Now that you have made the decision to buy solid wood furniture, let us help you care for it.
Dusting: Use a slightly damp cloth (old t-shirts, cloth diapers, and flannel work well) and lightly wipe down furniture. We do not recommend any commercial cleaning products as they leave behind a film that can break down the finish over several years. They will also make it much more difficult to refinish your furniture in the future, if you wish.
Washing: Solid wood furniture should never be washed down or soaked in water as it will cause the wood to swell and the finish to fail. However, if you need to remove stubborn food or grime, use warm water on a cloth or sponge and gently rub in the direction of the wood grain. Non-abrasive dish soap can be used as well, but be sure to rinse it off afterwards. You may also use a dry cloth to clean up any leftover water and to reduce water streaks after washing.
Wood movement: Wood is sensitive to changes in relative humidity. As the weather changes, so does the relative humidity in your home and the moisture content of the wood in your furniture. This means that furniture is constantly expanding and contracting. Wood does best in moderate conditions of around 70 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of about 50 – 55 percent. Excess heat and dryness can cause wood to split and crack, while excess dampness can cause wood to swell and warp.
Avoiding Issues: Your new furniture is designed to provide generations of use, but mishaps do occur. Here are a few tips to help prevent them:
Do not place furniture near direct heat sources like stoves or fireplaces.
Avoid using ceramic or other abrasive plates and cups on your furniture, as they will scratch the finish.
While the use of placemats is recommended, be aware that leaving any item on your furniture for an extended period of time may lead to a lighter mark where the placemat, lamp, or runner was placed. Periodically adjust the placement of your coverings so that the wood darkens evenly over time.
Lift, don’t slide objects on wood tops. Use small brown felt adhesives on the bottom of lamps, vases or other accessories to prevent scratching.
Lift heavy furniture with the help of at least two people. Sliding pieces could hurt the wood floor and damage furniture legs by applying excessive pressure.