How to Clean Antique Furniture

How to Clean Antique Furniture?

Submitted by: Jessica Stripe

Antiques are pieces of history that tell a story of the past. Coins, jewellery or furniture are popular antiques sought for collections. Even though they are old it is still important to look after them. Those who own antiques need to learn how to clean them in order to ensure their appearance and value.

Many collectors of antique furniture are often reluctant to cleaning it because they are afraid to destroy it. They do not want to cause any damage to the wood, which would result in a significant drop in value of the piece. However, the fear is often unnecessarily exaggerated. You can never go wrong with using a good cotton rag or paper towels. Make sure you always have them around the house.

The next step is to clean furniture with water. You can use lukewarm water and add a bit of soap to it. Dump the cloth in the water and soap mixture and squeeze out any remaining drops from the towel before applying it on furniture. It is a safe way of cleaning and is not going to do any harm to any piece of wood that you have.

If you need to remove some sticky traces from your dining chairs, coffee table legs, etc., you might start from using lemon juice. This basic product might help you to remove crayons, gum, peanut butter and other sorts of sticky stuff. If it does not work or you do not have lemon juice at hand, you can use products such as Goo Off. Just put a little bit of it on a cloth and keep rubbing until stains come off completely – do not stop half way through. And do not worry, Goo Off will not damage your wooden furniture.

Apart from cleaning, antique furniture requires conservation, which encompasses activities such as waxing. Believe it or not, there is a correct way of waxing furniture. People tend to put wax products, for instance Pledge, in the middle of a furniture piece (let’s take a table as an example) and then they go out. By doing that, they only put wax build-up in the centre. Most of the ware on an antique dining table, or in fact any table, is along the edges where people put their arms, move them and slide. That is the area where wax should be applied. So remember not to start waxing in the middle because the middle of the table has plenty of wax on it. You do not need to build it up any more than it already is.

Goo Off and Pledge are great products but it is not necessary to use them in order to keep your furniture clean. Simple ingredients such as water and soap can often do the job effectively and are safe for your cherry cabinets and other vintage furniture.

If you have difficult access to some parts of your furniture, because of ornament work on it, you can use a light bristle brush. You should also apply some water and soap on a damp cloth and wait until the places you are cleaning will eventually dry out. And do not be afraid! You need to take extra care of your antique furniture but you can definitely clean it without causing any damage, so long as you use simple and tested methods and products.

About the Author: A avid writer with over twenty years of actual experience in the antique furniture industry. Having worked at a number of locations; Jessica has dealt with varieties of high quality antique and reproduction furniture and knows about everything from mahogany dining tables to cherry wood cabinets.


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