How to Clean and Maintain Antique Furniture

Some of the cleaning methods you’d readily use on everyday furniture can ruin the look and reduce the value of an antique.
The safest approach to cleaning antiques is to simply dust once every week or two with a soft, dry, non-abrasive cloth or  chamois. Avoid  furniture  polishes – they will just leave a film that will attract more dirt and polishing can damage the finish, the patina of your piece, and diminish its value.
If a more aggressive cleaning method is necessary first make sure that the finish isn’t too fragile. If it is in good condition, wipe down with a slightly damp cloth and follow up with a dry one. (Never saturate an antique with water- that would ruin even a stable finish, according to cleaners Crystal Palace.)
If you need stronger cleaning power, mix 1 teaspoon of mild washing-up liquid in a little water. Dip your cloth in the solution, wring it out and wipe the furniture down quickly. Follow up right away with a dry cloth. Test this method on a hidden spot first, to ensure the finish holds.
Wax antique furniture no more often than every three years – and again only if the finish is stable. A dark paste wax is good because it won’t leave a whitish residue in crevices, which lighter waxes do. Apply a thin coat with a soft cloth and follow up right away with a clean cloth, rubbing the wax off until it is dry.
If an antique has a water stain – and it is not very valuable – you can try waxing the mark. Start by applying a paste furniture wax to the stain with a soft cloth to see how much the surface darkens, as recommended by cleaners Cubitt Town. Work your way outward from the stain, trying to create a match with the surrounding surface. If your antique is valuable , however, don’t try this yourself. Get help from a professional restorer.
To keep your antique furniture looking fine, store it in a very dry room, out of direct sunlight, as humidity and temperature can cause antique furniture to crack.


June 4, 2012 | Author: | Posted in Cleaning

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