Tips to Cleaning your Furniture Like a Pro

Antique furniture is a valuable investment that can last many generations. To keep one in its best form, it should be free from dirt and moisture—the worst enemies of furniture.

Antique enthusiasts are experts at routinely cleaning their furniture. But for the ordinary person, cleaning antique furniture can be a bit challenging considering you need to remove all undesirable elements while preserving its quality. Worry not; here are some ways to clean your favorite antique furniture like a pro.

Cleaning your Furniture


Establish a cleaning schedule

Your furniture deserves a routine schedule for cleaning and maintenance. Take advantage of holidays or long weekends to clean, dry and polish your furniture.

Inspect your furniture

Do an inspection and get rid of loose change, buttons, and other small objects that might have fallen through cracks and crevices. Take note of stains that need special attention or cleaning materials.

Also, look for broken zippers, fabric tears, chipped wood, and other areas of furniture that might need repairing. It is generally a good idea to have these repaired before getting your furniture thoroughly cleaned. Make sure that these are repaired before using the furniture again.

Read the manual

Some furniture comes with a manufacturer’s instruction. This manual is meant to emphasize instructions such as cleaning methods that are specific to your piece. Check the manual for specifics when it comes to cleaning products and fabric care.


The corners and crevices of your furniture often are a hideaway for dust and dirt. Use your vacuum to remove dirt from these hard to reach areas. Take advantage of the hand attachments of your vacuum for better reach.

Know your cleaning agents

There are different cleaning agents for different types of materials. Some pieces are cleaned with a detergent while others require commercial cleaning solvents. When trying a cleaning solution for the first time, test it on a less noticeable spot before applying it on all surfaces.

Avoid cleaning agents that are abrasive and may damage the color or quality of your furniture. Cleaning solutions that are environmentally friendly are often the most gentle on your furniture.

Keep your furniture dry

Remove all soap or cleaning solvent residue. Prolonged exposure to these agents may damage or discolor your furniture. After cleaning, make sure your furniture is dried completely. Moisture can attract dirt easily. It can also be a breeding ground for bacteria that will make your furniture stink. Germ laden furniture is not safe for you and your family.

Protect your furniture

After cleaning and drying, make the most out of your furniture by protecting it. Beeswax, tung oil, and linseed oil are some of the most popular protective coatings. Antiques on Old Plank Road, a premier restorer of quality vintage and antique furniture in Chicago, recommends Lord Sheraton’s Beeswax Furniture Spray. This is formulated without silicone and the pure beeswax is balanced with the natural oils of rosemary, clove, lavender and eucalyptus.

The longer you have it, the more valuable it becomes. Since, antique furniture is celebrated for its longevity, make sure to keep your valuable pieces clean and in great condition by following the above steps.

About the author: Angie Cole is a fan of everything vintage and admires the true old-world craftsmanship. She is a fan of Antiques on Old Plank Road, a furniture shop that imports and restores European quality antique and vintage pieces.

Erin Emanuel