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Removing Furniture Polish Build Up from Wood Furniture

Category Furniture
Those wonderful furniture polishes can often leave a dull buildup. There are methods and products you can use to remove the buildup and restore the shine to your furnishings. This is a guide about removing furniture polish buildup from wood furniture.


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April 19, 20060 found this helpful

To remove polish build-up, mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Rub with a soft cloth that has been moistened with solution but wrung out. Dry immediately with another soft cloth.

By Peggy

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
March 21, 2017

I just got a couple of tables that have a lot of furniture wax built up on them. I have tried everything to remove it, but it hasn't worked. Any suggestions? Thank you.

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March 21, 20171 found this helpful

Equal part of water and vinegar.

Here is a good thread to browse: http://www.thri  d-Furniture.html

Reply Was this helpful? 1
March 22, 20171 found this helpful

From This Old House: Scrape away excess wax, then apply heat with a blow dryer set to MEDIUM, wiping off the wax with a rag as it softens. Wash the area with hot, soapy water to remove residue. Apply medium heat with a blow dryer and wipe away excess wax as it softens. Remove residue with a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water.

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March 27, 20170 found this helpful

i used to own a cleaning compay and we used ammonia ft remove the wax build up on floors. Worked beautifully. Absolutely melted the wax right off. However I didn't know about on wood. Googled it and came up with this: https://home.on  -wood-10594.html I hope this helps.

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0 found this helpful
September 12, 2016

Cry cleaning lady used something that has left my formerly shiny 50 year old 3 cherry end tables dull. How to restore myself?

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October 29, 20160 found this helpful

How to remove wax buildup on cherrywood

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November 8, 20160 found this helpful

i have cherrywood furniture how can i get it shining again. it is very dull after using furniture polish.

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January 20, 20170 found this helpful

Try lemon oil!

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0 found this helpful
October 18, 2012

I've received my great-grandparents beautiful dining set. However, there is a lot of wax build up that is showing rings. What is the best way to remedy this situation? Mayonnaise has not helped.

By Maile

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 22, 20123 found this helpful
Best Answer

Get some Ivory liquid dish soap and a wash cloth. Do small areas at a time and dry each spot before going to the next. You will find it will be a lot lighter in color because the wax has darkened over the years with the build up.

You can also buy Fornby's furniture restorer and that will remove the old wax. I found it expensive before the job was done so weigh you choices.

You may also try paint thinner on a non showing spot and see if it will remove the wax like you want with less work and expense. Don't take it to a refinisher as he will dip it in a caustic stuff that weakens the glue joints. A favorite with some so called antique dealers. Personnaly I like the soap method and have done 4 dining room sets this way over the years... no mistakes this way.

This picture is 1/2 table top I did this way over 20 years ago and when I finished cleaning it I put 7 coats of Tung oil on it. For the past 3 years it has been a ramp from my living room to the carport for my wheel chair and still like new.

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0 found this helpful
December 27, 2015

How do I remove Murphy's Oil or furniture polish buildup on my grandfather clock without damaging the wood?

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December 28, 20151 found this helpful

If your grandfather clock is very old or an antique, you may consider not removing any finish as an antique wood grandfather clock may be more valuable as is. However, if this is not a concern, there are many online sites with excellent directions for removing oil buildup.

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0 found this helpful
November 4, 2015

I purchased a dining table at a garage sale. The table is dark brown. I do not know what was used on this table. I have tried vinegar, and ammonia and nothing seems to take off the wax or whatever was put on the table. When I try to put a finish on the table it is like it beads up. Without knowing what was put on the table do you have another suggestion? It doesn't matter what I try to put back on the table it does not take. Help!

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February 27, 20150 found this helpful

How do you remove furniture polish build up naturally?

By Lorraine

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November 17, 20130 found this helpful

I have table I have only used beeswax on. Someone, who shall remain nameless (!), has been using cheap spray polish on it which contains silicone. Can I go back to using beeswax?

By Gillian Bristol, UK

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August 21, 20130 found this helpful

What is the easiest and best way to refinish furniture? It needs to create the least amount of mess as I need to do it in the basement. I have used Strip-ease in the past and it makes such a mess. As help is appreciated.

By Maureen

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September 21, 20120 found this helpful

How do you remove furniture polish buildup?

By Rose from Lake Wales, FL

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0 found this helpful
December 31, 2010

How do I remove old furniture polish from a wooden table?

By Brian from Auckland, NZ

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 31, 20100 found this helpful

How can I remove furniture polish build up from my cherry tables?

By Beth from Cookeville, TN


Removing Furniture Polish Build Up

I had this same problem with my wood nightstand. I used Guardsman Wood Furniture Cleaner. It may make your furniture appear dull so use Guardsman Wax Free Furniture Polish. Now my nightstand looks amazing, even better than when I got it (then again someone gave it to me), but it still looks amazing. (08/20/2010)

By kiwipie97

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January 8, 20170 found this helpful

do you think this was beeswax that was built up on furniture?

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February 15, 20100 found this helpful

I have over polished my dining table. It has now gone cloudy and smeared. How can I make it look good?

By Emma B from England


Removing Furniture Polish Build Up

Equal parts vinegar and water and if that doesn't work (because of way too much polish build up) try Murphy's Oil Soap. (11/28/2009)

By Deeli

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November 24, 20090 found this helpful

I have 3 wonderful wood tables in my living room but they are sticky. I think it is polish build up. How con I get rid of the stickiness and then give them a good polish?

Lucy from Mexico


Removing Furniture Polish Build Up

This is for polish build-up, and also people that have wood cabinets or paneled kitchens that have accumulated grease over the years.

3 parts linseed oil
1 part turpentine.

Use a 000 (triple zero) fine steel wool and lightly clean it. Wipe with a soft cloth to polish. It takes off everything, and I mean everything.

It doesn't damage the finish and also moisturizes the wood. It smells a bit, so make sure you have ventilation. Spring time with the windows open is great, and it just takes a few hours for the odor to go away. I have never used this on a painted surface, so I don't know if it will damage paint. This is meant for finished or unfinished natural wood only. (02/22/2005)

By klucretia

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August 20, 20100 found this helpful

How do you remove furniture polish build-up from a wooden dining room table?

By Tracy from Phoenix, AZ


Removing Furniture Polish Build Up

My mother-in-law had some old nasty furniture that was not only covered with excess furniture polish after many years, but she was also a heavy smoker, so it was also covered with nicotine. To clean it, I used straight ammonia (with the windows open!) and left the ammonia to sit for a few minutes then repeat again if needed. After the furniture dried I applied Old English scratch-repair furniture polish then buffed it with a soft cloth.

When my mother-in-law came home to her newly fixed-up house she thought we had bought new furniture. It looked so nice she couldn't believe it was hers. And all I used was ammonia and Old English scratch-repair furniture oil. (Both available at any super market.)

* Use regular ammonia, not the sudsy kind and rinse well, then let dry before applying the Old English. Old English scratch-repair comes in dark and light. Pick the color that matches your furniture. (02/15/2010)

Removing Furniture Polish Build Up

I would not use ammonia. I do much furniture refinishing and will often times use ammonia to remove varnish. Ammonia often times takes off a finish for me. The furniture Cyinda cleaned must have had a finish on it, that ammonia doesn't remove. Please be very careful using ammonia to clean furniture. You could have a bigger problem on your hands! (02/18/2010)

By skf620

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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