The right care will extend the life of wooden furniture, whether it’s an heirloom or a Billy bookcase.
Every week: A wipe over with a soft (preferably microfibre) cloth will remove dust. Use a small paintbrush or vacuum cleaner attachment to winkle dust out of carvings and mouldings.
Wax polish isn’t absolutely essential, but if you’re not too heavy handed it will protect the wood to some extent and buffs up nicely. Clean down the piece with a just-damp cloth before you apply polish, or you’ll trap dirt in the wax. You only need to apply polish once or twice a year and always use the same product or you’re just asking for trouble.
Oiled timbers are usually tropical hardwoods, such as teak, or beech. Oil, such as linseed, teak oil or Danish oil should be applied with a fluff-free cloth, left to soak in then wiped clean. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate oil and frequency of oiling.