Care of oak furniture

English oak is waterproof, durable and one of the most abundant hardwoods found in the UK. Solid oak furniture can hold up in even the toughest households, but does require special care to keep it looking its best. Seasoning oak furniture can take as long as four years, which will require regular application of furniture oil. General cleaning is also a necessary part of oak care.

Dust your oak furniture pieces regularly. Use a soft cloth or microfibre duster. Dusting will help to remove airborne particles and debris that deposit on the oak furniture over time.

Dampen a soft cloth with water to remove dirt or build-up on your oak furniture. You may also add a drop of soap to the damp cloth for stubborn stains. Rub the damp cloth over the oak furniture until the build-up transfers to the cloth.

Apply furniture oil to your oak furniture to keep it looking lustrous. Apply the furniture oil to the oak using a soft cloth. Rub the cloth over the oak surface. Consult the packaging label on the furniture oil for allocation amounts and application frequency.

Protect oak furniture with a furniture polish. Unlike furniture oil which provides the oak with necessary moisture, furniture polish contains silicone, which will help the oak repel scratches to its surface. Apply the furniture polish according to label instructions.

Position oak furniture out of direct sunlight, which can cause the surface of the oak to dry out, crack and lose its colour. Window treatments that filter light can prevent direct sunlight from penetrating the oak. Display your oak furniture at least a 50 cm to 1 metre away from radiators.


Wipe up spills immediately with a damp cloth to avoid staining. Dry the area well with a dry, soft cloth.

Remove water rings from oak furniture using butter. Massage the area with the butter and allow it to sit overnight. Wipe the butter and the water ring away in the morning.


Do not drag your oak furniture pieces across the floor when you need to move them. Dragging can cause damage to the furniture -- lift it instead.

Do not wipe your oak furniture down with wet cloths. Always make sure that you wring the cloths out well before cleaning to avoid warping and damage to the oak.

Do not place hot items directly on the surface of the oak.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloths
  • Microfibre duster
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Furniture oil
  • Furniture polish
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About the Author

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.