture can last for years with the right care. Of course, we all have that one piece of natural wood furniture that holds a special place in our hearts. 

Perhaps it's a nightstand made by your grandfather or a farmhouse-style dining table big enough to seat the whole family. It may be the shaker-style bedframe that you bought after your wedding, or the bookshelves that store your precious books. 

You want to keep that thing in good shape, whatever it is. Your wooden furniture can avoid the need for repairs and look its best for years with regular maintenance and attention.

Follow these helpful wooden furniture cleaning and care methods to protect your prized possessions.

Clean Wooden Furniture with Soap and Water

Can you use water to clean wooden furniture? Normally, you would want to keep water off of wood surfaces. So does this mean that you can clean wood furniture with water? Yes, but only in very little quantities. 

When cleaning wood with water, simply use a little damp cloth or sponge, and then dry the wood. To create mild cleaning solutions, dilute other chemicals with water. 

Do not expose wood to harsh chemicals. Commercial multipurpose cleaners are quite strong and harmful. Avoid wood-conditioning products as they can leave a waxy residue that attracts dirt.

To clean your furniture, all you need is a damp towel and some mild dish soap. Rinse with a soap-free, damp towel after cleaning, and then dry with a third washcloth. Ammonia-based cleaners should be avoided since they might destroy hardwood furniture.

Various efficient cleansers are easy to create at home for wood furniture lovers who want cheap or natural cleaning solutions. Place a few drops of liquid dish soap on a cotton ball, dunk it in a tiny amount of warm water, and test it on an inconspicuous area. If it's safe, dampen a soft cloth with a few drops of soap in a cup of water and wipe off your furniture. This is good for sticky areas.

natural wood furniture

Polish Your Wooden Furniture After Cleaning

Although hardwood furniture has a timeless charm and a rich appearance, it requires regular maintenance and conditioning to maintain its smooth and glossy appearance. Commercial wood cleaners and polishes can be used to restore the appearance of wood, however, they are extremely dangerous due to the emission of harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds). 

Clean the wooden furniture well before applying homemade furniture polish. Wipe the furniture down with a damp microfibre cloth and then a dry wipe to eliminate dust and grime. If the furniture has any white spots or stains, clean them with a solution of warm water and a few drops of dish soap, then dry-wipe them. Allowing water to sit on the wood might cause stains. Consider a natural, homemade polish for your wooden furniture. It does not release dangerous gases and can be made with items found in most kitchens.

Don't forget to shake the mixture before application because olive oil and lemon juice tend to separate into two layers. You can also use coconut oil. Always create a fresh mixture; do not store the mixture as it may turn rancid over some time. Only make a small batch of polish which can be used within a month. Store the mixture in a spray bottle.

Dust Your Wooden Furniture Regularly

Dust your wood furniture regularly to keep it in good shape. Dust can generate airborne deposits that eventually form a filmy layer on the surface of wood furniture, scratching it. Leaving dust on your furniture can also aggravate allergies and make asthma sufferers sick. The majority of dust lives in fabric, so vacuum your carpets or upholstery regularly.

Dust furniture properly by capturing and removing dust rather than spreading it around the surface. Before wiping down, softly dampen a microfiber cloth to avoid dispersing dust into the air, where it will drift till resting back on furniture surfaces. Using a dry terry towel will absorb any surplus moisture.

When looking for a dusting tool for wood furniture, look for something that the dust will stick to rather than something that would pick up the dust and spit it out into the air. Dust may be removed from wooden furniture with dry, soft towels and feather dusters. You can also dust your furniture with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth or brush. Dusting regularly helps maintain the finish from grit and dirt build-up.

Use Coasters on Wooden Furniture

You know those people who are always berating you for not using a coaster? They're on to something! Coasters are little, but they protect your furniture more than you might imagine, especially if it's made of stone, marble, or wood.

When you’re relaxing at home with a refreshing beverage, be sure to use a coaster. If you don't have one, your tables can get quite messed up. To avoid unattractive water rings, always use coasters with felt or cork bottoms. Water should never be allowed to sit on the surface of your hardwood furniture.

If you don't use a coaster with your drink, you risk staining, discoloring, denting, or scratching your table. If the drink is left unattended for a long time, the damage will only get worse. You'll need a coaster to keep your tables free of unsightly water rings and marks. Beer, soda, water, and juice are examples of "sweaty drinks."

Condensation on the cup, bottle, or mug causes these water rings to form. The water in your chilled drink will condense as a liquid to the surface if the temperature is below the dew point. It's all drippy now, and there might be a puddle underneath!

natural wood furniture

Use Trivets to Protect Your Wooden Furniture

The trivet is a kitchen essential, yet many people have no idea what it is or how to use it. However, if you're currently utilizing a potholder or tea towel as a trivet, you're doing yourself a disservice. Purchasing a trivet the next time you see one is definitely beneficial.

