Wood is an elegant and noble material that adorns many pieces of furniture in a house but that must be properly cared for to prevent it from getting damaged, split, or darkened. Cleaning wood furniture therefore requires taking the type of wood into account: varnished, waxed, or lacquered. Discover our tips for cleaning and polishing each type of wood.
Varnished wood furniture
Varnished wood requires special attention! Indeed, it’s out of the question to use an abrasive sponge, a powdered product (baking soda, borax, etc.), or an acidic or chemical product on this sensitive surface. To clean varnished wood, it’s therefore best to use a damp soft or microfibre cloth, wrung out and soaked in your product, and patting the surface or making gentle movements rather than scrubbing the wood to try to remove a stain. Use mild products such as soap or dishwashing liquid to remove stains. Let the product rest for a few minutes on the stain, then rinse and dry the surface. For routine maintenance, you can use diluted vinegar, brewed tea (ideal on adhesive varnished wood), wax cream, or wax for the dirtiest furniture.
Tip: To polish faded varnished wood furniture, move a soft cloth soaked in a mixture of equal parts linseed oil and rubbing alcohol along the entire surface without scrubbing.
Waxed wood furniture
Before stripping or waxing an already waxed piece of furniture again, it must first be completely dusted. Then, as with varnished wood furniture, it’s best to use a wool (ideal) or microfibre cloth rather than a sponge to clean and polish the surface without leaving any marks. As for the products to use on waxed wood furniture, you can use white vinegar or wax cream to eliminate stains, making gentle movements in the direction of the wood grain. Waxed wood must also be polished once or twice a year at most with a special wood wax that does not contain silicone, such as beeswax.
Tip: If a liquid such as water, wine, or oil has flowed onto your waxed wood furniture, pour some flour onto the liquid to absorb it.
Lacquered wood furniture
Lacquered wood is a smooth, shiny surface that must be cleaned exclusively with a soft cloth, a microfibre cloth, or a wool cloth. To remove dust and wash lacquered wood furniture, you must always make circular movements without scrubbing the surface to avoid scratching your furniture. As for the products to use, you can choose from soapy water to eliminate stains or a paste made by mixing equal parts linseed oil, turpentine, and flour. On modern lacquered wood furniture, you can also remove stains with a pencil eraser.
Tip: to remove scratches on lacquered wood furniture, you can use cold cigarette ash by sprinkling it on the scratches, then making circular movements with a cotton ball.
To clean, polish, and care for your varnished, waxed, or lacquered wood furniture, you can also request the services of furniture cleaning specialists and thereby offer a bright and shiny second life to your favourite furniture.