Tips for Caring for Mahogany Wood

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Mahogany wood is a material that is used to make furniture, cabinetry, decks, sculptures, and floors. It is distinguished by its unique reddish-brown color and its uniform grain. Mahogany trees are known to grow very large and have relatively few knots compared to other trees and it has been used to make fine furniture for generations. Today, mahogany is a protected wood species and is in danger of extinction. To protect and care for the mahogany items you have, follow the following steps.

Keep Away from Excess Moisture

Like all wood products, mahogany can be adversely affected by excessive moisture. Never use a pressure washer to wash mahogany decks or outdoor furniture. If you use water to clean a mahogany surface, use only a damp cloth, not a wet one. Follow this up by wiping it with a dry cloth immediately.

Wipe Clean with a Soft Damp Cloth

To clean mahogany wood, you can use a soft, lint-free cloth dipped in a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Rub it in even strokes all across the surface and wipe off the excess moisture with a dry piece of cloth. Vinegar is a great natural cleaner that will help you maintain the look of the wood.

Wipe Spills Immediately

If you have water, oil or food spills on your mahogany furniture, you must clean them off immediately. Foreign substances can wear away the protective finish on the wood and can damage the material over some time.

Never Use Abrasive Cleaners

Never use abrasive or caustic cleaners on mahogany wood. This can cause discoloration, staining and remove the finish on the wood. Follow manufacturer guidelines on cleaning the wood.

Protect Outdoor Mahogany from Excessive Exposure to the Sun

Mahogany is used in outdoor applications. It is resistant to wood rot and insects. However, it does not share the durability of teak. To maintain the look of your mahogany deck or patio furniture, try to protect it from direct sunlight, as much as possible. Surrounding trees or shrubs will do this job. Refinish the mahogany when you see a dulled appearance, scratches or flakes on the surface.

Maintain a Controlled Environment Indoors

Mahogany wood is prone to expansion and contraction when the humidity levels fall and rise. In the winter, use a humidifier to prevent drying out of the wood and subsequent contraction. This is even more essential if you use indoor heaters during the winter.

Lift Heavy Items while Moving

If you have mahogany floors, you must protect them from dents and scratches. Daily sweeping with a soft broom, restricting the use of outdoor footwear and high heels and placing felt pads underneath furniture will go a long way in preserving the wood. Never drag heavy items on the mahogany floor.

Protect and Seal the Surface Periodically

From time to time, you must refinish mahogany wood. Before applying a sealant, you must clean the wood thoroughly. Lightly sand the surface of the wood and remove all the dirt. Choose between water-based sealants, which are environmentally friendly and offer good ultraviolet protection or oil-based sealants, which are quicker to dry and offer more resistance to moisture.