How to clean furniture with layer of dust from being stored

30svintageJuly 14, 2013

After over five years our furniture just came out of storage into our new house. There is a good layer of gummy dust on everything that does not vacuum off and since this is hot Texas it seems to have become part of the surface due to the high temperature.
I have both painted surfaces and stained wood surfaces - mostly antiques with original finish. My first attempt was to use diluted orange oil for a wash and then quickly wipe it dry. I then used pledge with lemon oil to try to bring back the shine. This is what I had on hand. Results were OK but the lemon oil looks a little streaky and there still seems to be a gummy film.
What is best to use to clean the furniture? Any and all suggestions appreciated! thanks

This post was edited by 30svintage on Sun, Jul 14, 13 at 0:45

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The varnish or paint softened/melted due to the hot Texas heat allowing the dust/dirt to absorb into it.

Refinishing is the only way to restore beauty of the furniture.

Storing furniture in a climate control storage unit is the best way to store furniture to avoid this type damage.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 12:18PM
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I would try pouring some mineral spirits on a cloth and wiping the furniture. Don't rub too hard.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 12:30PM
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ernie85017, zn 9, phx

There is an antique restorer that sells often at the antique marts or malls. Can't remember the name, but it's in a glass bottle, yellow liquid. It's not like stripping, you just rub it on. Great stuff, a little pricey.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 2:37PM
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This can't be done properly at home by yourself. You better try any reputed dust / house cleaning company.

This post was edited by Divyah on Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 14:33

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 4:47PM
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30sVintage - What you have is a mix of leftover furniture polish and dust, baked together.

Have you tried mild soap and water?

If that doesn't work, try mineral spirits on a soft cloth. Wipe on a generous amount, let it sit and then wipe it off with a clean cloth. Test in a hidden area, but mineral spirits usually doesn't affect the finish of a piece.

As you found, anything oily just spreads the oily dirt around. The mineral spirits can dissolve old oils and grime.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 1:52PM
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