Protect Your Investment without the Headaches
The beauty of Furniture care is that it protects your investment. Let's be honest, I think polishing is just plain boring. As a guy, I wish I could bring the leaf blower in once a week and be done with the whole thing. Or better yet, I would use outdoor furniture that only requires a good hosing. However, furniture is an expensive purchase even when you find the best discount outlet on the planet.
So here enlies the problem. How do I take proper care of my furniture and not "become a slave to my belongings" as I believe Henry David Thoreau once said. This idea was something that struck me as weird (to say the least) when I first read it in middle school. Of course, what did I know - I didn't own a thing. Once again, the echoes of my mom's voice ring out "you have it so easy" and "we just can't have nice things".
Anyhow, proper care will do all the obvious - help maintain your furniture's finish and ensure that it looks great year after year. Now more from the "firm grasp of the obvious"; wooden furniture is absorbent and marks easily. Water is bad for furniture, it makes those nasty rings. Dust is disgusting, and Scratches just plain p!%s me off.
Here's what I know - most commercial furniture offers some protection as it is finished with clear lacquer. This is a somewhat hard, durable, and flexible coating; however, I wouldn't go as far as to say that is scratch-resistant and can withstand most household spills. Nonetheless the laquer coating offers some protection.
Caring for Furniture
Oh yay... This means dusting or as I like to call it "fumigating the man cave". I am a sucker for those lemon scented products... Who isn't? Truth be told - caring for your furniture is easy. How often you dust depends on where you live and the time of year. I use the more tried and true "doodle test" to determine how often I need to dust. This means if I can draw pictures, or leave messages for others in the dust on my coffee table, then it's probably time to clean.
Choosing what to use
Keep it simple is what I say. Select soft cloths, not just any old pair of socks or t-shirts... my personal favorites until recent years. Something non-abrasive and non-expensive is ideal. As far as the cleaner goes, some cleaning products have drawbacks. Soap and water is just a no-no as I learned the hard way.
Tip #1 - use cloth moistened with polish / cleaner. Polish cushions the cloth, eliminates scratching that occurs with a dry dusting, and gives the dust something to stick to instead of just moving it around.
Tip#2 - don't just sweep dust or crumbs off of your furniture with the back of your hand. This will scratch the goods.
Tip#3 - Select a product that does not contain silicon or other oil based items. Oil based stuff does provide a beautiful shine but tends to attract more dust over time and produce more work for you.... who wants this?
Tip#4 - Pledge now has a product called "Multi Surface", a cleaner and duster with Allergen Trappers. I like this product even though it's not as cheap as the Dollar Store polishes I purchased in the past. The cool thing about Multi Surface is that it is good for metal, wood, and glass. I have even found this useful with leather or vinyl upholstery. I am a sucker for the all-in-one aspects of this product. Not a shameless plug for Pledge, just something I came across that seems to work well. Link provided for those interested.
Tip#4b - Find a product that does not create a smeary residue. Huh? This occurs mostly with the oil based products. I would not buy something that just creates more work. For no other reason than, I HATE DUSTING. Let's face it, dusting is a pain and not at all sexy. Who wants to keep rubbing that same old piece of furniture over and over just to get an even finish.
Tip# 4c - Little known fact, silicon based items can produce a silicon cloud after years. This means that refinishing your furniture will eventually be needed. Now who needs that pain and cost?
Tip#5 - If you choose to ignore the warnings about silicon / oil please know that applying oils directly to your furniture does not work. Most furniture is sealed, and the oil will not penetrate the wood. Applying oil sounds like a great idea as I have done this before. The only problem is that I created a great look for a couple of days and a dust trap for weeks.
Tip#6 - Avoid using soap and water on furniture. Water will eventually penetrate the finish, raise the grain on the wood which will add an unappealing texture to your furniture. Simple rule: texture for furniture = bad, texture for pleasure = good. Wink wink! Seriously, you will face the inevitable, and this time we're talking sanding and refinishing. At this point I would just buy new - if I could - as those furniture repair guys are not boys scouts and their work doesn't come cheap.
In closing, I hope you find my take of furniture care useful if not amuzing. I plan on offering additional takes on minor furniture repair, mattress care and stain prevention, upholstry cleaning and the differences in the vaious fabrics to name a few upcoming topics. Here is wishing everyone a Happy Holidays and merry dusting as you prepare to be invaded by those friends and family members over the next few weeks or so. And remember no arguing as Grampa Almont isn't ignoring you he just forgot to get new batteries for his hearing aid.
Content Source: www.furnitureab.com/Furniture_Care.php
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