Most people know that polishing their wood furniture will extend the life of the piece and keep it looking beautiful, but a more thorough cleaning should be given once or twice a year to keep the build-up of dirt and furniture polish from changing the color of the wood or filling in any detail work. Use 1/2 cup of mild soap or an oil soap, such as Murphy’s, dissolved in a gallon of water. Use a cloth dampened with the soap mixture to scrub the wood gently, following the grain. Use a toothbrush or a cotton swab to gently scrub small areas or carvings.
TLC for Scratches and Water Spots
Once you’ve scrubbed the entire piece, use a clean cloth with clear water to rinse away the soap. Use a dry, soft towel to buff the furniture dry. This is a perfect time to check for scratches and water rings before you finish your cleaning.
To fix scratches, use this easy technique: mix two tablespoons of lemon juice with an equal part vegetable oil. Use a clean cloth to rub this mixture into the scratch, moving with the direction of the scratch. For extra-deep or noticeable scratches, try rubbing a crayon that matches the wood along the scratch and then scraping away the excess with your fingernail. Or try this old wives’ tale – rub the scratch with a shelled walnut!
To remove water rings easily, rub with a cloth dipped in mayonnaise. Sounds silly, but it really works!