You’ve heard the saying “less is more,” well it definitely applies to cleaning and caring for your furniture finishes. Whether it’s an older antique piece having a shellac or wax finish or a newer piece of furniture with a modern lacquer finish, “less IS more.” By this I mean that you don’t need to buy all sorts of sprays and polishes to keep your furniture looking good. The first thing to do is simply dust it. Keeping the dust off will help keep the finish in the best condition for the long haul. This doesn’t mean you have to continually be dusting, just use a soft cloth every other week and gently wipe the dust off. You can use a little clean water to lightly dampen the cloth and it will pick up the dust quicker and keep it on the cloth instead of pushing it around the surface of your furniture. I also think that the Swiffer® brand dusters work well and you don’t need to use any sprays to attract the dust.
The second thing you can do is to use a clean, soft cotton tee shirt type of cloth along with some water to which you add a little dish soap to clean a surface that might be dirty. Regular dish soap (no ammonia please!) is just fine, but you can use Murphy® Oil Soap or Simple Green® in a diluted state to clean a dirty surface, especially on kitchen cabinet surfaces. I keep the mix in a spray bottle for easy use and storage.
The third thing you can do to care for the finish is lightly buff the cleaned surface dry with another clean soft cloth. I have found that the microfiber cloths available in auto supply stores and Costco to work very well for this and they’re nice and soft, no scratching! That’s about all there is to my easy care furniture cleaning and maintenance. I’ll follow up in a future post on how to use paste wax for older finishes and a good spray wax I found a while back that is both easy to use and maintains a nice looking finish.
I’d like to hear from you if you have any special ways to take care of your furniture that I may have not heard of or tried. Maybe even an “old family recipe” that you like to use!
Until next time…