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Homemade Furniture Polish Recipes

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.


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March 14, 2008

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:

Cut 5 lemons in half and squeeze all the juice into a measuring cup until you have 1/2 cup pure juice (remove any pulp and seeds). Pour lemon juice into a spray bottle, then add 1 cup olive oil. Shake mixture until well mixed. The acid in the lemon juice will prevent the olive oil from spoiling.

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

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November 5, 20040 found this helpful

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.

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September 11, 20040 found this helpful

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.

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September 11, 20040 found this helpful

In a screw-top jar, mix equal parts:

denatured alcohol (from a hardware store)
strained fresh lemon juice (not canned or frozen)
olive oil


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

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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.

By 0 found this helpful
March 27, 2019

When making homemade furniture cleaner, does it make a difference if I use distilled water or water from my faucet?



March 27, 20190 found this helpful

I've never made furniture cleaner, but I know a tad about water.
If you don't want any minerals deposited into your cleaning solution, you'd want to use distilled, which they're removed in that.


Minerals in our water are actually good for us to drink, but, for fabrics (for your furniture cleaning solution) I don't think you'd want those in there as they'd deposit on anything you used it on.

The minerals are ever so slight in tap water, but enough that we can see the scale build up on our faucets and anything tap water is consistent with.

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March 27, 20190 found this helpful

Wood does not do well with water at all, but if you are making something and need a liquid, distilled would be better.

I know they are made from plastics (which makes me crazy) but I find microfiber clothes are the best dust catchers and do a nice job on my wood furniture without any chemicals.

I wash them in a load with other rags, for a short cycle, on cold with just a drop of Tide and they last for a long time. I know this is probably me rationalizing...but if I have to pick between plastics and chemicals in this case, I will pick plastics (the microfiber clothes as chemicals are so bad for us and our pets.


The clothes we have are old and still work. I feel I save money doing this in the long run.

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March 27, 20190 found this helpful

I have never heard of using water. Some people use linseed oil.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 16, 2017

Can I use safflower oil instead of olive oil?


March 16, 20171 found this helpful

Yes, you can. Add some lemon juice to make it smell good.

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March 23, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you.

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By 8 found this helpful
September 19, 2010

I would like to get a recipe for homemade furniture polish. I am going as organic and natural as possible.

By Rita


September 19, 20100 found this helpful

Recipes are listed in the Archives.

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September 19, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 8, 2007

Can I make a homemade recipe with lemon oil and vinegar for my furniture?

Carol from Fayetteville, NC


January 10, 20070 found this helpful

Try They have lots of recipes for homemade concoctions.

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By Lynda (Guest Post)
January 26, 20070 found this helpful

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?

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February 21, 2013

Can I use vegetable oil instead of olive oil for the recipe that calls for lemon juice and olive oil?

By grandmaninnybug


February 21, 20130 found this helpful

Yes, you can.

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

May 23, 20080 found this helpful

I ran out furniture polish and need to polish my wood furniture, any home tips anyone can give to me will be helpful.

Thank you!
Priscilla from Texas


Homemade Furniture Polish

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:

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

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.

By tracey

Homemade Furniture Polish

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)

By Sabrina Barr

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September 19, 20100 found this helpful

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 Elaine from IA


Homemade Furniture Polish

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)

By Brent Tamatea

Homemade Furniture Polish

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)

By eve

Homemade Furniture Polish

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)

By cettina

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July 29, 20100 found this helpful

I need a homemade recipe for furniture "cleaner/polish" that will not hurt some of my older wooden pieces.

By laura audrey from Syracuse, NY


Homemade Furniture Polish

To clean and restore the luster of oil, varnished or laquer finishes:

  • 1 quart Warm Water
  • 3 Tbsp. Boiled Linseed Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Turpentine
Keep mixture warm in double boiler, rub the finish with a soft cloth dampened with it. Then wipe the surface dry and polish with a dry cloth.

(From: NY State College of Home Ecoc. at Cornell University)(11/17/2009)

By Cajun

Homemade Furniture Polish

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:

  • 4 Tbsp. of olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. of distilled white vinegar
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)

By Alicia

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November 16, 20090 found this helpful
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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July 31, 20070 found this helpful
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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