Use simple ingredients instead of harsh chemicals to keep your wood tables, chairs and other surfaces clean and polished. This page contains recipes for homemade furniture polish.
Can I use vegetable oil instead of olive oil for the recipe that calls for lemon juice and olive oil?
I would like to get a recipe for homemade furniture polish. I am going as organic and natural as possible.
I mix together about 1/4 cup white vinegar and a good tablespoon of jojoba oil in a bowl, then apply with a soft rag. Then take a dry corner and buff it to wipe off excess oil. You don't really need much oil to make a good furniture polish and this way it doesn't turn out too greasy. For scent I add a couple drops of cedar essential oil, though lemon would be nice too.
Jojoba oil is light and doesn't go rancid like olive oil. It's also great for the skin so it's nice to have around.
Can I make a homemade recipe with lemon oil and vinegar for my furniture?
Carol from Fayetteville, NC
I'd forget the Vinegar(a weak acid) MIXED with Lemon Oil, because I believe it would just partially dissolve the Oil, wouldn't it? I'd use lemon oil straight as I have for an antique Piano I own. It's just great and doesn't bleach at all. The woods love it. At least, the bottle SAYS "Lemon Oil", and it's clear/oily/fragrant and works! What more could you want? How are you getting your lemon oil?
Here is a great tip on saving money on furniture polish.
Combine the oil and lemon juice in the spray bottle. Shake well before using.
Use a clean, dry cloth to buff and polish. Works wonders and saves you money!
By Sabrina from Council, NC
I saw the following recipe on a video:
Now you can be environmentally safe and polish all of your furniture eliminating the harmful fumes in the commercial furniture polishes. Source: MSN
By MCW from NY
This furniture polish is easy to make. You'll need turpentine, boiled linseed oil and lemon juice (or vinegar).
Put all the ingredients in a glass jar. Put the lid on the jar and shake until mixed. Then apply to furniture using a lightly damp cloth. Dip the cloth in the furniture polish and apply to your furniture. Let sit for 30 minutes and then polish with a soft, clean cloth. Pretest mixture on an inconspicuous part of your furniture if you have not used this polish before. If you have a big job you can make a bigger batch but don't make more than you need, this mixture doesn't store well.
Do you have a furniture polish recipe? Post it below or submit it to our tip contest.
This solution will clean and polish. If your cabinets are pretty dirty, you will probably want to use the Wood Cabinet Cleaner first.
First put the vinegar in your blender and start the blender. While the blender is running, slowly add the safflower oil. Let the blender run until the mixture is emulsified.
In a screw-top jar, mix equal parts:
denatured alcohol (from a hardware store)
strained fresh lemon juice (not canned or frozen)
Shake well before each use. Apply polish with a clean, absorbent, lint-free cloth, gently rubbing cloth over furniture. Polish with a dry woolen cloth. Cover jar and safely store polish.
Source: Adapted from a recipe at the NMSU Extension
This is an excellent furniture polish and most everyone has these two products in their home. Use equal parts of olive oil and vinegar (like 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup vinegar). It cleans and shines at the same time!
By laniegirl from IA
I think olive oil can go rancid. I have not heard of other timber oils such as tung oil or linseed oil going rancid. They are natural oils so why not use those oils, a 50/50 mix of turpentine and raw linseed oil is a good outdoor oil for decks that need oiling or outdoor furniture. It is also good for protecting outside working tools such as rakes or shovels with wooden handles.
For inside timber I would use boiled linseed oil as this dries quicker with less smell. I wouldn't use vinegar with the linseed unless the timber needed cleaning, ie. dirt or grime. If the timber is clean I would use just linseed oil. Check whether the original surface was oiled, varnished, or shellaced. Linseed oil will only work on an oiled surface. Definitely get a second opinion on antique finishes as you don't want to damage them or try the oil on an inconspicuous area so that no damage is done. (07/30/2010)
I tried this and I also tried using lemon juice and regular oil, both left my furniture really shiny and I thought it was great. Unfortunately, a few days later, when I tried to dust, I noticed it was really tacky and sticky. I wouldn't recommend it, but it might work better for you. I live on the humid coast. (07/30/2010)
Sorry to put a dampener on this hint, but I had the same problem as eveh a few years ago. It took hours of scrubbing with hand washing dish detergent, like Dawn, to remove the goo. Perhaps I had the same problem, as in the summer, the weather here is very humid. (07/31/2010)
I need a homemade recipe for furniture "cleaner/polish" that will not hurt some of my older wooden pieces.
By Laura from Syracuse, NY
To clean and restore the luster of oil, varnished or laquer finishes:
(From: NY State College of Home Ecoc. at Cornell University) Badly worn furniture may require refinishing. (11/17/2009)
I wouldn't use turpentine in my home and expose my family to such harsh chemicals. Here is the recipe i use that is safe and you probably have in your pantry already:
The first ingredient is water, of course. Get yourself a spray bottle and put 3 cups of water in there. Once the water is in your sprayer, you will be adding two additional items:
Add them to the spray bottle and shake the bottle up a little to make everything mix together. That's it, that is all the wood polish you will ever need. Be sure to test the spray somewhere on the furniture just to make sure you have the mixture right and you will not damage the wood. (12/01/2009)
Mix in a sprayer bottle:
Shake well and apply a small amount to a flannel cleaning rag or cleaning cloth. Spread evenly over furniture surface. Turn cloth to a dry side and polish dry.
Source: I saw it in a magazine
By Sherry from Silverdale, WA
I read somewhere that you shouldn't use olive oil for dusting because it can get rancid. They suggested mineral oil. Has anyone had a problem with this? (05/25/2008)
I used to be a die hard pledge fan until I quit using toxic store bought cleaning products. I tried this recipe from the queen of clean and am hooked.
Fill a clean spray bottle with:
Shake well. To use spray on clean cloth and use as you would store bought product. I follow up with a clean rag to get any excess product off.
The olive oil conditions wood and gives it that nice shine while the vinegar cleans the surface, I was skeptical before using this recipe but was hooked after the first time using it. My furniture does not get greasy and the vinegar smell isn't bothersome and goes away quickly.
Use 1 cup of olive oil and 1/3 cup of lemon juice.
Put this in a spray bottle and shake well before using. Use a clean dry cloth to apply to furniture. This will give your furniture a beautiful shine ! (02/27/2008)