We like wood because it is a renewable, organic and economic resource. This noble material, that man has used throughout history, is as fashionable as ever. It is hard to deny the beauty of this material; being welcomed into home designs on a worldwide scale.
While the need to differentiate between soft woods, such as birch or pine, and harder woods, such as oak or ebony, is of importance, overall we have a very strong and versatile material to work with. How else would we be able to make elegant Elizabethan style furniture, cabinets and modern Scandinavian pieces? We must not, however, forget that wood is a natural material and as such, will change over time. Wood ages, which is not necessarily be a bad thing. On the contrary, aged wood is now a resource that is widely used in decoration, as it adds great character to the home. But these beautiful imperfections will not care for themselves; wood requires maintenance and care to get the most out of it. So, today we’ll talk about some tricks to keep wood surfaces in good condition and make sure the furniture stays with us for many years.
Hardwood floors not only have a special charm, they are warm and welcoming. Maintenance is not complicated, but requires some care:
1 Discard traditional cleaning products : sometimes these products can do more damage than they are worth, so, you’re best off sticking with natural alternatives.
2 Use Vinegar: a splash of vinegar (apple or wine) in the bucket of water and this may be enough to brighten your wood flooring once a week. Be sure to take a look at which types of wood this works best for.
3 Olive oil: no need to stress over the quality of the olive oil: the oil nourishes the wood as much as, if not more than, traditional varnish. So every three or four months it is not a bad idea to rub our floors down with a little olive oil. As ever, be aware that you don’t go overboard—a dash is plenty.
Keeping in line with good wooden tables is not always so simple. To begin with, there are many that suffer because they are in constant use: hot dishes, cold dishes, wet glasses… It is true that wood is a very experienced material that holds everything, but it is, in this respect, also very sensitive. Over time, and if we are not careful, these surfaces (tables or counter tops to name a few) will end up full of marks. If these are superficial, and are fairly recent, we can try these three tricks:
1 Erase it: and literally so, sometimes the most simple methods work: a simple item of stationery that’s found in any home.
2 Rub with cork: Cork can eliminate the stain without touching the wood, which does not happen if we do it over rough surface, like a sponge.
3 mayonnaise: cover the damaged part with mayonnaise and let it seep. Clean it up a day later with a rag and polish up the area.
There are many advantages of wooden utensils in the kitchen, compared to metals or plastic. Its low conductivity, or better interaction with other utensils and pans, and the fact that it will not scratch as opposed to metal, are just a few reasons why it makes wood a better candidate for cooking. However it is important to take good care:
1. Forget the dishwasher: don’t submerge them in water for long either. Not only do they spoil more, they can absorb cleaning products too, which then transmitted to the food when we cook and eat.
2. Oil again: every month or two, give you wooden utensils a rub down with some cooking oil. This will prevent them from cracking and becoming dried out.
Wooden furniture breaks down over time, gets dusty and cracked, and the colour of the material may even vary if we do not perform proper maintenance. Here are three tips with olive oil that will help your furniture to look marvellous:
1. Oil and lemon: mix one part lemon juice and one part olive oil and clean the furniture with a cloth, dipped in this ointment. The brightness should return to the cabinet after a few go-overs.
2. Oil and wine: this will add an interesting, but ultimately beautiful finish to a nice wooden piece. Be careful though, you may want to practice on something a little smaller before you tackle a loved piece of furniture—this technique requires experienced hands.
3. Oil and alcohol: With this mix, we can also cover marks made by using our wooden furniture over the years, and the bumps and scrapes it has picked up along the way.