How to care for wooden furniture

How to care for wooden furniture

Posted by Clare on Nov 07, 2019

Solid wooden furniture looks great in any room and the variations in grain pattern and colour are what gives wood its natural beauty and timeless appeal.  Wooden furniture will improve with age and the minor knocks picked up through everyday use will add to the character and texture of the furniture.  Here are our tips on how to care for wooden furniture so that it still looks in great condition for years to come.

A natural material

In it's natural state, wood lives and breathes and reacts to its environment, expanding and shrinking with different temperatures and humidity.  Did you know that almost half the weight of freshly sawn wood is water?  At The Wooden Furniture Store, all of our timbers undergo a meticulous kiln drying process to carefully reduce the moisture content, leaving just enough so that the furniture can properly acclimate to the humidity of your home.

Furniture position

To keep wood in good condition, avoid positioning your new furniture in direct sunlight and keep it away from radiators.  The constant temperature changes could cause warping, changes in colour and splitting.  It is best to leave a gap of approximately 25cm between the wall and the back of your furniture, this will let air flow around the furniture and keep it at a more stable temperature, helping to prolong its life.

Looking after new furniture

How to care for wooden furniture

Dust furniture once a week using a soft, lint free cloth. Do not use sprays - especially any containing silicone (they can leave a build up of sticky residue on the surface).  We recommend that all plates and cups should be placed on mats to ensure that there are no heat stains or accidental spillages - especially on dining furniture and coffee tables.

Image from

It's also a good idea to use coasters or place mats under ornaments to protect sideboard surfaces from scratches.  Lift vases and picture frames instead of pushing them when dusting.

How to move furniture

All furniture from The Wooden Furniture Store is made of solid wood and as a result is very heavy.  To move your new furniture into position, two people should lift it and carefully set it down to preserve the joints, never drag your furniture by it's legs or pull it across the room.

Emergency furniture care

Sticky spots on furniture can be treated carefully with soap and water. Try dipping your cloth in mild soap or detergent dissolved in water, wring the cloth nearly dry and wipe the area. Rinse and immediately dry with a clean soft cloth.

Image from

If you have a spill, it can lead to staining - particularly ugly if it's red wine or coffee.  Blot the spill with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth.  For long standing stains, it's best to contact a professional furniture restorer who will get your furniture back into perfect condition.

Special care for oak furniture

How to care for oak furniture

Oak is our most popular wood for constructing furniture, thanks to it's strength, durability and beauty.  For the Mobel Oak furniture range, we recommend that it is treated with with a good quality wax polish at three month intervals which protects the grain and helps the wood resist cracking to keep them in the best possible condition.  Apply a small amount of polish with a soft cloth and work it into the wood in the direction of the grain.  Leave it for half and hour and buff the surface of the furniture using a clean soft cloth, again rubbing with the grain.

Looking after mahogany wood

Looking after mahogany furniture

Mahogany wood is a rich red brown colour, uniform grain and is used to make classic pieces of furniture.  For our  La Roque Mahogany range we recommend a lambs wool duster as it contains lanolin which attracts dust and is brilliant for cleaning the hand carved areas of the furniture.

Caring for walnut wood furniture

Caring for Walnut wood furniture

Our Shiro Walnut and Mayan Walnut furniture ranges are both made out of solid walnut which has a dark brown colour and a unique dense grain which is used to create unique pieces of furniture.  We recommend that walnut is carefully dry dusted using a microfiber cloth.

Helpful care instructions with every purchase

To ensure that you can look after your new purchases perfectly, we deliver each item with a care leaflet, entitled 'How to care for Wooden Furniture'.  It has a number of good, common sense care instructions and we think the best way to look after your furniture is to cherish it and enhance it's beauty, so that it lasts a lifetime.

Cleaning FAQs

Can germs and viruses (such as Cornovirus) survive on wood furniture?

Germs and viruses can live on any surface and spread to humans through skin contact, so anything we touch frequently can potentially be a threat - including wooden furniture. Although viruses can survive on surfaces like wood, how long they survive for will depend on the virus itself and other environmental conditions.

How do you clean germs and viruses from painted furniture?

Furniture that is painted or has multiple coats (like our decorated Chinese Nine Schools Furniture and Signature Grey Oak furniture) can be damaged by repeated applications of harsh detergents or disinfectants - as with any upholstery, it’s always best to test a small patch first, preferable on the back.

How do you clean germs and viruses from wooden furniture with an oiled finish?

If your wooden furniture has an oiled finish, find three lint-free cloths. Dip one in a mild soap and water solution, wring it out thoroughly and use it to scrub the furniture. Wet the second cloth with plain water and use it to rinse the soap solution off.  Use the final cloth to dry the furniture.

Do strong chemicals like disinfectant damage wooden furniture?

Repeated applications of harsh detergents or disinfectants may damage wooden furniture if used regularly, so it’s always best to test a small patch first, preferable on the back. 

How do you clean furniture made with a wood veneer?

Furniture with a veneer is easy to clean by spraying a disinfectant or wiping the surface with an antimicrobial wipe; it shouldn't have any negative effect on the material or its finish.

Last Modified: 5th April 2020