If cared for properly your solid hardwood table can give you a lifetime of service and beauty. Here are several care tips that will enhance your solid hardwood table investment.
The wood in furniture continues to exchange moisture with the air, expanding and shrinking in response to changes in relative humidity. Solid hardwood furniture’s natural response to extremely dry air is to lose moisture and shrink a bit. The halves of an extension table may part slightly or a few tiny openings may appear on a solid wood surface. This will correct itself as the relative humidity rises and the wood absorbs enough moisture to expand slightly.
On the other hand, if you don't have an air conditioner or dehumidifier, your home's relative humidity may get too high. Parts of your wood furniture may absorb excess moisture from the air and expand. Once again, this will correct itself as your home's relative humidity decreases. The furniture’s quality and natural sturdiness are not affected by these natural changes. Here are some ways to ensure your solid hardwood furniture’s longevity:
DUST CAREFULLY with a soft cloth, following the grain pattern of the wood. Use an old T-shirt, baby diaper or cheesecloth that has been laundered to remove the sizing.
DUST OFTEN to remove everyday abrasive particles from wood surfaces.
CONSIDER CLEANING with mild non-alkaline soap and water. Use the suds in a damp sponge or cloth, but be sure to pre-test the solution on an out-of-sight section to make sure it doesn't damage the finish. Dry immediately with a soft cloth and buff lightly, following the grain.
DON'T WAX or use any polish that contains any silicones! Catalyzed heat and moisture resistant finishes don't need additional polish, but if you want to use a polish we recommend "Guardsman Furniture Polish."
Here are some common problems and ways for you to correct them. With all of these solutions try a small area first to assure that the remedy doesn't damage the finish.
WATER MARK RINGS, Rings are often in the wax, not the finish. Cover the stain with a clean, thick blotter, press down with a warm iron, and repeat. Or try rubbing with salad oil, mayonnaise, or white toothpaste. Then wipe dry.
WHITE MARKS, Rub with cloth dipped in a mixture of cigarette ashes and lemon juice or salad oil. Or rub with a cloth dipped in lighter fluid, followed by a mixture of rottenstone and salad oil. Wipe dry.
MILK, ALCOHOL, Rub in a paste of boiled linseed oil and rottenstone with the grain, substituting pumice for dull finishes. Or rub with ammonia on a dampened cloth. Then wipe dry.
CIGARETTE BURNS, Minor burns can be remedied by rubbing with scratch-concealing polish or with a paste of linseed oil and rottenstone, working with the grain until the burn mark disappears.
HEAT MARKS, Rub gently along the grain using a dry steel wool soap pad, extra-fine (0000) steel wool, or a cloth dampened with camphorated oil mineral spirits.
NAIL POLISH, Blot the spill immediately, then rub with fine steel wool (0) dipped in "Guardsman Furniture Polish." Wipe dry.
PAINT MARKS, If fresh, remove latex paint with water and oil-based paint with mineral spirits. If dry, soak spot in boiled linseed oil, wait until paint softens, then lift carefully with a putty knife or wipe with cloth dampened with boiled linseed oil. Residue can be removed by rubbing along the grain with a paste of boiled linseed oil and rottenstone. Wipe dry.
STICKING PAPER, Dampen the paper thoroughly with salad oil, wait five minutes and rub along the grain with extra-fine (0000) steel wool. Wipe dry.
WAX OR GUM, Harden the substance by holding an ice cube wrapped in cloth against it. Pry off with a fingernail. Rub the area with extra-fine (0000) steel wool dipped in mineral spirits. Wipe dry.