The Secret to Keeping Wooden Chairs Clean & Gorgeous

If you’ve made the investment in a set of high-quality wooden chairs, you’ll want to take care when cleaning them. While they may require an extra bit of effort, taking the time to properly clean and maintain the finish on wooden furniture will ensure it is around for future generations to enjoy.

Caring for wooden furniture is ridiculously simple—just follow these steps to maintain the natural beauty of your wood chairs.

(It is important to note that, before purchasing wooden furniture, always ask the manufacturer if there are any care suggestions for your new purchase. Manufacturer’s instructions trump our list every time so, if you have those, use them.)

Give it a Proper Dusting

Nothing can make furniture (and a home) look unkempt faster than a fine layer of dust. Not only does it look unattractive, but dust can trigger allergic reactions in some people, so it’s best to incorporate dusting into your weekly cleaning schedule.

The right tool will be a game changer when dusting. Whether you opt for a duster or a cloth, it’s important to use a tool that will attract and hold dust instead of just moving it around. Look for dusters made of ostrich feathers or lamb’s wool. Feathers are great for delicate pieces while wool contains lanolin, which attracts dust.

If you’d prefer to stick with a good, old-fashioned cloth, choose microfiber. Dusting clothes are available in a pretreated form, with cleaner infused into the fibers, and allow you to dust without carrying around a spray bottle. If you’re looking for an economical option, use an old cotton t-shirt torn into rag-sized cloths to get your dusting done.

Time to Clean

If you notice any unusually sticky spots on your chairs (perhaps a jam-laced, sticky fingerprint somewhere), dip a soft cloth into a bowl of warm soapy water and gently rub the spot until it comes loose or dissolves. Once the residue is removed, wipe with a soft dry cloth. As a rule, you should not clean your entire chair with water because it can ruin the finish on furniture.

When it comes to cleaners, there are endless options available at most grocery and home improvement stores. Read labels carefully and avoid any cleaners containing alcohol, bleach, or granular abrasives which can harm the wood.

Wood cleaning oils are a nice option as they provide a fine layer of residue that will repel dust. Moderation is the key to a nice, light finish—if you are too heavy handed, you’ll end up with an oily film that showcases fingerprints.

To Wax or Not to Wax?

Wax is wonderful because it is highly resistant to dust. It’s ridiculously easy to apply and allows you to create a luxurious sheen on furniture with the slightest buffing. On the downside, wax must be reapplied—usually twice a year—to maintain the finish. If it builds up on furniture, wax can make wood look dull and cloudy. When this happens, the wax must be removed using mineral spirits before reapplying.

To apply fresh wax to wooden chairs you’ll need a container of your wax of choice and a wax brush or a couple of soft cloths. Apply a small amount of wax to the brush or cloth and gently rub the product into the wood using small, circular strokes. The wood should appear glossy or wet after application.

The wax container will tell you how long to leave the product on the wood. When the wait time is up, grab your soft, clean cloth and gently buff the area to remove any excess wax and create that gorgeous sheen you love.

How to Hide Surface Scratches

If you are using your chairs regularly scratches are inevitable. Felt touch-up pens made specifically for wood are great to keep on hand and come in a variety of shades. Found online or at most home improvement stores, touch-up pens are life savers for hiding shallow surface scratches on wood.

If the damage to your chair falls into the “gouge” category, you may need to use a wood filler (once again, get thee to the home improvement store). Try to find a close color match and follow package instructions for application.

And there you have it. With a few items from your favorite hardware store, you’ll have everything you need to keep your wooden chairs beautiful for years to come.

Here’s to bringing out the natural beauty of wood!

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