How To Clean Antique Furniture

Having antique furniture adds a unique charm and character to your home. Antique furniture exhibits fine craftsmanship not often found in today’s modern furniture. Some are quite valuable depending on the quality and uniqueness of the item. However, some antiques may tend to look dirty due to their age. It is possible to clean antique furniture, although some care must be given to it. You don’t want to ruin the finish of the piece, only to restore its original luster.

If you have antique furniture but don’t know how to clean it, read the following easy instructions.

  1. Clear the surface area of the piece that you want to clean. Remove anything on tabletops or the inside of cabinets. Now you may wipe down the surface with a soft dry cloth.
  2. Keep in mind that you have to be gentle when handling your antique furniture. Make sure you don’t rub too hard. Do not use circular motions. Instead, rub following the natural grain of the wood so as not to scratch your wood. Also, if you are using any cleansers or polish, spot test in a small inconspicuous area first to check if your treatment will cause any discoloration or remove any varnish.
  3. Be careful around the hardware such as handles and hinges. You will need to polish these separately from the rest of the wood. Use polish specifically for brass to bring out the shine of your hardware.
  4. If your furniture has an excessive layer of dirt, you will need to wash your furniture with a little soapy water. Try using Murphy’s Oil soap. If you don’t have Murphy’s Oil Soap, dissolve a few drops of liquid soap in a basin of warm water. You may use liquid hand soap. Don’t use dishwashing detergent or laundry soap on your antiques. Use a little bit of the solution at a time. Do not apply the soapy water directly on the wood. Instead, dip a soft rag in the basin and rub it on the surface you are trying to clean. Rinse the surface by wiping it down with a clean damp cloth. When clean, the furniture is now ready to be polished.
  5. Do not use steel wool or other coarse and abrasive scrub sponges. These may damage the finish of the wood causing scratches.
  6. To polish your antique furniture, you may purchase a bottle of lemon oil and rub it on the surface. If you prefer, you may make your own lemon oil by mixing half a cup of olive oil with 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice. The oil will polish the surface of the wood, while the lemon juice will clean the surface and leave a nice clean scent.
  7. If there is a musty smell in your antique cabinet or shelves, just place a cup of baking soda in a shallow bowl. This will absorb any bad smells.

Restore your antique furniture to its original luster and beauty following the simple steps above. Once you have cleaned your antique thoroughly, you will just need to maintain it by dusting it or polishing it occasionally with lemon oil.


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