Household Maintenance: How To Care For Antique Bamboo Furniture

With some simple, periodic upkeep, your antique bamboo furniture will last a long time.

All antique furniture requires a certain amount of care, and bamboo is no exception. Some people are intimidated when it comes to antiques because they're not sure of the required maintenance. If you have an antique bamboo piece, read on for some tips on how to care for this type of furniture. You'll see that with some simple, periodic upkeep, your antique bamboo furniture will last a long time.

Preventative maintenance is the key to keeping your antique bamboo furniture looking like new. Dust it regularly and wash it every now and then with soap and water. Should you spill water or other liquids on your furniture, make sure you blot it dry immediately in order to prevent staining. Try to avoid using chemicals around your bamboo furniture as most chemicals can and will leave stains. Dry indoor heat can cause the bamboo to crack. Wiping your furniture with a cool, wet sponge can help prevent this.

If you have a dirty piece of bamboo furniture, start by dusting, brushing or vacuuming any dirt or dust that's accumulated onto the surface. Once all the visible dirt is removed, wash using a soft brush or sponge dipped into a solution of 2 or 3 teaspoons of ammonia to a half gallon of soapy water (a mild dishwashing liquid - one that doesn't have bleach or alkalies - works fine for this purpose.) Rinse well using a sponge and cool water and allow to air dry outside or use a hair dryer. To keep your furniture looking new, it's a good idea to dust or vacuum in this manner on a regular basis.

Bear in mind that bamboo is not weather resistant. If you have a piece of bamboo furniture that's been left in the garden too long, begin by cleaning with a solution of mild soap and water such as the one mentioned above. If the bamboo has cracked, sand with a fine grit sandpaper until smooth and then rub with paste wax. This should restore the piece back to its original color and shine.

It's a good rule of thumb to never sit on wet bamboo because it's so soft it can become damaged or lose its shape. In fact, it's a good idea to wait a few days after a big cleaning to sit on the bamboo furniture again. Once the bamboo is dry, feel around for rough spots and smooth with a fine grit sandpaper. If you're air drying the bamboo, leave it out until the surface is dry and then bring it inside. Try not to leave it out overnight or for a prolonged period of time.

You can restore your old bamboo furniture's shine by rubbing the piece periodically with linseed or other furniture oil. Furniture oil recommended specifically for bamboo is your best bet. If you'd like the furniture to maintain its golden color, you can do so by applying a colorless lacquer to preserve it from dirt, wear and other harmful conditions.

It's always a good idea to protect your investment by caring for it and keeping it from the elements. Take note, however, that if you paint your bamboo, it will lower its value. If you follow the above steps, your antique bamboo furniture should look as good as new.

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