How to Clean Antique Furniture

3 Materials
15 Minutes

Here’s a little secret from one cleaning ninja to another: Antique furniture is actually pretty much the easiest-to-maintain furniture you can own once you get rid of the layers of grime from years in storage. Here’s my method for how to clean antique furniture.

I feel like this is another basic truth of home maintenance that previous generations were well aware of, but that has kind of been forgotten over time. Antique furniture is by far the most practical, easiest-to-care for furniture. It’s usually made of higher quality wood so it resists scratches and keeps its finish, the perfectly-aged wood doesn’t show scratches quite as much as newer furniture does, if you do have a little incident with toy tow-trucks running into it, and it’s just generally not needy.

Once again, just as with a lot of cleaning jobs around the house, a feather duster is your best friend. If your furniture is in good shape, you really only need to spend a few seconds removing dust to make it look its best.

Every once in awhile, you’ll want to follow up your dusting routine with a little bit of wax-based furniture polish. This will condition the wood and keep it from drying out, polish it to a nice shine, and also provide a little layer of extra protection.

[Psst! Not a huge fan of cleaning?! Check out: Cleaning Tasks That You’re Doing too Often!]

If you have a layer of gunk to get off of your antique furniture before you can move on to your regularly-scheduled program, you’ll need to use a little bit of soap and water to lift that grime up. 

Mix a little bit of Murphy’s Oil Soap into some warm water according to the package directions, lightly dampen a soft cloth in the solution, then gently begin to wipe away the stuck-on dust and dirt. Aim to get about 95% clean this way, then switch over to using the furniture polish to get the rest of the dirt off.

If you’re having issues with your furniture having an old musty smell, you can use some of the techniques that I mention in my post about  cleaning thrift store furniture, just keep in mind that you want to use as little water as possible and be as gentle as possible if you want to keep your antique furniture in great condition for another 100 years to come.

For even more tips and tricks for cleaning your antique furniture, head on over to the full blog post! :)

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