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 page about removing furniture polish buildup from wood furniture.
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April 19, 2006

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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I acquired a tall wood hutch that sat in a family owned restaurant for at least 40 years. It has a very thick coating of what I believe is floor wax on the wood apron that goes around the base of the piece.

I had worked there for several years before they closed and there was a man that came in twice a month for 30 years that cleaned all the wood floors and used a liquid floor wax - and he obviously never bothered wiping it off the base of all the furniture.

What can I use to remove the thick coat of gunk? It is a very thick layer. I tried cleaning it when I first brought it home 10 years ago, but finally gave up and have it stored. Anybody know of a solvent that will remove it?

Thank you.

Answers

April 26, 20181 found this helpful
Best Answer

Murphy's Oil Soap is excellent for this.

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April 26, 20181 found this helpful
Best Answer

There are several ways to do this but the hutch needs to be in a well ventilated area.

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  • I like using an ammonia/water mixture as it does a very good job and is easy to do.
  • With ammonia you have to have a well ventilated area, gloves, maybe a mask if you have problems with fumes at all, 2 buckets, water, ammonia, and several cleaning rags (preferably white or light color).
  • Here is a link that gives full directions (as well as several other methods):
  • www.howtocleanstuff.net/.../
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June 12, 2017

How do I remove old polish from cherry wood?

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June 12, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Combine equal amounts of water and white vinegar. Wipe the area with the solution. Wipe the area with a dry cloth afterward to remove the excess liquid. Since most furniture polish is oil-based, a grease-cutting dish liquid can work well to remove it.

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www.howtocleanstuff.net/.../

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June 12, 20171 found this helpful
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The vinegar solution will work. Here is an article that will give you all the steps. homeguides.sfgate.com/rid-furniture-polish-buildup-23858...

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June 13, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Quote from a professional restorer.
"Wood is delicate and exposure to excessive moisture should be avoided as moisture can cause wood to acquire mold and change its structure, causing it to expand or deform."
Professional refinishers many times recommend using Guardsman Wood Furniture Cleaner. But it may make your furniture appear dull (as most any cleaning solution will do) so you may want to then use Guardsman Wax Free Furniture Polish.

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Here are a couple of sites that have some useful information.

housewifehowtos.com/.../

www.thriftyfun.com/Removing-Furniture-Polish-Build-Up...

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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, 20172 found this helpful
Best Answer

Equal part of water and vinegar.

Here is a good thread to browse: www.thriftyfun.com/Removing-Furniture-Polish-Build-Up...

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Anonymous
March 22, 20171 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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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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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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January 20, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try lemon oil!

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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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October 6, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try Murphy's Oil Soap.

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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
Best Answer

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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August 21, 2013

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.

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By Maureen

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April 12, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Using stripper on furniture, is very hard on the wood. A better solution is to use a two sanding method. Using a lower grade sanding paper like 80ty grit for example is tougher to go through old paint and varnish. Then use a sanding grit of 120, 180, or 200 depending on the the wood. Softer woods like teak, pine, and maple need higher grades of sanding paper as to not damage the wood. Then sand the furniture with this to soften the wood item before applying stain, or a new coat of paint. Works well for me as a refinisher without using strippers that have toxic fumes and may damage the wood.

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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

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October 22, 20124 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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December 31, 2010

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

By Brian from Auckland, NZ

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October 7, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

To remove furniture polish build up you will need White Vinegar, Water, and a Soft Cotton Lint Free Cloth

Step 1
Mix a solution of equal parts of White Vinegar and Water.

Step 2
Dampen a soft cotton lint free cloth with the solution, and use it to wipe the surface of the table to break down and remove the wax build up.

Step 3
Follow the grain of the wood with each stroke.

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February 27, 2015

How do you remove furniture polish build up naturally?

By Lorraine

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January 31, 20180 found this helpful

Mix 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water in a spray bottle. Spray smaller areas and use a lint free cloth to wipe with the grain. If a lot build up you may have to apply vinegar mixture more than once.
A good silicone free and homemade furniture polish is:
1c olive
1/4 c white vinegar
2-3 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
Mix in spray bottle, lightly spray lint free cloth and wipe furniture with the grain, for heavier clean and shine spray directly on furniture and wipe.

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February 1, 20180 found this helpful

One part vinegar and one part water, applied with a microfiber cloth.

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Anonymous
April 19, 20180 found this helpful

I had a furniture polish build on my cherry wood coffee table. Tried Vinegar and water did not touch it . Just finished the olive oil vinegar and lemon . It really did the trick. Many thanks. I read all different solutions. This is the best. sorry not on facebook . Good luck everybody.

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August 8, 2019

I was just wondering if anyone can help. I just bought a new oak table and was told to wax it as soon as it was delivered, which I did. I followed the instructions on the tin and I'm not happy as it has left streaks all over it. It looks awful. Can anyone help please? Thanks.

Answers

August 8, 20190 found this helpful

Did the instructions name a brand of furniture wax? If so, then they may expect you to use that brand.
If not, then you followed instructions and the store should have to take care of this problem - either fix the damage or replace the table.
I would suggest calling the store where purchased and inform them of what happened and request they send someone to investigate.
Hopefully, they will take care of it without giving you a hassle.
If they do not take care of it, then you may have to take steps to cancel the payment. If any payment was made by credit or debit card you need to contact the card company (or bank) and fill out the necessary papers to have this investigated.
This means you should take care of it as soon as possible.

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January 12, 2019

I have tried vinegar and water. That makes it worse. I used citrus oil cleaner. Once the oil dries the next day the film is there. This happened by using an old wood spray wax for furniture accidentally on kitchen cabinets. The cabinets only look good when oily.
Help!

Answers

January 12, 20190 found this helpful

Many suggestions here: www.thriftyfun.com/Removing-Cloudy-Film-on-Glass.html

Hope one of them works for you!

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January 13, 20190 found this helpful

Here's a quick and easy recipe to remove the film from your cabinet doors and you should already have everything you need in your kitchen.

You'll need:
baking soda
water
small glass bowl
spoon or similar utensil for mixing
2 clean rags

in the bowl, you want to mix together the baking soda and some water, trying to get a consistency similar to that of toothpaste. Add more baking soda or water as needed until you have a paste.

Dip one of the clean rags into the baking soda paste and gently rub the paste onto the cabinet door using a circular motion. Repeat the steps until you have cleaned the entire surface. Now moisten the other rag and use it to wipe down the cabinets to remove the white residue from the baking soda.

Repeat if needed.

Probably a good idea to test a small area of your cabinet door with the baking soda solution prior to cleaning the entire surface to make sure that the baking soda won't damage your cabinet door

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January 13, 20190 found this helpful

Try Murphys Oil Soap

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November 17, 2013

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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September 21, 2012

How do you remove furniture polish buildup?

By Rose from Lake Wales, FL

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Archives

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

December 31, 2010

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

By beth from Cookeville, TN

Answers:

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 key

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February 15, 2010

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

Answers:

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, 2009

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

Answers:

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 kathy Schofill

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August 20, 2010

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

By Tracy from Phoenix, AZ

Answers:

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 Sharon Cross

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