Must-know tips on how to care for new furniture

Linen platform fabric bed with tufted headboard and solid wood rails

MUST KNOW TIPS FOR THE NEW FURNITURE YOU BROUGHT HOME

While premium furniture is made to last, you still need to do your part to upkeep maintenance so your wood remains looking as beautiful as ever. While it's important to always confirm the manufacturer's specific instructions, we've listed some general suggestions you can do to minimize any heavy damage or fading.

Location location location...
A little known fact is that location is an important factor in ensuring your upholstery lasts, and wood is no different. Each type of furniture has a specific red zone in a home and should be avoided at all costs. For example, velvet should be kept away from direct sunlight because it'll change the colour in the sun exposed area and cause damage to the fabric. Wood is not that different, it does not do well in direct sunlight but also should be kept away from heating and cooling vents. Wood is a natural source and will expand and shrink with different temperatures. Over time, this can create cracks in the wood and morph its shape and cause the finish to fade.

Protect the surface
Coffee tables, dining tables, and even side tables make excellent spots for putting coffees or iced drinks, or even hot food plates, depending on the occasion, and as such are a staple for your living space. I'm sure you've heard an age old rule - never put a hot or cold drink on a wood surface without a coaster, otherwise your table with seriously suffer the unsightly look of white rings. The temperature reacts with the surface it's in contact with and can change its appearance.

Regular cleaning
Another important key to remember is that wood requires cleaning on a regular basis. A microfibre cloth or feather duster won't scratch your surface when dusting, so carefully choose what you want to dust it with. For a deeper clean, wet a soft cloth and wipe it down. Cotton works best, synthetic fibres may cause scratches on the surface. Many manufacturers warn against using wax-based cleaning products or sprays with silicone. Be sure to double check the manufacturer's instructions.

Watch for bugs!
Termites, ants and other critters love to get themselves embedded into the crevices of your wood furniture and literally eat pieces out of it. It's important to clean up crumbs immediately after eating and regularly wiping your furniture to avoid attracting any insects. It's much easier to prevent an infestation than it is to treat one.

Quick fixes
Most damage done to wooden furniture is actually an easy fix, if handled quickly and appropriately. Anything made from cheap material will break easily and plastic loses its lustre, but hardwood furniture is sturdy and can withstand quite a bit of daily incidents.

The key is to find products that will clean the mess without damaging the wood finish. There are wood-specific repair kits you can find online, or, you can use:

1. Pumic, which can be used to sand down or smooth out a damaged section;
2. Mineral spirits are better to use than turpentine;
3. Linseed and flax seed oil solidifies on the surface and creates a shiny look.

Spills and white rings
If by chance you forget to use a coaster or a guest puts their ice cold beverage on your wood dining table, try using a hair dryer on the area. If that doesn't work, some rub car wax or petroleum jelly (vaseline), even toothpaste, can wipe away rings and spills (with a damp cloth). Use these remedies right away otherwise the moisture can seep quite deep into the surface and becomes infinitely harder to remove.

Ink stains
Difficult, but not impossible, ink stains can be quite a nuisance to get rid of. Mix baking soda and water and pour the mixture over the ink blot and wipe it away with a damp cloth. Sometimes mixing a gentle dish washing soap and water helps. Test a small spot of the stain first to ensure this won't destroy the finish. Treat it quickly, the longer the ink dries the more difficult it becomes to get rid of.

Chewing gum
Gum can become an absolutely nightmare if it sticks to wood. Try removing as much as possible from the surface and then use ice to freeze whatever remains. Don't use a paper towel as that can leak and leave a watermark, it's better to use a cloth or something that won't water stain the wood. Keep the ice for about 10 minutes until the gum freezes and then use a soft butter knife or flat wedge tool to scrape it off. You likely can damage your surface with a scratch using this method though.

Nicks and scratches
Wood furniture scratches quite easily unfortunately. Even cleaning with a synthetic cloth could scratch. If its small and shallow, you can mask it with a little colour like a marker or shoe finish. Coffee grounds can also work, depending on the colour. Make sure the colour matches the finish of the wood and only apply it directly on the scratch.

Closing remarks
Many trends come and go, one year snakeskin is in and another, it's velvet everything. But one thing we can count on to be timeless, is wood. No matter what vibe you're going for in your home, or whatever piece of furniture you're looking for, getting solid hard wood pieces for your home decor adds some spice and brings nature indoors. Eating on a wood dining table gives you a taste of the outside from your dining room. We hope this article helps you keep your precious pieces looking new and sharp as ever. 

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