To clean and preserve wood tables and chairs, wipe them with a soft cloth that is either dry or slightly damp. If necessary, use a little water and a mild cleaner such as Murphy's Oil Soap. Be careful not to use harsh cleaners or abrasives, as they may harm or blemish the finish. Occasional use of a high-grade furniture polish can help to maintain luster. Consult the product instructions for the exact piece for more information.
The Effects of Light and Heat
Light, particularly visible and ultraviolet (UV) light, is very damaging to organic materials such as wood. Damage from light is cumulative and irreversible. A table top exposed to diffuse light for several years will suffer similar effects of light damage as a table top exposed to direct sunlight for a shorter time. Light provides the energy and increased temperature necessary to chemically degrade finishes and wood colorants, and in severe cases, cause the wood cell structure to break down. Clear finishes often turn yellow or opaque in response to light, and the color of the wood itself can also change. The resulting damaged finishes and bleached wood cannot be restored to their original color without stripping and refinishing, a practice not recommended as loss of the "patina" or evidence of use can affect the furniture's monetary value.
To limit the effects of light, move all furniture out of direct sunlight, utilize blinds or curtains to block the intensity of sunlight and allow it to diffuse evenly throughout a room, and keep lights in rooms turned off when not in use. UV light, which is particularly damaging to wood and fabrics, can be screened out by applying a UV-filtering film to windows.
The Effects of Moisture
When cleaning, water should be used only in small quantities - preferably just a damp cloth. The furniture should always be wiped off with a dry cloth. This also applies to the use of soap solution. Changes in the relative humidity occur with the seasons and can cause solid wooden table tops to warp or become slightly marked.
If you spill any liquids on a wood surface, wipe immediately. Clean your furniture by dusting the surface with a soft dry cloth, or polishing with the appropriate furniture polish for the desired luster you prefer.
You may cover or touch up small scratches scratch remover, or touch up stick which can be purchased in a paint store.
Unless your furniture has a new "super finish" to protect it, use coasters to prevent spills, stains and damage from hot dishes (even warm pizza boxes). Blot all spills immediately. Keep solvents, alcohol, nail polish and polish removers away from your furniture surfaces. When dusting, always lift lamps and other objects - don't slide then across the furniture's surface.
Teak is extremely easy to care for and very resistant to stains. There is no other hard wood as durable as teak for home and office use. If necessary, it may be cleaned daily with a dry or slightly damp cloth. To keep teak looking beautiful, it should be oiled every 3 to 4 months. The oil may be applied with a cloth or fine triple zero steel wool. Always rub in the direction of the grain. The steel wool will help remove stubborn stains that may have formed on top of the wood. After oiling, the teak must be thoroughly rubbed with a dry, absorbent cloth. All the oil must be rubbed off the surface. In fact, it should feel just as dry to the touch as it did before you started to oil. Teak, properly cared for, will change color slightly, the grain structure will be more pronounced, and it will become more beautiful as it ages.
Home Remedies - Problem Treatments
Cigarette Burns (light)
Rub with scratch-concealing polish, or with a paste of linseed oil and rottenstone, working with the grain until the burn mark disappears.
Rub gently along the grain, using a dry steel wool soap pad or a cloth dampened with camphorated oil or mineral spirits, or rub gently along the grain with extra-fine (0000) steel wool. Wipe clean and wax or polish.
Blot the spill immediately, then rub with fine steel wool (0) dipped in wax. Wipe dry and wax or polish.
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 and 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 and wax or polish.
Dampen the paper thoroughly with salad oil, wait five minutes and rub along the grain with extra-fine (0000) steel wool. Wipe dry and wax or polish.
Wax or Gum
Harden the substance by holding an ice cube wrapped in cloth against it, then use your fingernail or plastic credit card to remove it. Rub the area with extra-fine (0000) steel wool dipped in mineral spirits. Wipe dry and wax or polish.