Most of us would rather do a million other things than think about how to clean furniture.
Let’s face it, it’s not the most exciting thing.
We only do it when there are guests coming over or when the dust buildup becomes so unbearable that your sofa has become unrecognizable to your entire family.
Yet, we know that it’s important to keep your furniture clean to keep dust and allergens to a minimum. Our household furnishings should not be health hazards.
Plus, it just plain looks better.
I will give you some handy tips for cleaning each type of furniture to help you get started.
How to Clean Leather Furniture
Tools You Will Need:
- Water based foam leather cleaner
- Water based leather protector
- Natural Sponge or soft cloth (microfiber)
For Daily Cleaning: For daily maintenance, clean the leather furniture using a damp sponge or a microfiber cloth that is wet in warm water and gently wipe the surface.
Avoid using a vacuum to remove gritty dirt in order to prevent scratching the leather.
For a More Thorough Cleaning:To clean the leather, use a sponge or a microfiber cloth with a good quality water based foam leather cleaner and gently wipe in a circular motion. Follow with a water based leather protector.
Avoid Using the Following Cleaners:
- Do not use any substances that contain oils, waxes, or silicones because it will eventually destroy the leather finish.
- Do not use baby wipes because it is a strong alkaline cleaner that will also ruin the finish on the leather.
- Do not use saddle soap, varnish, abrasive cleaners, or ammonia on your leather furniture because these chemicals are too harsh.
How to Clean Microfiber Furniture
Tools You Will Need:
- Feather duster
- Vacuum with a soft brush attachment
- Gentle soap, such as liquid Dove or Woolite
- Cold water
- Terry cloth towel or natural sponge (avoid colored cloths and sponges because the dye may bleed into the fabric)
- Hair dryer
- Soft bristle nailbrush
Steps to Thoroughly Cleaning Microfiber Furniture:
- Vacuum the furniture using a soft brush attachment to pick up dust and loose dirt.
- In a bowl, mix a few drops of soap with cold water.
- Slightly dampen the terry cloth towel or natural sponge using the soap and cold water mixture.
- Gently wash a section at a time using the terry cloth towel or natural sponge.
- After cleaning each section, dry the area with a hair dryer on the coolest setting.
- Lastly, lightly brush the area with a soft bristle nailbrush to bring the microfiber back to its natural texture.
How to Clean Outdoor Furniture / How to Clean Patio Furniture
Cleaning outdoor furniture and patio furniture that is made from wrought iron, aluminum, and wicker is fairly easy.
Simply use a feather duster or a damp microfiber cloth and wipe the table, chairs, chair pads (if it has any), and arm rests (if it has arm rests). Use water to dampen the cloth. You may need to use several cloths depending on how dirty the table and chairs is.
It’s not uncommon for outdoor furniture/patio furniture to accumulate leaves, dead insects as well as living insects and spiders under the table and at the base of the table. Cleaning it once or twice a month will help alleviate this problem.
How to Clean Teak Furniture
Teak is a lovely wood that when left outdoors loses its honeycomb color and takes on a silver-gray appearance. This process takes approximately 9 months and it depends on the amount of exposure to certain elements, such as, sun and rain. Teak is the ideal outdoor furniture because of its ability to withstand the harsh elements – sun, snow, and rain.
To clean teak furniture, simply use a warm, soapy water solution. Only a soft bristle brush should be used.
Avoid using abrasive chemicals to clean teak furniture because it could scar and damage the surface of the wood.
Allowing Teak Furniture to Age Naturally
You can opt to allow the teak furniture to slowly acquire the silver-gray color by not applying any oils or sealers. It turns silver-gray due to the natural loss of oil.
If this is look you prefer, the only necessary care for your teak furniture is a periodic cleaning.
To Conserve its Original Color, Consider Doing the Following:
Use Teak Oil or Linseed Oil
- Apply a periodic application of teak oil or linseed oil to help recover and maintain the original color.
- Using a thin layer of the oil on a natural sponge or on a terry cloth, apply a thin coat and allow it to dry before using the furniture.
- You can reapply the oil once or twice a season depending on the type of exposure to the elements.
Use Teak Sealers
If you prefer to seal the wood with a wax, lacquer, varnish, or water based sealer, you can do so twice a year. Once the furniture is sealed, the silver-gray color it would acquire is delayed if not avoided.
Staining Teak Furniture
You can stain teak furniture to achieve a deeper and richer color using a high quality deep impregnating stain.
How to Clean Wood Furniture
Cleaning wood furniture is relatively simple. When choosing a furniture polish, use the same type for each cleaning (oil or wax based) in order to avoid polish smudges. Remember that when wiping, go in the direction of the grain of the wood.
Fixing Marred Wood Surfaces
To darken a scratch, use the meat of a walnut and rub it gently. Rub the kernel of the nut directly into the scratch in order to avoid darkening the surrounding area of the wood.
You can disguise scratches on mahogany or dark cherry by rubbing them with a cotton swab dipped in iodine. If the maple and light cherry surface is unshellacked, dilute the iodine by 50 percent with denatured alcohol.
If the finish is oiled, rub in the direction of the grain with fine (0) steel wool and lightweight mineral oil or boiled linseed oil. Allow the oil to soak in and then wipe the area dry with a clean cloth.
To remove a light burn from the surface of finished wood, form a thin paste by mixing rottenstone or finely powdered pumice with linseed oil. Rub the paste with the grain using a soft cloth. Repeat this process until the burn disappears.
Always be sure to take care of your furniture, and it will take care of you. I hope these tips on how to clean furniture were helpful. Now stop reading and start cleaning!