Butterfly Fields: rustic Living room by Nuvo Designs

How to clean and maintain wood surfaces

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally
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We all like to use wood because it is a renewable resource, which is organic and cost-effective. This wonderful raw material has been the most used by man throughout history, and it is still as fashionable as ever before. It is difficult to resist the beauty of wood, especially as it always manages to bring a warm and welcoming touch to a room. 

While it is true that we should differentiate between softwoods, such as birch or pine, and harder woods, such as oak or ebony, in general, wood is a very resistant and versatile material, which allows us to make elegant furniture in the Elizabethan style, modern cabinets with a Scandinavian feel, or to cover interior or terrace floors. We dedicate this ideabook to celebrating the versatility of wood.

However, we must not forget that wood is a natural material, which is subject to wear and tear over time. It ages, which isn’t necessarily bad. On the contrary, aged wood is an invaluable resource that is commonly used in decoration, and the small grains of this material hide stories and add life and magic to the furniture we build with it. These beautiful imperfections can be enjoyed more if we give wood the maintenance that it requires, but we do not always give our furniture the maintenance that is fundamental to its preservation. 

Today, we talk about some tricks to keep wood surfaces in good condition, to ensure that your furniture stays with you for many years.

1. The floors

 Walls by homify
homify

Enormous Living

homify

Wooden floors, like the one in this professionally-designed home, have a special charm as they are warm and welcoming. Their maintenance is not complicated, but it requires some care:

a. Discard traditional cleaning products: Sometimes even those products that claim to be specially made for wood may be too harsh for it. If you use them, do so minimally. 

b. Use vinegar: A weekly wipe with a splash of vinegar (apple cider or wine) in a bucket of water will be enough to brighten your wooden floor.

c. Olive oil: We don’t have to talk about the benefits of olive oil, but to those that we already know will add a new one. Olive oil nourishes wood as much or more than traditional varnish does. So, every three or four months rub your floor with a rag sprinkled with olive oil. Not only will this prevent the wood from drying out, but it will also give a spectacular shine to your parquet flooring.

2. Tables and countertops – the greatest sufferers

Daining Area interior Besign Bangalore: modern Dining room by Design Arc Interiors
Design Arc Interiors

Daining Area interior Besign Bangalore

Design Arc Interiors

Keeping wooden tables in good condition is not always simple. For starters, they suffer the most, since we place on them hot dishes, cold dishes, wet glasses… It is true that wood is a very durable material, which can resist everything, but it is also extremely sensitive. Over time, and if we are not careful, wooden surfaces, such as tables or countertops, will end up with a lot of marks. If these are superficial and fairly recent, we can try two tricks: 

a. Erase them: When we say erase them, we mean literally, since there is no better tool than the classic white eraser. 

b. Rub them with cork:  Cork removes surface stains without damaging the wood, something that does not happen if we use coarser materials such as scrubbers, which will leave scratches on the wood, making it seem like a remedy that worsens the situation rather than improving it.

If, on the other hand, the marks have been there for a while on the surface, a new solution will have to be tried: mayonnaise! Cover the damaged part with mayonnaise, and let it sit. Clean it a day later with a cloth, and then wax the affected area.

3. Cookware

There are many advantages of using wood utensils, instead of metal or plastic, in the kitchen. Their low conductivity and smooth interaction with other utensils, since they do not leave scratches on the pans like metal does, makes them ideal for the kitchen. However, it is important to take good care of them: 

a. Forget the dishwasher and don’t soak them in water for a long time. Not only will they spoil quicker, but they will absorb chemicals from the cleaning products, which will then be transmitted to the food when we cook.  

b. Disinfect with lemon: This advice is mainly directed to wooden ladles. There is no way they will ever look sparkling clean, but the easiest solution to clean them is to rub them after each use with lemon. For deep cleaning use baking soda.

See 11 cleaning tips for a spotless kitchen for more solutions to keep your cooking area clean.

4. Furniture

Butterfly Fields: rustic Living room by Nuvo Designs
Nuvo Designs

Butterfly Fields

Nuvo Designs

Wooden furniture gets damaged over time due to dust, even resulting in a change in its colour, if we do not carry out the proper maintenance. Here are three tips with olive oil that will help to make your furniture look perfect:

a. Oil and lemon: Mix half a cup of lemon juice and half a cup of olive oil, and clean the piece of furniture with a cloth dampened with this solution. The brightness will return to the furniture immediately. 

b. Oil and wine: Once you clean with this mixture, it is advisable to wipe with a little glycerine, which will create a protective film and keep the wood bright for a longer time.

c. Oil and alcohol: With this mixture, you can also cover the streaks created in our wooden furniture over time.

Do you have any other tips for maintaining wood? Share them in the comments.
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