It’s a fair assumption that a majority of the furniture throughout your home is made of wood. Cleaning wood home furniture, however, can be trickier than you think. Before you figure out the best cleaning method, you need to know if the furniture is oiled, painted, or polished. For example, a lacquered wood will not absorb oil, while woods like teak and rosewood will not have a finish and require furniture oil.
- Oiled wood: With a warm, soft glow the wood will only need an occasional application of furniture oil. Never wax an oil finish because it blocks the pores of the wood and it will dry out. To remove white spots, use toothpaste on a cloth or a mild abrasive, such as ash, salt, baking soda, or pumice, and oil.
- Painted wood: This furniture need the least amount of care because polishes and waxes can damage the color. Wipe occasionally with a sponge to remove any smudges. If you do need to wax, use a hard paste wax once a year.
- Polished wood: This includes wood finished with varnish, wax, or lacquer. Commercial polish cleaner will work just fine. Paste wax gives a longer finish and is better for antiques.
- Specialty wood: Wicker, rattan, bamboo, cane, and rush are all included in this category. Vacuum regularly with a brush attachment. For all except rush wood, occasionally rinse with water to restore moisture to the fibers.