How to Care For Your Real Wood Furniture

July 03, 2018

It is important to properly care for your Rileys Real Wood Furniture to ensure that your investment lasts for years and looks just as great as the day you bought it. Following these simple steps will allow your furniture to last a long time and to keep it looking great. 

Prevent Dirt From Accumulating 

When storing your furniture make sure to keep it properly covered. While in storage, exposure to moisture, humidity, and light can lead to damage. 

Dust Often

It is important to pick the right tool for this job. Do not use feather dusters because they simply move the dust around and fling it into the air. Feather quills can scratch wood surfaces and feather dusters cannot be washed. 

It is best to use a clean, washable cloth made from lint-free cotton. We like to use old T-shirts, flannels, or dish towels. Whatever you choose to use, make sure that it is free of zippers, buttons, snaps, or anything that could potentially scratch your furniture’s surface. 

When dusting, sprinkle a few drops of water on your cloth to moisten it. The trick is to get it wet enough to help dust adhere to it but not so wet that the cloth wets the wood. If you see a trace of water on your furniture, your cloth is too wet. 

Soap and Water

For cleaning that requires more than a light dusting, dilute a mild soap with water to remove dirt build-up. 

Oil Occasionally 

A light occasional polish is recommended. We recommend using orange oil. 
Beware of silicone oil. This type of oil can seep into the cracks in the finish and into the wood. This can potentially ruin the new finish later on. 

Avoid Strong Commercial Cleaners

Keep items like solvents and nail polish remover away from your furniture. If they spill, the furniture’s finish can strip. Choose your cleaning products carefully. Many cleaning products include bleach, alcohol, and ammonia which can strip your furniture’s finish or stain the wood. Stay away from these harsh cleaners and find natural alternatives.

Avoid Direct Sunlight  

If you are thinking that your new wooden chair would look great in your sunroom, think again. Sunlight will damage your furniture’s finish and bleach the wood. If your furniture is exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, sometimes a pattern resembling an alligator's skin will form. 

Use window shades, drapes, and blinds to reduce direct sunlight on your furniture.

Avoid Humidity 

Wood furniture is sensitive to changes in humidity. As the weather and temperature changes so do the moisture content in your furniture. This fluctuation causes your furniture to be constantly expanding and contracting. Excess heat and dryness can cause wood to split and crack.

Wood furniture does best in moderate conditions of 70 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 50 - 55 percent. To regulate your home use an air conditioner in the summer and a humidifier in the winter. 

Furniture can age much faster when stored in a basement, attic, garage, or warehouse where temperatures are less regulated. Avoid putting furniture near air ducts, radiators, heat runs, or fireplaces. 

Carefully Move Furniture 

When moving large furniture always use the help of at least two people. Never slide your furniture across the floor. This will cause scratches to hardwood floors and may damage the furniture legs. 

When moving objects on top of your furniture always pick them up; never slide them across the top of the furniture. When possible place objects on trivets and tablecloths to avoid scratches. 


It is important to properly care for your Rileys Real Wood Furniture to ensure that your investment lasts for years and looks just as great as the day you bought it. If you have any questions about caring for your new furniture, don’t hesitate to contact us at Rileys Real Wood Furniture.

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