What are the main types of furniture care products, and which do you recommend?
There are three basic types of furniture care products: silicone cleaners, waxes and polishes. We recommend avoiding silicone cleaners and waxes. While silicone cleaners create a high degree of shine, silicone seeps into even the highest-quality finishes, creating a barrier that will not accept stain or lacquer. This makes it virtually impossible to refinish or touch-up your furniture.
Waxes are best suited to more rustic finishes, and care should be taken to select non-coloured waxes so as not to alter the shade of the finishes. Waxes on fine finished furniture should be avoided because their regular use may result in a build-up of wax film on the surface of the furniture, and difficulty to apply the wax so as not to show streaks or irregularities in gloss levels. Wax build-up could actually attract dirt, smoke and other pollutants in the air, resulting in smudges and streaks. Also, many waxes contain grit (and the application of wax using rags or steel wool products which drop grit) that can permanently damage furniture surfaces if used improperly.
Polishes, which we recommend, contain detergents, emulsifiers and mineral oil. Always select a high quality polish from a reputable brand. The detergents clean dirt from the furniture, the emulsifiers give it body to clean and last longer and the mineral oil is left behind as a barrier for dirt and moisture that could harm finishes. There’s no grit to harm the finish, no wax to build up and no silicone to raise the sheen and act as a barrier for touch-up and refinishing. Follow the instructions on the polish for best application, drying time and soft polishing to a lustrous finish.