Oak Heritage Inc

How to Keep Solid Wood Furniture Looking New

We think hardwood furniture is beautiful, and we’re guessing that you do too. That's because it has character. All solid wood furniture (regardless of who manufactures it) must be cared for in similar ways. Here’s how to keep solid wood furniture looking new. Follow these quick tips to preserve its finish, and to keep it looking great for years to come. 

Cleaning Solid Wood Furniture 

  • Routine Cleaning -  For routine cleaning, a soft cloth dampened with warm, soapy water, is all that is needed. The occasional use of a well formulated cleaning product, one without abrasives, can be effective for tougher cleaning tasks. If using these products, a follow-up with a dampened cloth would finish the job. Avoid harsh chemicals such as bleach, which will eat through the protective lacquer coating. If however, some harsh chemicals accidentally get onto the finish, a timely clean up is imperative. 
  • Avoid Dry Dusting or Wiping - Dust and other materials that naturally fly through the air, contain tiny abrasive particles that can act like fine sandpaper. When using a dry cloth to remove this dust, the drag of the cloth will cause tiny scratches. Over time this will cause the appearance to change, especially in areas that are most used. To prevent this, simply dampen the cloth with water, household furniture polish, or mild detergent. The moistened cloth picks up the dust particulates and holds them, thus cutting down on abrasiveness. 

Caring for Solid Wood Furniture 

  • Keep It Clean - Keeping your surface clean and free of debris, can prolong the life of your beautiful oak, cherry, or maple furniture. You can ensure this by staying on top of spills and not allowing them to set up or harden. See our cleaning recommendations above for what to cleaners to use. 
  • Polishing - Occasionally using a good household furniture polish will keep your furniture looking new. We recommend a lemon oil or similar polish. Avoid polishes that contain silicone or ammonia. 
  • Waxing - If desired, hardwood furniture can be waxed to ensure protection and shine. We recommend waxing no more than once a year. To avoid wax build up, completely remove all old wax before applying a new coat. 
  • Important: Protect Wood Furniture from Hot Items - The temperature of items placed on the finish should not exceed 150 degrees F, as excessive heat may cause damage to its protective coating and result in permanent marking or warping. 
  • Important: Protect Wood Furniture from Sun Exposure - Protect your hardwood furniture’s finish by placing it in an area where the sun will not shine directly on it. Direct contact with sunshine will likely speed the aging process on the exposed portions of the furniture. 
  • Important: Control the Environment & Humidity - Your furniture responds to changes in temperature and humidity by expanding and contracting, which can lead to gapping and natural cracking. These gaps and cracks are minimized by keeping the indoor humidity 35 to 45%. If the environment or humidity is uncontrolled, these features should be considered an inherent characteristic of solid wood furniture. 
With proper cleaning and care, solid hardwood furniture is built to last. Browse our catalog to find the piece of real wood dining, living, bedroom, or eclectic furniture that you’ve been dreaming of, or find a store near you.

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