When you take the time to admire a beautiful and elegant piece of antique furniture, its easy to get goose bumps. Part of the joy and magic of antiques is that you are able to see the original beauty and craftsmanship that was put into that piece decades or perhaps centuries ago. Part of the value of antiques is that they were so well made that they have endured down through the ages to be enjoyed by you and me. But the other secret for why these fine pieces have survived is that as they have been handed down from owner to owner, each one prized their antiques and took care to protect them and clean them so that beauty could be handed down to the next generation of antique lovers as well.
The tender loving care of previous owners should inspire us to work hard to keep that antique furniture in pristine condition for as long as you own it. But doing a good job of maintaining and protecting your antique furniture is about more than just loving the artistic value of the pieces you own. It is also about preserving the value of your antique furniture. As you take care of your collection of antiques, they will appreciate in value. In that way, antique furniture is both an investment in quality living and a solid financial investment as well.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a museum curator to take good care of your antique furniture. Using some simple tools and by maintaining a routine schedule of cleaning your antique furniture, you can keep those prized pieces in great shape for as long as you own them.
A good supply of very soft cleaning cloths is a must to keep your antique furniture clear of dust each week. One effective method some have used is to invest in several cleaning cloths of various colors so you have some set aside for dusting, others for applying polish and others for buffing your furniture.
Many pieces of antique furniture have ornate carvings with lots of crevices that can accumulate dust easily. You can buy several paintbrushes with very soft bristles to clean inside those little places and get all of the dust out. It might be helpful to have such brushes in various sizes to work on different types of cleaning tasks. These brushes should be set aside strictly for cleaning your antique furniture so they are never soiled with residue from other jobs.
If your fine antique furniture picks up any adhesives from tape, gum or some other source, it can be removed with lemon juice. Lemon has the right acid content that works well at breaking down the materials used in most adhesives without damaging the furniture or the finish of the wood underneath.
It is always a good move to protect your antiques from the build up of odors. By putting a small put of baking soda in the drawers of your antique dressers, it absorbs those odors nicely. Cat litter is also a good material but either works well and are inexpensive to buy and store.
If you have antique brass furniture or pieces with brass handles or accessories, it is easy to clean them with common household items as well. You can create a cleaning compound by combining flour, vinegar and salt. Apply this mixture with a soft cloth that you dedicate to this task and then wipe it away and shine the brass with a separate cloth. You will be surprised and thrilled with the high level of shine you get with this simple procedure.
For any leather surfaces such as antique chairs might have, saddle soup like you might use to clean shoes works well to condition and clean these parts of your antique furniture. You can make it a routine to wax and buff the leather in this way and then treat the wood part with standard furniture polish. For all cleaning procedures that involve a cream or liquid cleaner, make sure you wipe it all up and dry the surfaces completely so there is no residue.
Each of these simple cleaning rituals are easy and inexpensive. That means that you can take care of your fine antique furniture yourself without the aid of any professional services. If you do use a cleaning service, simply make sure they are well briefed in cleaning antiques so they are taken care of properly by your help as well.
The most important thing is to maintain a routine of cleaning and inspecting your fine antique furniture so you can assure that it stays in top quality every month and year it is in your collection. If you do that, you will be assured that your antique furniture will be just as delightful and have just as much value or more when you sell it as when you bought it to be part of your home.