I started to make my own homemade cleaning agents just a few years ago when I became aware of the toxicity of some products we use at home.
Much over-the-counter wood furniture polish contains ingredients that are coming under close scrutiny as new legislation regulates toxic materials. Some of the products that have come under enquiry include highly poisonous compounds like formaldehyde, nitrobenzene, turpentine, butane gas, silicone polymers, and phenol.
News like this has driven many homemakers to resort to making and using their own homemade wood furniture polish for their natural wood and leather furniture and furnishings
From aerosols and creams to pastes and lotions, conventional furniture polish contains some toxic materials that, if accidentally swallowed or inhaled, can have adverse consequences on our health and family’s well-being; of particular concern is its effect on our young children and family pets.
Long-Time exposure to small amounts of wood polish over a period of time has been known to cause ill-effects in many individuals. They are also known to have negative effects on our environment.
If, as a homemaker or homeowner, you polish your furniture regularly (I know some who polish every other day), try to make your own polishing products with household materials that are perhaps sitting idly in your cupboards.
Using Natural Products on Natural Wood Furniture
Furniture polish is meant to make your wood furniture nice, shiny, and renewed and just as natural products are good for our skin and hair, they are also great to use for natural materials like wood, cane, rattan, and the like.
Now that we are at an age where we are more conscious of the foods we eat and use on our bodies; our wood products must benefit the same. Homemade products made with natural ingredients are not only better than the best aerosol polishes, but they also protect, moisturise and waterproof any kind of wood furniture. This gives them longevity as well.
The best advantage in making your own concoction wood polish mix is that it will cost you a fraction of what it costs to get a bottle of noxious liquid furniture polish, plus homemade polish has a long shelf life, even if you don’t store it in a refrigerator.
Best Recipes for Homemade Furniture Polish
Wood polish is easy to make in small single-use batches and can be mixed freshly whenever you need some. And depending on the natural product you wish to use, it can be hand-blended in a bowl or mixed in a spray bottle.
For instance, shea butter and beeswax recipes can be prepared in a bowl and if you prefer, stored in a wide-mouth jar similar to a mason jar. On the other hand, recipes that use olive or coconut oil can be prepared and stored in bottles with fitted spray-nozzles.
The recipes for homemade wood polish are as follows:
- Coconut oil furniture polish
- Olive oil polish recipe
- Shea butter furniture polish recipe
- Jojoba oil furniture polish
- Beeswax furniture polish
1. Coconut oil
Wood furniture polish made with coconut oil replenishes natural woods and helps prolong the life of your furniture without them cracking with time. It not only moisturises all types of natural wood, but it also brings out its natural lustre and colour.
- ¼ cup of cheap melted coconut oil. (Not virgin cold-pressed)
- 4 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar
- 1 fresh lemon (or 2 teaspoons of lemon juice)
Combine the melted coconut oil, white vinegar and lemon juice in a plastic spray bottle and shake vigorously until the mix is emulsified.
How to use
Just squirt or spray on all your hardwood furniture and lightly buff with a clean microfiber cloth.
2. Olive oil
Cheap olive oil works just as well as the pricey ones and if you have some that are getting old or forgotten in the back of your cabinet, it will work great too. This oil can make any wood surface look new again, much better than store-bought furniture polish.
- ½ cup of olive oil
- ¼ cup of lemon juice (optional)
- 10 drops of lavender (or cedar wood) essential oil
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice (optional), and the essential oil in a bowl or spray bottle. Shake or mix thoroughly. You can store in a plastic bottle or in a jar.
How to use
Use a clean soft rag to rub a small amount of the homemade wood furniture polish you just made into your furniture surfaces, including wood décor items and carvings. Polish/buff with another cloth.
Olive oil will go rancid after some time so it’s best you make a fresh polish for each use.
3. Shea butter
Whipped Shea butter polish softens and conditions both wood and leather furniture. So, whether it’s your leather couch or your wood and leather combo accent chairs, you won’t need any fancy store-bought conditioners when you can make yours at home.
- Shea butter
- Few drops of cedar wood (or orange) essential oil
Combine the butter and essential oil in a mixing bowl. If the Shea butter is hard, soften (but do not melt) it for a few seconds in the microwave oven. Once it is soft, whip the two ingredients with an electric or hand whisk. Store in a lidded jar.
How to use
This wood furniture polish that also doubles up as a conditioner for leather furniture is used by adding a small scoop of it on a microfiber cloth and rubbing it into the furniture item(s).
4. Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil homemade furniture polish is an amazing liquid wax that never expires so, it is one of your best choices if you plan to store wood furniture polish you made yourself. It is light, has a very long shelf life, and hardly has any scent.
- 1 cup of organic jojoba oil
- 4 tablespoons of beeswax pellets
- 4 drops of white vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 10 drops of eucalyptus oil
Combine the jojoba oil and beeswax pellets in a small saucepan or a pint-sized mason jar. Fill a pot with a few inches of water, then place the jar or small saucepan in the pot. Place over low heat and stir continuously until the mixture has melted completely.
Add the eucalyptus and lemon essential oils to the melted mixture and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or bamboo skewer. Allow the mix to cool for a couple of hours then store in an airtight container.
How to use
With a soft cloth, apply a small amount of your homemade furniture polish to the surfaces of your wood furniture. Buff the polish to a shine with a clean soft cloth.
This furniture polish which restores moisture and gives a great shine takes a bit longer to prepare, about half-an-hour. However, it will take a couple of hours to cool so it’s best to make a jar full that may last you about a year. It is best combined with some cheap olive oil.
- 2/3 cups of beeswax pellets
- 3 cups of olive oil
- 30 drops of Vitamin E (optional)
- 10 drops of lavender or any woody scent essential oil
Put the beeswax and olive oil into a double boiler system which is easily created by floating a smaller saucepan inside a larger pan filled with hot water. This is indirect heating and is the best way to maintain the integrity of the oil and wax.
Put on medium to low heat and wait patiently until the mix is completely melted then add the vitamin E oil and the essential oil.
Stir well. Pour the hot wax-like mixture a wide-mouth jar and allow to cool into a balm consistency (about 2 hours).
How to Use
Massage the semi-hard wax-like polish onto your hardwood floor or furniture surfaces with a clean cloth. Wait for some time then buff with a soft rag.
Homemade Recipes - Tips and Warnings
Homemade furniture polish guarantees the safety of your health including that of your family. Here, however, are a few tips for you.
- Label the polish spray bottle or jar container and include the date that you produced the recipe.
- Don’t re-use bottles that have previously contained other compounds or chemicals.
- Buy a fresh container and that’s only meant for your homemade furniture polish.
- You don’t need to polish wood furniture too often. Two to four times a month will suffice.
- For your fluid or liquid wood polish, shake the container very well before each use. This will help to recombine some of the settled ingredients.
- Vinegar and lemon juice are natural food products that are acidic and can combine with residues of other products. Use sparingly as instructed.
Benefits of Using Homemade Wood Polish
- You can make your mix within five to ten minutes tops.
- Homemade polish is cheap to make because you will find everything you need in your kitchen or bathroom.
- You can prepare your mix when you need to use it.
- