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The Best Ways to Clean Every Type of Furniture

December 18, 2018

Our experts share tips on how to clean the furniture and upholstery. Maintain investment pieces and prevent future damage on a variety of surfaces including hardwood, veneer, leather, painted finishes, and even the most durable, outdoor furnishings.

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How to Clean Polished Wood Furniture

Cleaning wood furniture requires tackling buildup of old polish, dust and scuffs. Always start with the gentlest of cleansers, such as a cloth lightly dampened with water and a touch of dish soap. If necessary, you can then work your way up to heavier-duty cleansers, such as some of these DIY wood cleaning and polish options. Always wipe down with a microfiber cloth to prevent soap residue from remaining on the surface. Learn more about cleaning hardwood furniture.

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Photo: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©. From: Tiffany Brooks.

How to Clean Veneer Furniture

Veneer surfaces are more delicate and difficult to repair than solid surfaces, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look nice for a long time. Maintain veneer furniture by dusting it often, applying gentle cleaners using microfiber cloths, and importantly, monitoring for loose veneer edges that may worsen, snag and splinter. You can repair damaged areas with the help of adhesive. Get inspired by these beautiful veneer furniture finishes.

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Photo: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography. From: Brian Patrick Flynn.

How to Clean Leather Upholstery

Your leather upholstery will be long-lasting if cared for, so follow these simple leather cleaning tips to help keep it looking new (we even have bonus info for maintaining white leather). If you properly nourish the leather, keep stains at bay with simple spot-treating cleansers, and keep it out of direct sunlight, you’ll be happy with leather as a long-term investment.

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Photo: Jordan Shifrin. From: Jordan Shifrin.

How to Clean Fabric Upholstery

Big claps to the engineers who have mainstreamed easy-to-clean upholstery; despite advancements, it’s always best to follow manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning any fabric. You'll want to adhere to a diligent vacuuming routine to lift the dust, pet fur, and other dirt that lands on the fibers, so that it doesn’t get too embedded. Rather than spot-cleaning, tackle larger areas with soap and water to avoid leaving clean "spots," and only gradually increase to fabric cleaners if necessary. Lastly, know that lotions, hair conditioners, and oils from our skin can contribute to staining.

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