Technically considered a grass, bamboo is a durable plant used to make fencing, flooring, home decor items and furniture. Lovely bamboo furniture usually lasts for many years when you care for it properly. Generally, bamboo furniture requires periodic dusting and an occasional deep cleaning. Polishing is also necessary if you live in an area with low humidity. Furniture kept outside needs a bit more attention, as well as proper placement. If you find older bamboo furniture, you can restore it with a bit of cleaning, sanding and polishing.
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To dust your bamboo furniture, use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Once you've removed the dust, wipe down the piece using a soft cloth dampened with soapy water or a cleanser designed specifically for wood furniture. Always use a mild cleanser so as not to damage the finish of your bamboo or dull its shine. If desired, use a soft brush to clean hard-to-reach areas of your furniture, as well as any detailing. Dry the bamboo thoroughly with a soft cloth or set it outside to dry. If the humidity level in your home is low, polish your bamboo furniture with linseed oil about once a month to keep your bamboo from cracking. To prevent drying, avoid placing bamboo furniture next to heating vents, fireplaces and wood stoves.
Never sit on freshly cleaned bamboo furniture until it is thoroughly dry. Wet bamboo is pliable and may bend or lose its shape if used when wet.
Most bamboo furniture is not recommended for outdoor use, but you can get away with using bamboo outdoors if you're willing to give it a little extra care. Before placing bamboo furniture outside, treat it with an outdoor sealant for protection. When arranging bamboo furniture outdoors, choose a spot that is shady but not damp or wet. Make sure the furniture is positioned where rain and water from your sprinkler system won't reach it. Diligently check your furniture for mold often, and immediately remove any you find with lemon oil. Dry the affected area after cleaning. During the winter months, bring bamboo furniture indoors or protect it with a secure waterproof cover.
Dealing With Stains
Moving quickly is the key to dealing with stains on bamboo furniture. Clean up spills on bamboo furniture as soon as they happen. Permanent staining and discoloration are best avoided by immediate cleanup. Always blot at spills rather than rubbing, so you can lift the stain rather than accidentally rubbing it in. Use a damp cloth and mild cleanser to clean up messes, but never make your bamboo wet.
Bamboo that has been exposed to excessive amounts of water and sunlight is likely damaged beyond repair. Other bamboo furniture, however, can be brought back to life with a little TLC. First, vacuum the dust off of the bamboo, and then wipe it down with a damp cloth and mild cleanser. If you find any cracks in the bamboo, sand them down with a low-grit sandpaper to smooth them. Vacuum the piece again to remove the sanding dust, and then apply paste wax to any cracks you find, using a soft cloth and a circular motion. Remove any excess wax with a fresh cloth before buffing the entire piece with a bit of linseed oil to restore its luster.