Furniture Care Guide
Theodore Alexander Furniture products are custom-made by expert craftspeople using knowledge passed down through generations. Throughout the breadth of our line, the defining element is quality in materials and construction. We build our products with the kind of attention to detail that will ensure each piece — with the proper care — will beautifully stand the test of time.
As the years pass, fine furnishings develop a natural patina. Inherent, enriching colour changes may occur in wood, leather and metal. Mahogany, as an example, may become paler with age, and cherry darker. Natural oak may yellow slightly over time. Brass may tarnish or take on a mottled appearance and bronze has a tendency to take on a sea-green tone. Iron may pit subtly and bone will darken. These changes should be expected and welcomed as signs of the authentic materials we use in the creation of our furniture and works of art. These are the hallmarks of true quality.
Just as climate affects the growth and appearance of trees, the climate in your home affects the timber of your furniture. Modern heating and air conditioning specifically have been known to create dry conditions in the home. These dry conditions may cause fine lines, known as crazing, to appear on veneered surfaces and where wood is joined. Crazing is not cause for concern as it’s often noted in heirloom-quality antiques and distinguishes real wood from synthetic materials. To minimise climactic effects in your home, avoid placing fine wood furnishings too close to radiators, vents or fireplaces, or in direct sunlight since this may also cause veneers to fade.
As with any piece of fine furniture, try not to place glasses, cups or hot objects directly on the surface. We recommend using coasters whenever possible. Ensure that any spill is wiped away immediately with a soft, clean cloth, particularly spills involving hot liquids or alcohol. Also take care when placing planters and vases on your furniture as they may scratch the surface. Additionally, when moving furnishings be sure to lift the piece. Dragging furniture is not recommended and may lead to broken legs or feet and destabilised joints.
Remove all loose cushions. Loosen dirt with a hand-held dusting brush while using a vacuum brush attachment to remove dust. Vacuum all surfaces of the furniture: back, sides, arms, skirt (if applicable) and the platform beneath the cushions. Vacuum both sides of the loose cushions.
Once a week, dust exposed surfaces with a clean and moist cotton cloth. Then dry the surface with a clean and dry cloth. Once a month, polish your furniture with a non-silicone good quality paste wax made by a reputable manufacturer, taking care to follow the instructions. Always polish or dust with a motion that follows the grain of the wood to avoid scratching the surface, and allow polish to dry completely before replacing any objects on the surface. For greasy stains or waxy build-up, use a diluted dish detergent which should be wiped on with a clean cloth and removed with another. The whole affected surface should be waxed after this process to maintain consistency in protection. We do not recommend the use of silicone furniture sprays.
Leather shows naturally occurring marks such as wrinkles, scars, scratches and bites. It is also a hard-wearing and versatile material that acquires a characteristic and pleasing patina over time. This is all normal and to be expected. In fact, it is these characteristics that differentiate real hide from synthetic or re-constituted coverings. Take care not to expose your leather or hide product to continuous direct sunlight as this may lead to fading.
For accidental spills, try to wipe up immediately and avoid letting the stain dry. Light stains can be removed with a diluted solution of a neutral soap in lukewarm water, but be careful not to soak the leather or hide. Occasionally, pencil marks and other light marks can be removed by rubbing the area lightly with an eraser. If your leather or hide is heavily soiled, we recommend professional cleaning.
Brass artworks are hand cast in our own foundry, using age-old techniques. Occasional application of an inert wax that does not contain a cleansing agent will preserve the patina of the metal. Avoid using abrasive cloths or polishes that may damage the surface.
Warm water and a soft, lint-free cloth are ideal for routine cleaning of this rust-free material. Wipe in the direction of the polish lines and dry with a towel or cloth to prevent water spots. Stainless steel cleaner cloths can help minimise scratching, remove stains and polish stainless steel surfaces nicely. Be sure to test in an inconspicuous spot.
Rub piece with a non-abrasive nickel-plate cleanser and a clean, dry cloth. Buff gently with smooth strokes to restore lustre.
Regularly dust and wipe clean with a good quality furniture polish twice each month. Avoid using soap and water or any water-based cleaning products on aluminium as this may cause tarnishing.
Regularly dust and wipe clean with a good quality furniture polish twice each month. Avoid using soap and water or any water-based cleaning products on iron as this may cause rusting.
Regularly dust and wipe clean with a good quality furniture polish twice each month. Avoid using soap and water or any water-based cleaning products on steel as this may cause rusting.
Clean with a damp, clean cloth. Avoid using cleansers with a highly acidic base or ones that are extremely abrasive. Cleaners formulated with bleach can also damage stone pieces, particularly those with a polished or coated finish.
Dust with a soft, damp cloth or chamois. Dry or gritty cloths may cause surface scratches and create a static electric charge on the surface. Clean Acrylic with a solution of mild soap or detergent and lukewarm water. Use a clean soft cloth, applying only light pressure. Rinse with clean water and dry by blotting with a damp cloth or chamois.
DO NOT USE: Window cleaning sprays, kitchen scouring compounds or solvents such as acetone, gasoline, benzene, alcohol, carbon tetrachloride, or lacquer thinner. These can scratch the surface and/or weaken it causing small surface cracks called, “crazing.”
Clean with a damp, clean cloth. Avoid using cleansers with a highly acidic base or ones that are extremely abrasive. Cleaners formulated with bleach can also damage eggshell pieces, particularly those with a polished or coated finish.