How to care for your old furniture

February 3, 2016

By cleaning your old furniture with certain mild care products such as beeswax, vinegar or pure soap, you'll give them new youth and will revive their natural shine.

How to care for your old furniture

Natural fibres

  • To retain the beauty of wicker, rattan or bamboo furniture, dust the furniture regularly.
  • A damp cloth and a little soap is sufficient for removing dirt. For deeper cleaning, use washing soda.
  • Rattan and wicker furniture demand moisturizing care once per year. Lightly dampen the furniture with a spray of water and rub it with a soft brush. Allow the furniture to dry outdoors.
  • Bamboo can be scrubbed with a soapy lukewarm water and a little borax. Rinse with saltwater and dry.
  • Once your furniture is clean and dry, apply a thin layer of linseed or citrus oil. This step is important for the hydration of furniture made of raw natural fibres.

Fabrics and leathers

  • Regularly vacuum your upholstery to dust it.
  • Wash the upholstery without getting it too wet. Whiskmild detergent with four parts of warm water. Use only foam to treat soiled areas. Dab with a white cloth to dry.
  • For tea, coffee and white wine stains, apply, with a sponge, a solution of four tablespoons of borax and 600 millilitres (2 1/2 cups) of water. Dab with several layers of paper towels.
  • Heavily soiled or stained leather can be cleaned with a solution of 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) white vinegar in half a bucket of warm water. Dry with a soft towel.
  • Nourish the leather with a solution of one part vinegar for two parts linseed oil. To shine, scrub with a soft cloth.


To fix a sagging rattan chair yourself, turn it upside down and lay on the seat a towel soaked in a solution of 250 grams (one cup) of salt dissolved in 250 millilitres (one cup) of boiling water, then wrung out. Leave on for 30 minutes. While drying, the rattan will contract and tighten.

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