If you are extremely house-proud, you'll know just how important it is to keep on top of cleaning your home. In just a few days, worktops and surfaces can gather dust, and if you have young children you'll be even more familiar with regularly upkeeping your furnishings.
In most areas of your home, you can simply grab a duster and wipe away any dirt that's become gathered there. However, there are some pieces of furniture that require a little more care and attention.
Wooden furniture, for example, must be looked after properly in order to preserve its natural finish. Using the wrong products and materials to clean solid wood can damage its appearance and in turn, weaken its quality and value.
If you have wooden furniture inside your home, but aren't sure how best to care for it, here are a few useful tips:
Wooden furniture that has a natural sheen can begin to look dull and drab if it isn't cleaned often. Cleaning detergents and solutions contain harsh chemicals that can ruin your wooden surface, so instead use warm water and mild dish soap to clean your furniture.
This will help to retain the finish of your wood - just be careful not to soak it in water completely. Use a soft cloth or paper towel to wipe any dirt or marks away, and an old toothbrush for those hard-to-reach areas.
Wooden furniture often features metal hardware in the form of doorknobs and drawer handles. As well as cleaning the wood surface, you should also care for the metal fixtures.
Cleaning metal requires a different technique to wood, so it is a good idea to remove the hardware from your piece of furniture before doing so. Be sure to remember which piece goes where, though, as you will need to fix the metal knobs and handles back onto your wooden piece after cleaning.
Using a high-quality metal polish, buff each piece individually until it is shining. Be patient, as this can take time, but the results will no doubt be worth it in the end.
If you often place hot mugs or pizza boxes directly onto your wooden table, you will find that over time this leaves behind a white, hazy ring. Scrubbing it with a chemical detergent will damage the wood surface, so instead, make your own non-invasive cleaning solution at home.
All you will need is some non-gel toothpaste mixed with a little baking soda. Rub the solution onto the affected area and wipe it away with a soft cloth until your piece of furniture looks like new.
You may not know it, but sunlight can actually destroy pieces of wooden furniture by causing them to fade, dry out, shrink and crack, over time.
To protect and preserve your wood, avoid placing it by windows or in direct sunlight. If you are worried that the natural light will reach your furniture, cover it with a soft cloth when not in use.
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