Cleaning and protecting your furniture

Unless your furniture is very old (early 1800’s), there is no product that penetrates into the wood.  Modern finishes  use shellac, lacquers (post-catalyzed and pre-catalyzed), urethanes and varnishes. These finishes were applied primarily to protect the wood. To penetrate this finish would harm the finish and the wood.

Manufacturers of furniture care products imply that your furniture will like their lemon, orange and citrus products.  These products that come out of an aerosol spray and can contain silicones.

Silicones are not good for furniture. They are polymer that can penetrate many finishes, soften them and make them sticky.   If you find that your furniture is sticky or has a cloudy haze and doesn’t feel hard, it may be the result of using a spray that contains silicones. Always avoid using any cleaner containing ammonia or other solvents.

Our philosophy on the care of your furniture is simply to clean and protect. To clean, I suggest a damp cloth with a mild solution of Dawn dish detergent if there is minor soiling. Dusting on a regular basis is important. Dust is a pumice, like sandpaper. Rubbing dust into a finish, can and will damage the finish.  Use a microfiber cloth to ‘lift dust’ and not move it around.

When a piece of furniture is waxed or polished there is always a fine layer of dust that is mixed in with the wax or polish and over a period of years the layer will darken and obscure the grain pattern of the wood.  Just clean it!  The best way to clean this aging growth is to lightly scrub with 0000 (4 zeros) steel wool and a cleaner.   Be careful, because too much scrubbing may damage the topcoat which will have to be replaced.

Call us if you have questions or need advice.

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