Home Improvement Interior Design

How to Prolong the Life of Your Furniture

A home’s furnishings say a lot about the home’s owners. From antiques to traditional and modern furniture, they play a very important role in your home’s interior design. Not only are they a useful necessity, they have the potential to beautify each living space. In order to prolong the life of your furniture, you must care for it regularly. When you carry out these activities, the wood portions of your furniture will look great and last longer.

Photo of a beautiful wood dining room table set

For centuries, the use of wood for furniture was dominant but recently various other materials are being used. Even though there are new materials used for furniture, wood is still the most common in many countries.

But there is one thing all furniture makers and owners dread…  damage. Sadly, some wear and tear is inevitable. There are certain factors that can cause spoilage of wood. They include water, high temperature, low temperature, microbes, chemicals, insects and human factors. When these are not checked, there is a  tendency for your furniture to degrade sooner than you would expect.

When this happens, your furniture will not last as long and can potentially cause accidents. Imagine having to come home from work tired. You slump your fatigued body in a chair only for the legs to give out. That can be nasty, especially if for an aged person.

Here are some ways you can effectively care for your furniture.

Clean Regularly

Dirt and dust will accelerate the degradation of wood. Use warm water and a mild soap or specialized wood cleaner like Murphy’s Oil Soap. When cleaning, do it according to the pattern on the finishing to give it a clean and polished look.

Use a dry towel to dry up after cleaning or you simply open the windows to allow them air dry. This will help to dry up any moisture trapped in the furniture that can lead to damage such as mold.

Some furniture might require you to dismantle it first before cleaning. Just make sure all the pieces are dry before you put them back together. You can even use a vacuum cleaner dry parts more quickly.

Apply Wax

Applying wax to your table finish gives it a luster look.  Depending on the instructions of the product you’ve selected, you can leave the wax on for a couple of minutes to dry before wiping off with a clean soft cloth. Then after another 30-60 mins, wipe off any remaining wax. Waxing will prolong the life of any piece of furniture with wood pieces.

Avoid Extreme Temperature

The effect of high temperature on wood can cause your furniture to shrink and crack. Bit by bit, the furniture starts to fall apart until it can no longer be used. Direct sunlight is certain to dry your wood furniture and cause other problems like discoloration.

When you expose your furniture to low temperature, they allow for the action of fungi to set in. During winter, you may want to try using a humidifier help avoid drying out your furniture.

Use Furniture Coverings

Placing hot plates or items on your furniture can cause discoloration and leave ugly scars on your furniture. The stains are usually a white blurry circle or spot. These stains can be tough to remove, if not impossible.

Although they are tough to remove, there are certain things you can use to get rid of them. You can use mild abrasives such as olive oil, non-gel toothpaste mixed with baking soda, and cooking oil mixed with ashes. Pour a little on a piece of cloth or on your finger and rub gently till the stains are gone.

You can also use a hot iron on a lint-free smooth textured cloth by placing the iron over the stained area for a few seconds. If possible, the iron should not touch the cloth, rather you can hover it around till the stain disappears.

For true protection, consider well-made coverings like table mats, coasters, armchair coverings and table pads. You can check out Sentry table pads to get a suitable type and color for your table finishing.

Cover Furniture when Away

If you must travel for an extended time and there’s no one to regularly care for your furniture, cover your furniture before leaving. Most sheets will do the job. Avoid using plastic package materials when possible because they can suffocate certain furniture materials like wood and fabrics. Using plastic as a packaging can also cause the furniture and room to have an unpleasant musty odor.

Protect your Wood from Insects

Insects can cause a lot of damage to wood furniture. To prolong your furniture’s life, make sure there’s no opportunity for insects. Polishing your wood helps prevent these insects from eating your furniture. You can do it yourself or hire a professional. Aloe vera and olive oil mixed with white vinegar is another method you can use to protect your furniture.

In cases where your furniture is already infested, there are various methods to get rid of the insects. Applying borax is a common method used to get rid of pests. Also, the use of natural oils such as neem oil and orange oil are very effective. Target areas where the insects have already begun action. You might have to do this repeatedly to fully eradicate the problem.

These methods cover every kind of furniture that contains exposed wood. Be careful to handle your furniture carefully as we humans can damage our own possessions as easily as some insects.

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About the author

Tre Pryor, Editor-in-Chief

Tre Pryor is the recognized expert Louisville Realtor who can:
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