ALCOHOL in cocktails, perfumes, lotions, and medicines can play havoc with a fine finish. Wipe them up instantly if they are spilled and rub the spot quickly with the palm of your hand or with a cloth moistened with an oil polish. Alcohol is a powerful solvent that dissolves some finishes. Light stains from alcohol mixtures, even when old, can sometimes be removed with the rottenstone and Unseed oil treatment described for heat and water marks. Try it on light burns too.
WHEN CANDLE DRIPPINGS FALL onto the table scrape off as much of the wax as you can, with a stiff card. The remainder can be washed off most surfaces. Or you can wipe the mark with a cloth moistened with cleaning fluid. Apply polish if needed.
SPILLED INK should be blotted up instantly before it penetrates the surface. Press a dampened cloth on the spot to absorb the ink and keep turning the cloth to a clean place until no more ink is taken up. Do not rub, since that might force the stain into the wood. Ink can be washed off some finishes. On old stains you can try the unseed oil and rottenstone method already described.
PAINT SPATTERS if they are fresh, can be removed from furniture with liquid wax, turpentine, or just soap and water. Old paint stains are a different story. Put unseed oil on the stain and let it stand until the paint is softened, then scrape off as much as you can with a stiff card or a wooden spatula. Rub the traces that remain with rottenstone or finely powdered pumice, mixed with unseed oil.
THE GRAYISH BLOOM that sometimes develops on highly polished furniture usually can be removed by wiping the surface with a soft cloth wrung out of warm water containing vinegar (about a tablespoonful to one quart of water). Rub the finish dry with a clean soft cloth. On a waxed finish a rub with liquid wax will usually remove the bloom.
DINGY-LOOKING CHAIR SEATS of rush, cane, or splint can be cleaned and revived by this beauty treatment: use your vacuum brush or a hand brush to remove all loose dust; next clean the seat with a mixture made by adding a tablespoonful of turpentine and three tablespoonfuls of Unseed oil to one quart of hot water. Keep this solution hot until you have finished, by using a double boiler or setting it in a pan of hot water. Do not place it over a direct flame because both turpentine and linseed oil are highly flammable. Daub the wash onto the seat with a cloth pad, then scrub it into the crevices with a brush. Let the seat dry completely. If refinishing seems to be needed, apply a thin type of floor sealer to both the top and bottom of the seat.
DEEP BURNS, SCRATCHES, STAINS and other serious mishaps to furniture call for the services of a competent cabinet maker or repairman.
TO CLEAN LEATHER FURNITURE use saddle soap preferably. It can be bought at shoe repair shops and hardware stores; follow the directions given on the tin. Or you can use thick suds made with pure white soap flakes. Squeeze your cleaning cloth or sponge as dry as you can in order not to get the leather too wet. Rinse off the soap solution with a clean damp cloth. Let the leather dry, and then polish it with a soft dry cloth.
From this article we've learned that we can use the oil polish to remove the mark of the alcohol on the table. Candle dripped can be cleaned with the wax. And Spilled ink and paint spatters that are fresh can be cleaned using unseed oil on the stains.