Real wood is a popular material used to make chairs, tables, desks, bed frames, dressers and other types of furniture. Whether it's oak, hickory or cherry, it offers a timeless appearance that's easy to incorporate into most home decor styles. Of course, wood furniture can also last for decades or longer. To make your wood furniture last, though, you'll need to care for it.
With the exception of solid, single-piece furniture, most wood furniture is constructed with fasteners like screws, bolts or cam locks. Over time, it's not uncommon for these fasteners to come loose. While a loose screw or bolt won't cause immediate problems, it can lower the structural integrity of the furniture and increase its risk of damage. Therefore, you should try to get into the habit of tightening all accessible fasteners on your wood furniture at least once every few months. Using a screwdriver or wrench, you should be able to tighten the fasteners so that they don't fall out.
Keep It Away From Heat
Use caution to avoid placing wood furniture near heat. Why does this matter? Well, heat and wood don't mix. When exposed to heat from a fire, air vent or space heater, wood furniture may warp. Heat causes wood to expand on contact, resulting in shape deformation. And once this occurs, there's no easy way to reverse the damage. Rather, you'll have to buff down the warped section of the furniture, followed by refinishing the surface. You can avoid this headache altogether by placing your wood furniture away from heat sources.
Use Beverage Coasters
For wood tables and desks, use beverage coasters to protect against water stains. If you place a beverage-filled cup directly on wood, condensation may drip onto the wood to create a ring-shaped stain. You can still use wood furniture to store your beverages, but you should use coasters to protect the wood surface from water stains.
Clean With Mild Dish Soap
You don't need any special wood soap or detergent to clean your wood furniture. On the contrary, mild dish soap works just as well as many store-bought wood soaps and detergents. Just fill a small bowl with warm water and a small amount of mild dish soap, after which you can use this soapy solution to clean the surface of your wood furniture.
In addition to cleaning your wood furniture, you should also polish it. Murphy's Oil Soap is an excellent (and safe) product that you can use to polish wood furniture. After applying a thin layer over your wood furniture, it will restore the wood's natural luster and sheen.