Rustic styled furniture benefits the most from frequent dry-dusting. The best way to clean them is using a dusting mop with soft bristles, or a soft, dry microfiber cloth. Run the cloth/duster over the surface of the wood surface to remove any loose dirt or dust. To clean tricky corners, use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment.
Cleaning with water is not advisable for rustic wooden furniture. However, when the surface develops stains or stubborn residue, you can use either plain water or water with a mild detergent, to clean the article. For this, dilute one teaspoon of mild liquid soap in 1 gallon of water. Dip a microfiber cloth or soft sponge in the solution, wring out excess, and clean the surface in smooth, circular motion. Rinse the cloth or sponge with plain water and wring out completely. Clean the wooden surface again to remove soapy remnants or residue. Finally, wipe the surface with a soft, dry towel thoroughly.
Harsh cleaning products, oils, and waxes are harmful to rustic wooden furniture, and can damage wood. They should be avoided at all costs when cleaning such articles.
Besides cleaning, rustic furniture needs maintenance and protection over use.
- Very high or very low levels of moisture affects the wood adversely, causing it to warp and split. Maintain humidity between 35% and 45%. Use a humidifier or dehumidifier to keep your rustic furniture in good condition.
- Wooden finishes tend to fade, and lose their sheen when exposed to UV rays and sunlight. When placing rustic objects near windows, or in open areas, opt for UV protection. You can also protect them by looking for spots that have maximum shade.
- Use good quality polish to maintain and protect the surface of rustic wooden articles. Opt for a liquid or semi-solid polish, as aerosols may introduce contaminants or silicone oils that are harmful to wood.
- Furniture of rustic nature used in the kitchen and dining areas need a little more care than those used in other areas of the house. Always use coasters when placing drinks or jars on the table surface. Liquid spills can form ring shaped stains on the wooden surface if glasses or cups are left directly on the table. Hot vessels too can have a damaging effect on the surface of rustic furniture. Use a protective layer between hot dishes or cooking appliances, and the surface of the furniture piece. This helps prevent spots and stains from forming on the surface of the furniture.