Furniture Cleaning

Furniture care made easy

Clean furniture will beautify your home for years. The furniture's material determines how to clean it. When you purchase furniture, ask about recommended furniture care and keep furniture cleaning instructions for future use. Even without the original instructions, you can keep your furniture looking like new by following a few simple guidelines.

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Cleaning Wood Furniture

General wood furniture cleaning tips include checking existing labels for recommended care and removing crumbs, debris and dust prior to cleaning. Wood furniture comes in many finishes, and each finish is cleaned differently.

Painted furniture can be cleaned with a damp soft cloth dipped in hot water and dishwasher detergent. Be careful not to soak the furniture, and dry each section immediately after washing. For dark stains, mix some white vinegar with a few teaspoons of borax. Rub gently into the stain and then wipe clean. A soft cloth and a mixture of water and a small amount of mild liquid dish detergent (the type used to hand wash dishes) can be used for cleaning antique furniture made of wood.

Varnished wood should not be cleaned if it is damaged. If the wood is in good condition, it can be dusted with a soft cloth, washed with a slightly damp one and then dried immediately. Varnished or shellacked furniture can be polished yearly, but polishing more often may promote a waxy build up.

Cleaning Upholstery

Before beginning upholstery cleaning, remove cushions and shake off crumbs or debris. Use a cloth or vacuum brush attachment to remove any dust. Create a shampoo by combining a cup of water and a quarter-cup of mild detergent. Whip it with a blender until it becomes thick. Apply the mixture to the furniture and rub with a brush or cloth. Remove excess soap with a slightly damp cloth. Dry the furniture overnight with a fan.

Cleaning Leather Furniture

Before cleaning leather, examine existing labels for recommended care. If no instructions are available, remove dust from the leather with a dry soft cloth. Test any cleaning products you plan to use on the underside of the furniture to ensure they are safe. One treatment that is usually safe to use on leather furniture is a mixture of distilled or chlorine-free water and a small amount of mild facial soap.

Do not use water to remove grease stains, however. Instead, try blotting them with a dry cloth. When removing ink stains from leather, use cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol.