Cleaning Antique Furniture?

Can I use linseed oil and bee's wax on an antique oak vanity and not ruin the patina?


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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
June 26, 20180 found this helpful

Cleaning antique tables

Step 1
Start off with a cotton cloth and mild soap and water solution.

Step 2
Use Goo-Gone for sticky stuff.

Step 3
If you use wax, the edges of the table need it most. Start at the edge and work towards the center.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
June 26, 20180 found this helpful

I remember my nana using linseed oil on furniture, but it terrified everyone because it was so flammable to have around the house.

Bees wax is new to me. There is a lot of literature that says it is a good option.


My go to is just dusting and the occasional Pledge rub down. I do feel like I am not feeding the wood like my nana did. I am going to do some more research on bees wax now that you brought it up! Thanks!!

This website addresses both as options is

That said, safety first if you go with linseed.

If you use either, test it on an inconspicuous place, as you never know how it will react based on previous cleaning methods.

Hope this helps!


Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
June 27, 20180 found this helpful

If this is a valuable or cherished vanity I would suggest you try the very mildest solution and definitely in an inconspicuous place. Wait a few days after first try to see if it still looks okay.


  • You will have to be very careful of any scratches or nicks in your vanity as you do not want to get any liquid in those areas as there may be bare wood and if so, it will swell.
  • Also, there may be a difference in cleaning procedures if your vanity has a veneer finish (may be over solid wood and difficult to detect). I am not sure about that so maybe someone else will know about this.
  • I just know that I have seen some very nice pieces messed up with someone trying to clean without sufficient knowledge of the wood and finish.
  • Most all antique dealers recommend using a little dish soap in water with a soft cloth (wring cloth well) and wipe surface gently and keep changing cloth to new place as you remove some of the grime/dirt. Always have a second soft cloth to dry wherever you clean. If very dirty, wait a few days and do the same again. Use only mild dish washing liquid and not any other kind of soap. Also, some recommend using distilled water instead of tap water (or use bottled water?).
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  • After you are sure it is clean and dry, use a good furniture wax but use it exactly as directions dictate.
  • I have not heard of bees wax being used but if it is a good choice, I'll bet there is a furniture wax made with bees wax.

Using Linseed oil may be your choice but be sure to follow instructions carefully:


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