Home Decor

How to care for the wood in your home

In which we recommend cleaning with mayonnaise.

Wood hallways Design Deb Nelson Photo Sian Richards

Design, Deb Nelson. Photo, Sian Richards.

1. Dust often. Wood’s biggest enemy is tiny specks of dust, which can scratch its surface. Clean with a soft, lint-free cloth as often as possible.

2. Keep humidity in check. Aim for between 40 and 45 percent humidity to keep wood from warping or cracking.

3. Find the right cleaning product. Do a deep clean once or twice a year with a cleaning product that suits your wood’s finish (urethane, oil or wax). Always remember to test the product on a small section of furniture before use.

4. Use protection. Drink coasters, table mats, felt pads and carpet runners go a long way in keeping your wood looking as good as new.

5. Keep out of direct sunlight. When exposed to lots of light, wood will begin to fade over time. Use a UV-blocking blind or draw your curtains when you’re not home to cut down on fading.

6. Act on spills. Liquids will harm your wood if left too long — even water! Cleaning up spills as soon as they happen will reduce the amount of damage caused to your furniture.

7. Water stains? Use mayonnaise. (No, we’re not kidding.) Leave mayonnaise on water rings for an hour and watch them disappear! Then wipe with a clean cloth.

Related:
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Mini home makeover: 4 ways to use moulding and wall panels
5 common decorating mistakes and how to avoid them