Blog Category's:

Busting 5 misconceptions on cleaning and maintaining wood furniture

Wood furniture adds warmth and helps to bring a sense of nature into your home. It’s also long-lasting and with a little tender loving care and maintenance, they can last for a lifetime and more.

Ethnicraft Online has offered functional, beautiful and eco-friendly solid wood furnishings to customers in Singapore since 2012, and have even expanded to Malaysia and Shanghai in recent years. Over the years, we’ve heard and answered numerous questions on wood furniture and we’re here to bust the most common misconceptions on cleaning and maintaining your wood furniture.

Soap can’t be used on raw wood, right?

Don’t be afraid – regular use of soap and water will not damage your furniture, especially if it’s a piece with a raw natural finish!

In fact, cleaning with a natural soap solution (not too strong) will increase surface’s resistance over time. As the wood absorbs more soap, it becomes more repellent to marks and stains.

Contrary to popular belief, you also don’t need special cleaning products for your wood furniture, so soap away!

cleaning products

If I varnish it, it’s waterproof!

No, unfortunately it’s not waterproof. Varnish works like a raincoat and serves as a barrier between things like water (or wine) and your wood, so that the substance doesn’t seep into the wood itself.

That said, if a very hot fluid is left on the varnished surface for a sufficiently long time (say 45 minutes or more), the layer of varnish might eventually erode and stain the wood. To avoid this, always use placemats and coasters when placing hot objects on your table.


Need more help removing stains? Check out this how-to article!

I can use my varnished indoor furniture outdoors too!

Placing an indoor furniture piece outdoors where it’ll be battered by rain, will definitely wear your piece down, even if it’s varnished. Remember – varnish does not mean waterproof.

Not to mention the fact that sunlight will fade your teak furniture to a lighter shade (and darken your oak furniture).

Unless your furniture pieces are built and finished for the outdoors, don’t do it.

Teak oil = protection

Yes, but proceed with caution.

When your teak furniture starts to feel dry, you can apply a thin layer of teak oil to it to keep it moisturised. Be careful not to apply too much or too many layers as it will not get absorbed. The residual oil may make your furniture unusable.

Dining table

Having raw wood furniture in my home will attract termites and disaster!

This is a complete misconception. Raw natural solid hardwood furniture is the last thing that termites would attack or want to eat because of its toughness. Teak’s high oil content also makes it unattractive to termites so there’s little chance of your solid wood furniture attracting termites!


In the event you do have a termite problem, they will attack soft items like cardboards and softwoods like medium density fibreboard (MDF) first.

If you see that happening, call pest control immediately!

When in doubt, check!

These general tips should serve you well but we encourage you to check with your furniture retailer or manufacturer on care tips for the specific wood furniture you’ve purchased.

Happy cleaning and good luck!


Ethnicraft Online’s solid wood furnishings are functional, beautiful, and eco-friendly. Take your pick from its contemporary teak or oak collection, the playful Universo Positivo series or vintage-inspired Mr Marius collection. Whatever you choose, you’ll be guaranteed a one-of-a-kind piece with lifetime warranty and complimentary maintenance!

Make a hassle-free purchase online or visit its showrooms in Singapore to experience the products for yourself. Ethnicraft Online’s showrooms are open 7 days a week, from 10am to 7pm, by appointment.

Trending Posts

About us

Helpling is the #1 home services provider in Singapore with a whopping 4.7 star rating on Google. We’re the trusted choice of both locals and expats by merit of our high-quality and reliable service.

At Helpling, we connect trusted service providers with our users for their home services needs. With our seamless and easy-to-use booking system, you can make a booking in 60 seconds and leave the rest to us. Save your precious time and spend it on the things and people that matter more.