Warning!!! Scented oils and diffuser oils are dangerous to your furniture’s finish. It’s great for my business though. Many of the oils and liquids used in home fragrances will damage the finish within minutes, sometimes on contact. I’ve had many customers bring in furniture that had the finish lifted right off where the oil was accidentally knocked over. These oils act as solvents and start dissolving the finish within a very short time. Once that process has started there is no fixing it short of a new finish.
Petroleum based products
Another danger to your furniture is rubber and some plastics. Foam rubber will cause a chemical reaction on most finishes resulting in the breakdown of it’s properties. You may have seen where a rubber foot on the computer or tv has caused a small black place that won’t come off. The two have started to become one. Some people have brought their furniture to us after a move where they had wrapped the furniture in stretch film or plastic or foam sheets. Bad move. Here are some of the items that are petroleum based:
Foam rubber (pillows, memory foam tops that touch your headboard even through a sheet,table cloths that are backed with foam or synthetic fibres, children's foam toys and crafts.
Rubber, such as latex gloves and balloons, children's bouncy balls.
Vinyl like in some upholstery materials. Ladies handbags.
All of these items above are not an immediate danger if you put them down on the table for a few minutes; Just don’t leave them there for days or longer.
I advise my customers to clean their furniture with gentle furniture polishes or a slightly damp towel. Never take your dish rag straight from the soapy water to the table. Always rinse in clean water and wring it out. Make sure the surface is dry in a few minutes. Remember that any cleaner that can cut grease is probably too harsh for your finish. That includes repeated use of lemon and orange cleaners. It’s ok once in a while if there is some grime you need to remove but most furniture isn’t grimy, just dusty.
It’s not a question of if, but when the light will fade your furniture. Really hot sun will also do damage to your wood and joints, making it warp or crack.
Hand or body oils
Have you ever noticed the grime on your grandparents kitchen chair or table? Grandpa’s side of the headboard? It won’t polish off. That’s caused from our hand/body oils and over the years it breaks down the finish. We can’t avoid touching the furniture but be aware of the most often affected areas.