The arrival of warmer weather here in Dublin, Ohio inspires us all to engage in that annual rite - a little spring cleaning around the house. Your handmade Amish furniture from Geitgey's Amish Country Furnishings will benefit from a little spring TLC as well. Read on for a list of helpful hints on keeping your furniture beautiful and functional for years to come:
Outdoor Furniture - If you have purchased our poly lumber outdoor furniture then you have it pretty easy! We recommend an occasional power washing to remove dirt and build-up, and then just check all hardware (screws, bolts, nuts) and tighten as necessary. If you have wood outdoor furniture we recommend that it be refinished every two years and touched-up every year. Wood outdoor furniture especially needs to have the hardware checked and tightened more frequently as the changes in temperature and humidity cause the wood to expand and contract and this will loosen hardware over time.
Tables - If you use your table everyday you may eventually get a build-up of food and oils that needs to be removed. You can try using a cleaner like our Guardsman Cleaner to remove this build-up or you can try another product. Just remember these tips: test in an inconspicuous area first, always apply product to your rag first rather than directly to the furniture, and wipe with the grain to avoid abrasions. These same tips apply when you polish your furniture as well. We recommend a polish that is free of wax or silicone so it will not build-up on your furniture - please check the label on your product. Guardsman Polish is an excellent choice for polishing all your hardwood furniture and we sell a full line of the Guardsman products at the store. If your table has leaves it's a good time to open up the table and clean the inside edges of the table and any leaves where food or residue from spills may have run into the seams. You'll also want to clean out the expansion mechanism, whether a gear style or telescoping style, to keep it free of food debris - a vacuum cleaner wand may be good for this purpose so you can draw debris out of the grooves. When done, lightly wax the slides with paraffin wax (a bar of soap will also work) to keep the slides lubricated. Finally, check the table for level with a bubble level and adjust the leveling feet on the bottoms of the feet as needed.
Chairs - If your chairs are placed on hardwood and you use a felt or cork pad to protect the floor now is a good time to check and see if any pads need replaced. Kids are especially hard on chairs with spills and residue - follow our advice under tables above regarding how to clean off food residue. Pay particular attention to the top crest rail and side posts of the chair where oils from hands are most likely to accumulate. Check to see if the joints of your chair are coming loose anywhere - if so it may be time to bring them to our service department to be re-glued. This is something that has to be redone periodically on all chairs and is critical for the integrity of the joinery and the longevity of the chair. We can advise if a complete or partial re-glue is necessary.
Case Goods (Dressers, Chests, TV Stands, Cabinets, etc.) - Check that these pieces are sitting level with a bubble level and adjust the leveling feet on the bottoms of the feet as needed. If no leveling feet are present then use wood or plastic shims that can be purchased at home improvement stores and cut or snapped to the appropriate length needed. It is important for pieces with doors or drawers to sit level so that the doors will hang evenly and the drawers will track properly. Allowing a piece to sit out of level for an extended period of time can rack the frame permanently and compromise the integrity of how the piece functions and appears.
Beds - Check to make sure that your bed is square (i.e. that the rails or frame are at a right angle to the headboard and or footboard). The number one cause of a squeaky bed is a bed that has been knocked out of square by dragging it to one side when cleaning or moving it. This places the connecting hardware and end of rail in a bind where it can rub and make for an annoying squeak. Also check to make sure that all connecting hardware is tight - tighten with a wrench or socket as necessary. Make sure that all slats are in place and laying flat so they can provide support and that any "center feet" that run from the underside of slat to the floor are at a right angle to the slat and not turned askew from the bed being dragged sideways.
Mattresses and Box Springs - We recommend that if you have a flippable mattress (sleep deck on both sides of mattress) that you flip it every three months. The mattress should be alternated between flipping it both "end-for-end" and "side-over-side" to maintain the most even wear. If you have a "no flip" mattress (sleep deck on just one side) then you should just be rotating it "side-over-side" every three months. Box springs are usually built as "no flip" so just rotate them "side-over-side" as well. Inspect all tickings for any loose threads or seams or signs of a spring or edge wire coming through. By the way - the average person probably keeps their mattress much longer than they should. If your mattress is older than 7-10 years - it may be time for a new one. Mattresses increase an average of 5-10 lbs. in weight with retained sweat, dust mites, etc. and while the spring systems will probably last as long as the warranty states there will be a degradation of support prior to that. Got a back ache or unexplained skin irritation? It just might be your mattress!
Upholstered Furniture (Sofas, Chairs, Ottomans, etc.) - Give your upholstered furniture a thorough vacuuming every month as well as an aggressive fluffing of the pillows and cushions. Back cushions may occasionally need to be taken out of their zippered cases to be fluffed and then reinserted and re-positioned within the casing. Check the undersides of the furniture periodically to see that the cambric cloth (usually black) or other lining material is intact and has not been pulled off by pets or roughhousing. Also check that any feet are solid and screwed into place as they can become dislodged or backed out with movement of the piece across the floor. Treat any stains with a fabric spot cleaner and condition leather periodically with a leather conditioner/cleaner - always test in an inconspicuous area first.
General cabinetry and furniture parts (doors, drawers, etc.) - Check doors and drawers to see if they are hanging level. If not, make sure the piece is level as indicated above. If piece is level (or cabinet is a fixed built-in) then check the door hinges to make sure all screws are tight. Most hinge styles also feature adjustment options that allow for a hinge position to be shifted slightly so that a door will close or hang better. Depending on the type of hinge this may manifest itself in the form of a slotted screw hole or an actual adjustment screw. Drawers should also be checked to see if they are level. Most drawer slides will have slotted holes that allow for small changes in position of the drawer slide. If you have a drawer that drifts opens mysteriously it is most likely caused by a cabinet that is not level and lists forward , an obstruction that has fallen behind the drawer or a drawer slide that needs adjusted. Also check all functional hardware (knobs, pulls) periodically and re-tighten as necessary.
Your busy household gives you no shortage of tasks to keep up with but taking the time to perform some of the above maintenance will keep your quality Amish crafted hardwood and upholstered furniture from Geitgey's Amish Country Furnishings in Dublin looking and performing its best.