Tips for caring for your furniture

Your furniture is not only a pricey investment it is also a treasured part of your home. So many memories are held in the seat cushions of an old rocker or the down the length of your dining room table. Proper care and maintenance will ensure these memories and the furniture will last a lifetime.

Here are some tips on caring for your fine wood furniture.

Avoid the heat and light. Surprisingly wood contains a large amount of moisture. Preserving the moisture levels is key to the preservation of your wood furniture. And for this reason, it is important to keep it away from heating vents, radiators, and fireplaces. Don’t store your furniture in the attic, where wildly varying temperature and humidity levels will affect your pieces. Avoid direct sunlight, which can fade wood and fabrics; use curtains or protective window films to guard against the sun’s damaging rays.

Protect from damage. Everyday use can be hard on your wood furniture. Rings made by hot or wet dishes can leave permanent marks. Provide coasters, placemats and heat absorbing serving dishes to protect your surfaces from damage caused by moisture, heat and general scuffs and scratches.

Clean safely. Dust frequently, this stops the dirt from building up in the cracks and corners. On occasion, wood furniture will require a heavier cleaning. To remove a greasy film from cigarette smoke or cooking oils, Guardian Protection Products offers a number of wood care products to help clean, maintain and restore your wood finishes. Do not overly wet the sponge, and gently rub with the grain of the wood. Wipe dry with a clean lint-free or microfiber cloth.

Dust damp. A dry cloth can scratch your fine wood finishes, so be sure to lightly spritz your cloth with water, a dusting agent or wood polish. Never spray on to the furniture directly, as over spraying will leave a difficult-to-remove film. It’s important to follow the grain of the wood to avoid cross-grain marks.

Polish or wax? You can choose either wax or furniture polish to protect the surfaces — but only use one or the other. If you try to combine these products, you’ll create a sticky mess. Be sure to have selected the appropriate treatment for the furniture’s finish. Guardian Protection Products offers both polish and wax options.

Which one to choose? Wax is a semi-solid product, and it requires a little extra elbow grease to apply, but it makes for a long-lasting coat. Furniture polish is easier to apply; it is made with petroleum distillates (a solvent), and it evaporates fairly quickly. Most people overuse the polish to restore the wood to a fresh finish. Layers of polish then buildup, and combined with body oils and dirt, begin to create a sticky, dull film over the surface. If you choose to use polish, use it with restraint.

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