From Furniture Medic, which has restoration and repair franchises nationwide, here are a few ways to limit damage to your furniture:
Avoid cleaners with ammonia, which damages wood.
Don't use polish that contains alcohol, which can damage the finish.
When serving plates and dishes that are hot, always use a tablecloth or place mat.
To prevent water rings, keep coasters handy.
Be sure to position the furniture so it isn't exposed to direct sunlight, which dries out wood.
Clean washable fabrics after testing for color fastness in a hidden spot. If the tag indicates that it requires a solvent cleaning, do not use water. For most water-washable fabrics, mix a solution of one-quarter cup high-suds laundry detergent with one quart of warm water. Apply just the suds with a medium-bristled brush and then place a wet towel over the upholstered surface. When the surface is dry, vacuum up any remaining dirt.
For more information, visit www.furnituremedic.com on the Web or call (800) 937-3783.
Source: Knight Ridder Newspapers