Review the general maintenance tips below, and then check out the tips we’ve compiled for specific media.
General Maintenance Tips:
These general guidelines apply to all media that we work with.
- Clean your piece with a soft, cotton cloth regularly to avoid dust build-up. Paper towels are made of wood fiber, and while convenient will put micro scratches in the piece.
- Dirt and dust hold moisture, and should be removed regularly. Water is the solvent for most things on this planet, but acts as a catalyst for all kinds of chemical reactions (like rust). If needed, use a cloth dampened with water to remove debris, but always dry thoroughly afterwards.
- Use common sense: vigorous scrubbing, abrasive cleaners and pads will scratch or degrade the surface of your piece.
- Concrete and wood will naturally develop a beautiful patina as they age. Keep in mind that exposure to sunlight will bleach or darken wood, and fade colored surfaces. If you leave objects on these surfaces, be aware that if you do not rotate them regularly, they could lead to the development of dark or light spots. We use only the best permanent and lightfast pigments in our work, but even these will eventually degrade a little in direct sunlight.
- With the exception of glass, avoid the use of ammonia-based cleaners, such as Windex. As tempting as they are, these chemicals will degrade most finishes and materials over time.
Care for pieces made of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel contains chromium, which in the presence of oxygen forms an invisible layer of chromium oxide on the surface of the metal. This layer protects the other elements in the alloy and prevents the formation of iron oxides (rust) and other discoloration. However, certain cleaners or scratches will damage this chromium oxide layer.
- The best way to clean your stainless steel is with a solution of mild soap and water. Don’t use too much at once or allow water to seek out cracks and puddle. Thoroughly dry the metal after cleaning.
- Isopropyl alcohol can be used as a cleaner/degreaser when needed but should not be the default cleaning method. If desired this can be followed with a very light application of carnauba or bees wax to help seal and preserve the finish. Using a soft cloth, gently rub on a small amount of wax and buff out. The goal is to not leave the solvents on the piece for any duration. Mylands is a recommended brand.
What to Avoid:
- Cleaners containing chlorine, ammonia, citrus or mineral spirits.
- Scouring pads or other abrasive materials that may scratch the surface.
- Do not let acids or alcohol spills sit on the stainless surface for long. Clean up all spills with soap and water and then dry thoroughly.
Care for Mild Steel
- Our mild steel is always finished with several coats of industrial grade, self-etching lacquer to protect it from rust.
- Clean the mild steel as you would fine furniture; use a lightly damp rag to remove dirt, and then dry immediately after.
- Avoid ammonia, chlorine, alcohol, and mineral spirit cleaners, as well as any wax cleaners known to contain lacquer solvents.
- After cleaning, apply carnauba or bees wax periodically to preserve the finish. Using a soft cloth, gently rub on a small amount of wax and buff out. The goal is to not leave the solvents on the lacquer for any duration.
Care for Glass
- As with other materials, use caution with abrasive pads, as these will create scratches in the surface of the glass that will lead to a cloudy appearance over time.
- Etched or sandblasted glass easily collects grease and fingerprints. These can be difficult to remove, so avoid touching glass on etched surfaces. If necessary remove grease or oil with isopropyl alcohol or Windex on a soft, cotton cloth. Repeat as many times as necessary and dry. If the etched surface has been sealed, treat as mild steel.
Care for Wood
- Wood is sensitive to moisture.
- Exceptionally humid or dry climates will damage the piece, unless we designed the piece specifically for such a location.
- With your piece, you will have received a disclosure as to its finish
- Oiled pieces will require periodic reapplication of the specified oil type, and periodically waxed.
- Lacquer or polyurethane finished pieces should be cleaned as per the general care and maintenance instructions and periodically waxed.
- After cleaning, apply carnauba or bees wax periodically to preserve the finish. Using a soft cloth, gently rub on a small amount of wax and buff out. The goal is to not leave the solvents on the surface for any duration. If a wax build-up occurs, a “#0000” steel wool is appropriate to remove it. Be sure to remove all dust left behind from the steel wool before reapplication of wax.
- Please avoid generic furniture polishes and cleaners. The mystery sauce is just not good for you.
Care for Concrete
- Besides a propensity to absorb and therefore stain, concrete needs very little attention.
- After cleaning, apply carnauba or bees wax periodically to preserve the finish. Using a soft cloth, gently rub on a small amount of wax and buff out. The goal is to not leave the solvents on the surface for any duration.
Care for Acrylic and Polycarbonate (Lexan, 3-Form, Plexiglass)
- Plastics carry a charge and thus attract dust and dirt. This debris is most easily removed with a soft, damp, cotton cloth, which temporarily reduces the charge.
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