Very damp or very dry environments are bad for furniture and should be avoided. In a damp environment, products will swell slightly. In a dry environment, parts may shrink somewhat. It is important that you find a location that is neither too damp nor too dry.
For more information about how to care for wooden furniture, including proper cleaning, Heritage Canada maintains a "Preserving My Heritage" website. For instance, some things they suggest thinking about include:
To prevent accidental water damage, do not place potted plants on furniture,
use coasters for drinks, etc.
Do not place furniture in direct sunlight (the use of blinds or curtains will
help limit direct sunlight). Avoid placing pieces next to fireplaces or baseboard
heaters, or over heat vents.
Attics, basements, and garages are not good places to store furniture because
of fluctuating environmental conditions.
Heritage Canada also makes suggestions about cleaning wooden furniture that might surprise you:
A wide array of products (ranging from oils, waxes, and sprays to home remedies)
is available for furniture care. However—contrary to popular belief—wood
does not need to be ‘fed'. The best way to care for furniture is simply
to maintain a stable environment. No amount of oil or other materials will keep
wood from drying out if the humidity level is too low.
Some commercially available products actually do more harm than good because
they change over time and react with the finish. Some furniture polishes leave
residues that produce unsightly build-up and can affect finishes.
Tung Oil Finish
- Do not damp wipe.
- I recommend Scott's Liquid Gold Furniture
Polish. It renews the deep grain finish.
- Do not use paste wax. Due to the layering effect it will require stripping at
some point and has a tendancy to yellow.
- Dry dust using a dust attractant.