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How to Care for Bamboo Products

While we primarily think of bamboo's uses outdoors, as in fencing and construction, oftentimes we forget that bamboo can just as easily transform the indoors into a tropical paradise as well.  However, as with anything else, bamboo products must be cared for and maintained.  Here are some simple tips to care for just about anything made of bamboo:

**Note: The word "furniture" is used to denote any bamboo construction.  This can include bamboo rugs, bamboo signs, bamboo blinds and tiki masks.**

1. Make sure to dust or vacuum the bamboo furniture frequently. 2. Keep furniture out of direct sunlight and avoid leaving it outside for prolonged periods. 3. To wash: Mix a couple drops of mild dishwashing liquid that does not contain bleach or alkalis in ½ gallon of water. Mix in 2-3 teaspoons of ammonia. Dip a sponge in and wring it out well. Wipe down furniture. Use an old toothbrush for hard to reach spots. Rinse with clean water. Let air dry outside or use a hair dryer. 4. Do not sit on wet bamboo furniture this will cause it stretch or sag. Make sure to place it somewhere where no one will accidentally sit on it. 5. For spills: blot the liquid dry immediately to avoid staining and wash using the instructions above. 6. Avoid using chemicals around bamboo furniture; this may lead to unnecessary staining. 7. For dry or hot indoor conditions: wipe furniture with a cool, damp sponge often to prevent cracking. 8. For outdoor bamboo furniture: Avoid placing in shady or moist areas to keep it from molding. Bring the furniture inside during the off season or make sure to shelter it with a waterproof cover. If necessary, protect the furniture and add sheen with an outdoor sealant or UV protective outdoor varnish. Be sure to wash it with a pressure washer or scrubbing brush first and let dry thoroughly. Then apply the seal generously and evenly. Repeat every year or two. 9. If the furniture cracks – sand the division with a fine grit sandpaper (180 or above) until smooth to avoid splintering and rub with a paste wax to restore the piece's natural color and shine 10. To restore shine: Use linseed or other furniture oil; oil specially formulated for bamboo works best. If desired, apply a colorless lacquer to preserve it from dirt and wear. Make sure to wash the furniture first using the techniques described above and allow it to dry thoroughly.

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