Are you confused about dusting vs. cleaning, or waxing vs. polishing wood furniture?
While experts have varying opinions on the care of wood furniture, it usually depends on the finish of the piece. On the following pages are many helpful tips from the book, Making a Home.
Tip #1: Always ask for specific care and cleaning guidelines when purchasing new or old furnishings.
Don't avoid dusting furniture. Frequent dusting removes airborne deposits that build up in a filmy layer and can scratch the surface.
Clean, dry, soft cloths or feather dusters will effectively remove dust; however, to avoid scattering the dust into the air, where it floats until landing back on furniture surfaces, dampen the cloth very slightly.
Oil polishes, cleaners, and furniture oils protect wood by making the surface more slippery; they do notoffer a hard protective layer.
Products that contain a high percentage of oil make the surface smear, showing fingerprints. Avoid polishing with pure olive oil, which smears and attracts dust.
Most commercial spray and liquid furniture polishes contain silicone oil, which provides some protection. If you have used sprays and polishes in the past or suspect that furniture has been polished with them, be aware that residues can interfere with refinishing and may need professional attention.