July 27th, 2017
Commercial millwork can add beauty, personality, and elegance to your space. Most of the time, high quality craftsmanship will also last many years. But, in order to maintain its quality and its beauty over the long term, commercial millwork must be cared for properly. Otherwise, the ravages of water, dust, bumps, scratches, and misuse can turn previously beautiful craftsmanship into an unsightly mess. Proper care of your millwork does not take much time, but it can make a big difference. Here are a few of the best ways to properly clean and care for your commercial millwork.
Dust with an electrostatic cloth or a vacuum.
Dust builds up on every surface, and commercial millwork is no exception. The problem with dust, however, is that the tiny particles can dig into the finished wood and eventually cause scratches. Even tiny scratches can affect the overall look of the craftsmanship, so removing the dust is an important part of caring for your millwork. The best way to dust your commercial millwork is to wipe it down with an electrostatic cloth. Too much pressure on the wood can scratch it, so using a gentle touch is the best way to remove dust without causing damage. In place of an electrostatic cloth, you can also choose to use a vacuum (with the bristle attachment) to remove the dust. As with the electrostatic cloth, gentleness is key.
Clean your commercial millwork with a damp cloth and a gentle soap.
Over time, dirt and spills can accumulate on your commercial millwork. In order to remove these slightly more stubborn messes, clean your commercial millwork regularly with soap and water. In order to prevent damage to your millwork from the water, use a soft cloth that has been dampened slightly. In addition, use a gentle soap (such as a dish soap) in order to remove stuck-on messes without eating away at the wood’s finish. Finally, when cleaning with soap and water, wipe the wood in the direction of the grain. Doing so will maintain the look of the wood, prevent wearing out of the wood, and allow you to get a nicer look on the millwork once you are finished cleaning.
Dry your commercial millwork immediately to prevent water damage.
Whenever you get your commercial millwork damp (whether that be during cleaning or because of a spill), immediately dry the wood to prevent water damage. Even finished wood surfaces can suffer water damage if moisture is allowed to sit on them. When cleaning, the best way to prevent water damage is to use a dry cloth to gently dry each section of the commercial millwork as you go. For example, you might dry each cabinet door before you move on to the next one. In the case of spills, simply wipe up the spill immediately, before it has a chance to soak into the wood.
Apply a gentle wood soap occasionally.
Some commercial millwork surfaces (such as painted millwork) do not need treatment with a wood soap or polish. Other finished wood surfaces might suffer from the application of such products. As a result, ask your commercial millwork manufacturer about whether or not applying a wood soap or polish is beneficial for the particular product you have installed in your space. However, for the right surfaces, the occasional application of a gentle wood soap or polish can help to maintain the beautiful shine and elegance of your commercial millwork. Simply apply the soap to a soft cloth first and then use the cloth to apply the soap to the millwork. Doing so will allow for a more even application of the soap.
Use your commercial millwork as intended.
While commercial millwork is beautiful and durable, it can still be damaged through misuse. Part of caring for your millwork therefore, is using it gently and as intended. For example, use a doorstop to prevent doors from opening into your wainscoting. Refrain from slamming doors and cabinets. Prevent repetitive bumps from people walking by, furniture, doors, or other items. Using your commercial millwork as intended can prevent unnecessary damage and reduce the amount of time you must spend fixing elements of your space that could otherwise have looked beautiful for many more years.
Maintain an even humidity level for your commercial millwork.
Variations in the humidity level can affect the wood in your commercial millwork. For example, too much moisture in the air can cause the wood to swell, while too little moisture can cause it to shrink. Over time, consistent moisture or dryness can damage the wood and negatively impact the look of your millwork. In addition, too much variation (swelling and shrinking) can eventually lead to cracking and damage. In order to prevent these problems, maintain an even humidity level for your commercial millwork. Ideally, a level of 25-55 percent will allow the wood to retain its original shape and beautiful appearance for years to come.
Care for your commercial millwork regularly.
Finally, regularity is key to caring for your commercial millwork. While you do not need to clean it every day, scheduling its cleaning on a consistent basis (once a week or once a month, for instance), will ensure that it is consistently kept as free from damage as possible. If you have any questions about the regularity with which you should be caring for your commercial millwork, consult your commercial millwork manufacturer to learn more. Caring properly for your commercial millwork can translate into many years of beautiful, elegant details in your space. The key is to approach your care with regularity and gentleness. The best methods for caring for your commercial millwork include dusting with an electrostatic cloth or vacuum, cleaning your millwork with a damp cloth and gentle soap, applying a gentle wood soap occasionally, using your commercial millwork as intended, and maintaining an even humidity level for your millwork. In addition, following all of your commercial millwork manufacturer’s instructions regarding care and maintenance of your millwork can help to keep it in the best possible shape for many years.