How to Clean Japanese Lacquerware

Shelley Marie

Japanese lacquerware is made from the sap of the urushi tree. The sap, or lacquer, coats items such as boxes, containers or furniture with a smooth, colored finish. The lacquer provides an extremely hard, durable finish that protects the item from water and wear while adding a glossy appearance. Japanese lacquerware requires special care and cleaning to keep it in top condition. Store the lacquerware properly and clean it occasionally to keep it looking its best.

  1. Dampen a soft, lint-free cloth with water, and wring it out.

  2. Wipe the lacquerware thoroughly to remove any dirt, dust or fingerprints.

  3. Dry the lacquerware with a soft, lint-free cloth.

  4. Dip a soft cloth into a carnauba-based wax, and wipe the lacquerware with the cloth to apply a light layer of wax to the surface.

  5. Buff the lacquerware with a clean part of the cloth to remove any excess wax and restore shine.