Mahogany has been used for centuries to build quality solid wood furniture due to its appealing aesthetic and durability. So how do you keep it at its best to last a lifetime? Here we explore our top tips on how to care for mahogany wood – so you can continue to enjoy your mahogany furniture for years to come.
Avoid areas of high temperature change
Our top tip in caring for mahogany furniture, and indeed all quality furniture, is to avoid placing directly next to any heating source or air conditioning vent. This includes radiators, stoves, or fireplaces. Heating sources, particularly central heating and air conditioning units reduce the moisture content of the air around them, and so draws moisture out of the wood, which can cause wood shrinkage.
Shrinkage can loosen joints and glues, as well as causing small splits to appear. Traditional carpentry techniques are employed to reduce this phenomenon; however, it most commonly occurs in really dry conditions such as very high central heating or in direct sunlight.
If quick temperature changes are a worry, then allow your furniture to acclimatise to your new environment in a moderate temperature first.
Being mindful of where and how your piece is placed, will help ensure your furniture’s longevity.
Avoid excessive moisture
Solid wood furniture in general is not a fan of excess water. Mahogany is more durable than most, but water marks and water stains can occur if not cared for properly. If cleaning use at most a damp cloth and follow this up with a dry cloth straight away. Use coasters and placemats to prevent water marks as well as exposure to heat.
Clean up spills immediately
Liquid substances can wear through protective lacquers and finishes, especially if alcohol or spirit based, causing damage to the surface. Clean with a soft cloth, and if a slight mark has been left behind, use lemon oil to help remove. Once complete ensure to apply polish to protect that area again.
Polish your furniture periodically
To ensure your furniture continues to look its best, we recommend applying a polish once a year. This will build mahogany’s patina and enhance its richness of finish.
Having a well-kept top layer also protects against water marks, dirt, grease, and dulling. A good quality wax will be absorbed into the wood, feeding it and preventing it from drying out; especially recommended if the furniture is kept in a sunny position. We would always advice against placing your piece in direct sunlight as it can cause fading. If this is however unavoidable, then periodically feeding the wood with a good wax can slow fading and even reverse it.
Beeswax is recommended, being mindful of buying a wax suitable for your colour furniture. Alternatively, a coloured cream wax can work well especially for fading, and often easier to apply than a hard wax
Having a well-kept top layer also protects against water marks, dirt, grease, and dulling.
Never use abrasive cleaners
Using standard supermarket furniture polish is a must avoid temptation. These often contain chemicals that can stain, discolour, and even remove mahogany finishes. For example, a cleaner containing silicon may give an instant shine, but long term this will not feed the wood and can even build up a layer which is sticky to the touch. Simply dust and wipe with a cloth to clean.
Mahogany furniture care is essential to ensure your piece looks as good in 20 years as it does today. Often considered a luxury wood, we are sure you will want to keep it looking its best.
We hope you found this useful, and if interested in adding to your mahogany collection, feel free to browse our pieces – or why not get something made completely unique for you with our simple bespoke process.