From Wood to Wicker: How to Clean Different Types of Furniture

Take Care and It'll Last a Lifetime

Furniture cleaning is a fairly easy task, but you will want to take precautions if you are cleaning wood, leather, antique and wicker furniture to make sure that you don't harm the surface or the finish. There are many specialized cleaning products and cleaning tools available, so choosing the right product is important to keep the finishes intact for many years.

Cleaning Wood Furniture

Wood furniture is among the easiest to keep clean. Some furniture oils put a waxy finish on the surface, so if you ever plan to paint or refinish the furniture, make sure you use something that does not seal the surface (like Pledge). When you are cleaning wood furniture, you can even use just a damp towel with a mild liquid cleanser to remove spills and dirt. If your wood furniture is really dirty, use more liquid, but make sure that it the surface is completely dry before you put anything back, or you could develop white rings on the surface.

Cleaning Leather Furniture

Make sure when you select cleaning products for leather furniture that the product does not contain any silicone or waxes. These will eventually cause the leather finish to wear out, which will destroy the appearance of your furniture. Cleaning leather furniture requires mild cleaners made especially for the leather. Choose them carefully to maintain the beautiful appearance of your leather furniture for years to come. Ask for recommendations at a furniture store.

Cleaning Antique Furniture

If your antique furniture has been gathering dust in the basement or the attic, it probably needs a good cleaning. You can use most cleaning products on antique furniture, since the old finishes didn't include the plastic materials that polyurethane finishes do today. If the finish on the furniture is intact and not chipped or cracked, a good cleaning might be all it takes for it to look fantastic. Start by washing off the surface dirt. If there is deeply embedded grime, you might want to use 0000-grade steel wool with light pressure to remove the dirt, along with a mild detergent or cleaning liquid.

Cleaning Wicker Furniture

Often wicker furniture sits outside on the patio or in a sunroom where it collects lots of dust in its many little cracks and crevices. If the wicker furniture has a healthy layer of dust on it, vacuum it. Use a moderately stiff brush to clean the wicker, and use small brushes to get into the creases. If you use water to clean the furniture, do not sit in it for two or three days, lest it become misshapen before it is completely dry.

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