General Information :
Wood furniture cleaning products fall into a few basic categories.
Polishes: either aerosol or liquid; generally contain wax – usually carnuba – silicone agents for dust repelling and detergents. These products are mainly effective fro dust control and mild cleaning. Any surface enhancement – a glossier finish – is mainly cosmetic. Newer, well -finished furniture will not gain any luster, in fact, polishes can inhibit appearance with build-up, yellowing or faster re-soiling due to a tacky residue. The exception is for antique or older pieces, which cannot be re-finished properly. A regular program of waxing with carnuba/non silicone products will keep the wood properly conditioned.
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Wood Cleaners: Mild soap based products designed especially for wood. Used in accordance with directions wood cleaners will effectively clean wood furniture of dust, lesser stains, fingerprints etc. Be careful to avoid over-wetting, vigorous rubbing and over-mixing.
Oil-Based Wood Cleaners: Containing high amounts of oil these products will clean and condition the wood. Some may also contain wax. Oil-based cleaners are most effective when the original finish has worn thin and bare wood is exposed.
Oil Refinishing: For teak, mahogany etc. some wood furniture is treated – rubbed – with oil on bare wood. These surfaces need a re-infusion of oil to keep them conditioned properly. Consult an expert – a furniture dealer – for the best product and program for your specific wood surface.
Using coaster, placemats, tablecloths is the best defense for your wood furniture. Wiping up any spills – especially liquids – right away is of paramount importance. Wood furniture needs to be dusted frequently and cleaned regularly. Mild detergent and a damp cloth are as effective as almost any commercial product. Commercial polishes, wood cleaners are necessary in only some cases. If in doubt, consult an expert.
Environmentally Friendly Solution :
Mixing a small amount of vinegar with an equal measure of olive oil is an effective cleaner for most wood surfaces.
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