A natural fiber tablecloth, oven mitt, or trivet can be used to protect wooden furnishings from hot serving plates. Placing hot plates and dishes directly on a hardwood surface can leave scratches and stains that are unsightly.

Using a trivet is beneficial to both you and the wooden surface on which you're serving your dish. It protects your counters from being damaged by heat or water. A trivet functions as a conductor, absorbing heat from a dish while preventing it from penetrating the table or surface it is sitting on. 

Additionally, depending on the material used to make the trivet, it may help keep your dish warmer for longer, which is a great benefit if you're serving food family-style and anticipate guests to return for seconds.

A trivet serves both functional and ornamental purposes, making it the right blend of utility and elegance. It's the ideal accent to your dining room table for breakfast, lunch, or supper, and you can pick a trivet that complements the rest of your décor.

You can even have several trivets on hand in case you want to have distinct vibes for different purposes. For example, the trivet you use every day could not be the same as the one you use on special occasions.

Protect Your Furniture from Sun Damage

It's necessary to protect your furnishings from the sun's harmful rays. Sure, your home's roof and numerous walls are a fantastic start, but there's a lot more you can do to keep your wood furniture safe from the sun's irreversible effects. Furniture can be dried out by the sun, and wood surfaces might fade. The sun's heat can melt finishes and cause difficult-to-repair cracks.

You can use shades and blinds to keep your furniture safe from the sun. When the sun is at its brightest, close your window curtains to keep the sun's rays from reaching your furniture. It will also assist in keeping your home cool, effectively cutting your energy bill — talk about a win-win situation! 

You can also install solar window films, which have become increasingly popular. Window films reflect up to 99 percent of the sun's UV rays, allowing light to pass through while keeping dangerous rays out.

Protect Your Furniture with a Sealant

Coating your wood furniture will ensure that it never fades, no matter how much it is exposed to the sun. However, because different sealants offer different advantages, it's critical to pick the best one for you.

You can use a varnish, which is a topcoat that protects wood furniture from UV damage and comes in a variety of finishes ranging from matte to high-gloss. You can also opt for a lacquer, which works as a polish that can be used to fix small scratches and scuff marks as well as provide some sun protection. You can also use polyurethane, which will help preserve your wood from the sun, but it will also bring out the natural beauty of your wood.

Protect Your Wooden Furniture from Pets

Furniture made of hardwood is an investment. As a result, you'll need to devote time and effort to maintaining and protecting those objects from wear and tear, particularly if you have pets. You may extend the life of your furniture by taking proper care of it.

Furniture can be scratched and damaged by our pet pals. Protect wooden surfaces with a natural fiber tablecloth, chair cover, or protective cushion to avoid pet damage. If you don't safeguard your furniture, it may suffer from stains and offensive scents. Their lifespans will be shortened, and they will need constant repairs and restorations. Their value and condition will deteriorate as well. They won't look as appealing.

Of course, you and your family can wear down your furniture, but your pets can hasten the process. You can protect your furniture from your pets when you cover the furnishings with dog-proof or cat-proof covers. You would want to invest in a piece of good pet furniture as well to keep your pets off the furniture.

It is also important that you create a daily grooming routine, which includes regular pet nail care for your pets. You can also buy furniture sprays that will help deter cats and dogs from chewing on your wooden furniture.

You would also benefit from getting toys for your pets to play with. Be sure to give your dogs enough exercise, so they won't spend their energy on your furniture.

natural wood furniture

Treat the Wear and Tear

Wood furniture can be damaged even with the finest of care. Use a product that could help cover tiny nicks and scratches. You can get a liquid polish that would help cover abrasions and restore the natural beauty of the wood.

If the damage is too severe to be repaired with polishes or touch-up sticks, and you aren't ready to part with your prized possession, you may need to take more radical measures. 

Painting a piece of damaged furniture will give it new life and allow it to serve you for many more years. The painting also allows you to save time by avoiding the need to sand, which you won't be able to do if you re-stain.

Re-Oil and Re-Dry as Needed

You may need to re-oil furniture that has been kept and has become too dry. Apply a generous amount of furniture oil to the wood and allow it to soak in for around 15 minutes. If you're going to apply a protective coating, give it at least 24 hours to dry before proceeding.

Some furniture may have a wax protective coating, depending on the finish. For continuous protection, it may be essential to re-wax the surface as these pieces age. 

Apply a coat of wax and distribute it with a Scotch Brite pad, following the grain with light pressure. Allow no more than 20 minutes for the wax to harden. With a clean Scotch Brite pad, remove the excess wax and buff with a soft cloth until the surface feels smooth to the touch.