What's the best way to clean older furniture?
This question probably should be over on Cleaning Tips, but since it's all older furniture, I thought someone here might have some good advice.
Over the last couple of years, I've been given quite a few pieces of furniture that originally belonged to my great-grandparents or grandparents. It's basic, solid family furniture from about the 1920s, give or take 20 odd years. So not antique. And it's been scratched and dinged here and there, so not in pristine condition. But certainly usable--no weak joints, missing pieces, serious damage.
But they were all made long before the advent of the polyurethane finish. I think some were waxed--there's black gunky stuff in the groves and carved bits. And some just have dust that a plain old duster isn't getting. And some have little finicky bits where a duster can't get, but the dust sure can.
Since I have no clue what the finish is on any of these pieces, what's the best way to approach cleaning them up a bit?