How to Care for Your Chess Set

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How to Care for Your Chess Set

Chess sets provide hours of entertainment and are lovely adornments in the home. When you find the set that you love, you should learn how to dust and clean it to maintain its appearance. Some chess sets are made from materials that require special treatment.


Precautions for Your Chess Set

You should avoid placing a chess set in direct sunlight to prevent fading or sun damage, and ensure that the set is not exposed to humidity or extreme temperatures. High degrees of expansion and contraction caused by changes in humidity can cause the board to develop cracks over time. Avoid damage cause by abrasion by always placing the board on a soft cloth or felt pad rather than directly on a hard surface. Finally, never place drinks or plants on a chessboard because condensation and spills may cause irreparable damage. These precautions are especially important for an antique or vintage chess set.


Dust Your Chess Set

You should dust your chess set periodically using a soft, damp cloth because a dry cloth could cause dust to scratch the finish of delicate boards. Always wipe along the grain of the wood. To finish, wipe the board and pieces with a dry, lint-free cloth. Alternatively, players can attend to their set regularly with a feather duster.


Clean for Your Chess Set

There are metal, plastic, wood and stone chess sets, which have different cleaning requirements. Owners should always consult the manufacturer's instructions before cleaning their chessboards. Wax and buff wooden chess pieces and boards once or twice every year using high quality wax and a cotton cloth. Follow the instructions for the wax carefully to avoid damaging the set's original finish. Modern materials and stone sets do not need to be waxed, and may even be damaged by the process. In these cases, players can remove fingerprints or smudges using a damp cloth, followed by a dry cloth. For heavily soiled boards or chess pieces, you can use a mild detergent.

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