Choosing wooden furniture for your home is one of the easiest ways to give your rooms class and character. Wood can be finished in a variety of ways, and each different finish can change the look and feel of your home in a dramatic way. Once you’ve invested in wooden furniture, it’s very important to care for your particular finish(es) in the proper way in order to keep your Austin home clean and stylish. Check out this guide from It’s Cleaning Time in order to see what you need to do.

First, here are a few general cleaning tips that apply to any type of wood finish: Always dust wood in the direction of its grain. Over time, this will help your maintain the look of the grain that makes your furniture unique. When you dust, choose a cloth or duster that will trap particles, rather than simply brushing them off onto other surfaces or into the air. Also, restrain your desire to use spray polish on a frequent basis, because it can build up and dull the wood’s natural character. To remove built-up polish, steep two tea bags in boiling water, then let your tea cool to room temperature. Dip a soft cloth in the tea and wring it out well, then buff away old spray polish residue. And if you have sticky spots on your wooden furniture that won’t disappear with regular cleaning techniques, use a soft cloth dampened (not wet) with a solution of one cup of water and a few drops of white vinegar. Remember to follow the wood’s grain!

Unsealed wood – Use a soft, well-wrung cloth to apply plain water or water mixed with a little bit of liquid dish soap for tougher messes. Rinse with as little water as possible, and dry immediately with a soft cloth or towel. The unsealed wood remains wet, the higher the possibility that it will sustain damage.

Painted wood – Clean with a soft, color-free cloth and a little bit of straight liquid dish soap, then rinse with as little water as possible and dry with a soft cloth or towel.

Stained wood – If possible, stick to damp-dusting stained wood – essentially, dusting with a slightly damp microfiber cloth. If you need a little more cleaning power, mix a little bit of dish soap into your water and wash the wood gently, following the grain. Then rinse with as little water as possible and dry immediately.

Varnished wood – In general, stick to damp-dusting. For stubborn dirt or stickiness, spot-clean with a soft, damp cloth and a solution of water and just a few drops of liquid dish soap. Polish your varnish with a leather chamois or very occasionally use a spray polish, but apply it to a cloth and rub it on, rather than spraying the chemical directly on the wood.

Waxed wood – Liquid soap will dull the wax finish, so instead mix a solution of soapflakes and water or use a store-bought soapy wood cleaner. Take care not to get your wood wetter than necessary, then dry with a soft cloth.

Wood veneer – If the top layer of wood is unsealed, don’t do anything more aggressive than damp-dusting. If it has a sturdy synthetic coating, make a solution of water and liquid dish soap, then apply it with a well-wrung sponge. Rinse sparingly and dry immediately with a soft cloth or towel.

Austin home cleaning is all about using the safest method for the materials in your home. At It’s Cleaning Time, your Austin-area maid service, we pride ourselves on using the safest cleaning methods and educating our customers about them as well!

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