Wood Furniture, Cleaning Furniture

How to Use Antique Furniture Polish

by Anita Alvarez

antique furniture polish to restore antique wood

Antique furniture often holds a beauty that is unmatched by new or modern pieces. Antique furniture polish can bring old pieces back to life even after years of storage in a basement or attic. Aged wood furniture generally loses its luster after years of use and as layers of dirt and grime accumulate. A good cleaning and application of furniture polish can restore those oils, cover up scratches and restore the beauty hidden behind dulled wood.

Cleaning

The first step in restoring this furniture involves cleaning it. If you apply your furniture polish over the dirt, you won't be able to bring out the beauty of the wood over the grime and filth underneath. Start with some hot water and mild liquid soap. Work your way from the top down, using a gentle but firm circular motion to wash away the grime. Choose the softest cloth you have on hand to do the work, and dry the furniture well before moving on to polishing.

Polishing

Once the piece is clean, you can begin the next portion of the process: applying polish. Use a safe, natural polish, and follow the manufacturer's directions on the back of the container. To ensure no harmful synthetics, you might also consider a homemade polish. One good polish recipe cuts alcohol with olive oil and lemon juice (two of the many food-based solutions found in natural cleaners) which you can apply later.

If you use dusting wipes, carefully work your way in through each groove, edge and surface. Follow this by wiping the furniture down with a dry cloth. Keep in mind that polish doesn't provide a layer of protection, according to Better Homes and Gardens, but it does prevent future bacteria from sticking. To this end, spray polishes should be liberally applied onto a soft cloth so you can clean thoroughly within awkward indentations.

Preventing Damage

To prevent damage to your pieces and get the most out of the task:

  • Don't try to scrub dirt away from or polish over silver or gold leaf.
  • Avoid putting too much water on your furniture when cleaning. Wring out the cloth well before washing down the piece, and always follow up with a dry cloth or soft wipe.
  • As you work your way around the item, rotate your cloth so you're not using the same side to clean the entire piece and leaving dirt behind.

For a beautiful outcome, use these antique furniture polish tips and enjoy the luster of your restored pieces. Remember to test your furniture maintenance product on a small area of your polished furniture first, and clean on a regular basis to keep your antique piece free from grime, dirt and damage.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.