As a full-scale furniture store, Sherwood Studios often gets calls from people asking for tips regarding how to clean their fine furniture. When it comes to wood furniture, it’s not so much the type of wood that matters, but, more so, the type of finish on it.
In general, finishes on furniture can be soft, hard or painted. You can polish your furniture 3 to 4 times per year using a store-bought polish appropriate for the type of finish.
Some people choose to use a vacuum with a dusting brush attachment to clean their fine furniture, while others opt for a clean, soft cloth.
If you have furniture with an oil finish, you should not use wax, mineral oil, or furniture polish on it. Instead, you’ll want to use boiled linseed oil, Tung oil, and/or distilled white vinegar.
Furniture with a lacquer finish can be cleaned with a solvent-based furniture cleaner. Some people use an oil soap. Liquid wax can be applied to maintain a glossy look. It’s always a good idea to test a cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous spot to make sure it works well and doesn’t ruin the look of the piece.
European furniture is more likely than US-made furniture to have polyurethane finishes, which can be cleaned using a moist cloth to remove fingerprints and light soil. Mineral spirits can be used to remove dirt build-up. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands when working with mineral spirits.
Finally, painted furniture finishes can be cleaned using a mixed solution of mild, non-abrasive detergent and warm water, followed by a rinse with clear water. With painted furniture finishes, you should not use any oil products.
Call Sherwood Studios at 248-855-1600 with any questions you have regarding the cleaning of fine furniture.