Easy tips for cleaning your furniture

Keep your furniture looking like it did when you bought it new. By maintaining a regular cleaning schedule, you'll avoid irreversible damage or costly cleaning bills later on.

Easy tips for cleaning your furniture

Cleaning furniture made of natural materials

Clean untreated cane, rattan, or bamboo by first vacuuming the furnishings, then cleaning them with rags and a mild soap solution. (For extra cleaning power, add a dash of ammonia to the soap and water.) When treating varnished wicker furniture, cane, or chairs with raffia or straw sitting surfaces, soap and water will do the trick.

  • Increase the durability of your furnishings by brushing them down once a year with salt water.
  • Lighten the colour of wickerwork by rubbing it with half a lemon or a mixture of salt and vinegar; rinse the furniture thoroughly after treatment.
  • Get sagging wicker seats back into shape by dampening them with hot water and then leaving them to dry outdoors for at least 24 hours. As the fibres of the seats dry, they will tighten and shrink back to their original shape. Keep them in the shade as direct sunlight could bleach them out.
  • Treat the underside of your furniture with lemon oil to keep it from drying out.

Cleaning smooth surfaces

  • Wipe marble tops with a slightly moist cloth. Treat stains with a little lemon juice or lemon rind and salt, but let the juice work for just a moment to keep the acids from attacking the stone. Apply a mixture of 45 millilitres (three tablespoons) of baking soda and one litre (four cups) of warm water to dull marble; let it work for 15 to 30 minutes, rinse with water and rub dry.
  • Use a soap and water solution with a dash of vinegar to clean furniture with plastic tops.
  • Dust glass panes on furnishings such as display cases and bookcases regularly. If they are very dirty, moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and rub the glass in circles to avoid streaking.

Removing wax from wood

  1. Use a blow-dryer on the lowest fan speed and highest heat to melt the wax residue.
  2. Rub the wax off with a paper towel and wipe it with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.
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