Surprisingly, wooden furniture can last much longer than you would expect. However, this is not a given. The quality of the material, precision, construction method, and maintenance determine the durability. A carefully selected and treated piece of wooden furniture is a beautiful centerpiece that can easily last generations.
So let’s say you have invested in a sturdy, beautiful piece of wooden dining room furniture or bespoke timber staircase. Now you are wondering what’s next? Should you dust, clean or wax your wooden furniture? And how often? That’s why we decided to put together a surefire how-to guide on cleaning and caring for wooden household items and furniture. Without further ado, let’s begin.

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Finding the Right Place for Your Wooden Furniture

The first principle of maintenance is “prevention is better than cure”. From the beginning, be strategic in placing your wooden household items and furniture. Neither too much heat nor too much moisture is good for wood. For example, it might not be a good idea to place a wooden dining table in a location with hours of direct sunlight or above a radiator.

If you have a wooden dining table, you can either place it outside the kitchen and away from heat and humidity or place an air conditioner in the room. When humidity is high, the wood absorbs moisture and swells. In dry air, on the other hand, the wood loses moisture and shrinks. Both shrinkage and swelling can affect the appearance of the wood and cause cracking or splitting over time.

Clean and Dust Regularly

Are you wondering how to clean dirty wood furniture? When cleaning your wooden furniture and or bespoke timber staircase, start with small and as mild as possible before moving on to other methods. For example, use soft microfibre or lint-free cloths to pick up spilt food or drinks. Dampen the cloth only lightly and wipe up any spilt drink immediately to prevent stains from setting in.

Frequent dusting is essential for the health of your household items and wooden furniture. You may think dust is entirely harmless, but it can accumulate over time and scratch and damage the paint and finish. So why take that risk?

You should always use a wood protector to prevent scratches on your chairs and wooden shelves, or use stair tread covers and stair pads to protect your bespoke timber staircase. Overlays are often used for slip resistance, but they can also shield the wooden surface from dust, heavy weights or sharp objects.

When placing glasses or cups on wood tables, always place corks and coasters to avoid rings and heat damage. Avoid placing hot bowls and plates directly on them without protecting a trivet or potholder. Not only will they absorb the heat, but they will protect your wooden household items and furniture from food and drink spills.

Thorough Cleaning Every 6 or 12 Months

In addition to daily or weekly cleaning, your wooden furniture needs a thorough deep cleaning once or twice a year. First, clean any dust off the wood using a cloth. Then you need a diluted solution of warm water with mild dishwashing liquid or even white vinegar. Dip one of the microfibre cloths into the solution and start wiping your furniture.
Do not soak the wood, and always have a dry, soft cloth handy to ensure you wipe away excess moisture immediately to avoid absorption and warping. If the wooden piece has been in the water for a few days or more, it may be permanently ruined.

Most commercial polishes and sprays contain either petroleum distillates or silicone oil for a fresh, shiny finish and provide some protection for your wood. Be careful not to use too much product, as it can cause buildup that combines with dirt to form a dull, sticky film. Always buff the products well to avoid this buildup, and never use these products with a wax protectant, as the combination will create another sticky mess.

Use Wax or Oil to Protect and Restore Wooden Items

After dusting, cleaning and drying, it’s time to protect the natural look of your wooden furniture and bespoke timber staircase. Use cheesecloth and apply a semi-solid or carnauba wax by buffing it in with firm, circular motions. If you are asking how often should you polish wood furniture we can say that you can apply a wax polish once or twice a year to maintain water resistance and shine.

You can also use different types of oils instead of wax. Oil finishes are usually eco-friendly, food-safe, and non-toxic, and some of the traditional oils have been used as wood finishes for thousands of years. Coconut oil, for example, is rich in saturated fats and vitamin E, which locks in moisture and conditions surfaces. However, oil finishes generally don’t offer the same protection and durability as varnishes or lacquer.

Apply a coat of wax and spread it with a Scotch Brite pad or microfibre cloths, applying light pressure and always following the grain. Do not leave the wax on a wooden surface for more than 20 minutes. Use a clean Scotch Brite pad to remove the excess wax and buff with a soft cloth until the surface feels smooth.

Deodorise the Wood and Keep It Smelling Fresh

Over time older wooden pieces will smell a little funky, especially if stored in an unpleasant environment. Baking soda is known to absorb odours, and you probably already have one in your home. Sprinkle baking soda on the surface, let it sit for 6-8 hours, and then wipe the powder off with a cotton cloth.

You can also place a tray of charcoal briquettes in drawers and cabinets to absorb odours that emanate from the inside. Wait 6-8 hours; repeat the process if the furniture still smells funky. Leave a bowl filled with white vinegar or coffee grounds near the wood or on the shelves overnight if the smell persists. Remember that the coffee odour will last longer, but the vinegar smell will disappear quickly.

Bottom Line

There you go, folks! The ultimate guide to cleaning and caring for wooden furniture and bespoke timber staircase. If you see no point in restoring damaged items, it’s time to make a change. And we are always there when it comes to renovation.

We offer top-notch design and construction in London and the surrounding areas by a well-coordinated team of carpentry and joinery professionals. Quality, reliability, and safety are our top priorities. At WoodCraft Joinery London LTD, you will receive excellent service and unparalleled expertise. Get in touch today.