That new desk of yours is like a puppy. It sits, stays, and is oddly adorable in the right setting. It won’t fetch or roll over, but you can still cuddle with it. Not too hard, as we don’t want cuddle related injuries on our conscience. Another thing that puppies are well known for is getting a little dusty from time to time. And muddy. But for the sake of this analogy, we’re sticking with dusty. In the case of the aforementioned puppy, you just throw it in the tub and give it a good scrubbing. While this works great for your fur babies, it isn’t exactly best practices for furniture care, which is why we have some tips and tricks for maintaining that gorgeous UPLIFT Height-Adjustable Standing Desk.
Your desktop comes in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes, not unlike your canine companions. However, while a bath in the tub or sink or small plastic kiddie pool works for literally every breed of dog ever, desktops are a little pickier with their cleaning methods, depending on the material the top is made from. The majority of people looking for an affordable top option will go with either our laminate, Eco or bamboo tops. All three desktops should be maintained the same – a little feather duster or microfiber cloth run over the surface should handle dust. In those unfortunate cases that require a little more elbow grease, such as spills, the answer to your problem is warm, soapy water. No ammonia. No bleach. No 409. Just a little dish soap and warm water in a cup or bowl. Once you have your cleaning solution ready, just get a folded paper towel or cloth, dip it in the warm water and dish soap mixture, and wipe down the surface of your desk top. Immediately after you finish wiping your desk down, get a dry paper towel or cloth and dry off the surface. If you leave excessive moisture on furniture, you’re gonna have a bad time.
The cleaning methods for bamboo and laminates will work just fine for your solid wood tops as well, but solid wood tops also have other cleaning methods that they like. A lot. For a really long lasting solid wood top, give it a full rub in of Johnson’s Paste Wax every six months to a year. This is the same method used by the Smithsonian to take care of antiques and will keep your top maintained for decades. If you’re looking for a nice clean shine, and by that I mean a literal shine on your desk, give it a nice polish with some Old English Lemon Oil. It gives your desk a nice sheen and also another layer of protection. It should be relatively easy to find in stores, but we do offer it on our website as part of the UPLIFT Solid Wood Care Kit.
If you just clicked that link, you probably noticed that there is a scratch repair kit option included with the Solid Wood Care Kit. We here at The Human Solution understand that accidents happen, and to that end, we’re going to go through how to deal with scratches on your wood desk using the amazing power of Old English Scratch Repair. For light scratches, scuffing and staining, take a steel wool hand pad (also included in the repair kit) and lightly buff out the imperfection. When it is no longer visible, take a soft cloth and wipe away as much of the dust as possible. Then, shake your bottle of lemon oil and apply to the surface with a cleaning cloth, following the wood grain as you go. Then use a clean polishing cloth to remove any excess oil until the wood is dry.
For scratches that are a little more prominent, you’ll want to clear the area and get ready to apply some Old English Scratch Cover. Just put some on a clean cloth and wipe the area until it’s dry. Lighter scratches won’t need to be buffed with steel wool first, but deeper ones will need to be buffed before you apply the scratch cover. As with applying Old English Lemon Oil, just follow the wood grain when wiping the desk down and use a clean cloth to remove all of the excess oil until the top is dry.
Returning to the puppy analogy, because it makes everything cuter, it’s not typically enough to just bathe your best friend. You also have to brush them and keep them from getting their heads stuck in the fence post while chasing rodents in the backyard. In that vein, here are a few last minute tips:
- Don’t let liquids puddle on your desk top. It doesn’t matter how well the top is sealed, excessive moisture will eventually creep through and ruin the top. Always use a coaster to maintain longevity. In fact, use a coaster for hot plates and bowls as well. The heat affects the sealants and will cause similar issues if not properly kept in check.
- Don’t use harsh chemicals. Warm soapy water is surprisingly way more effective than you think. Harsh chemicals are like if excessive heat and moisture came together in some unholy union and spawned a child bent on destroying desk surfaces. Better just to avoid them.
- Avoid writing with excessive pressure or mousing directly on the desk surface. Over time, these two things may lead to scuffing and scratches. Using a mouse pad and not trying to maul your paper with a pen will insure your top’s longevity for years to come.
As with anything you purchase, you’ll get the most out of your puppy/desk by keeping them happy, healthy and well maintained. Though a desk isn’t a dog, it becomes an important and familiar part of your work space. If you ever have any questions about how to keep that part of your work space well maintained, as always, feel free to contact us here at The Human Solution.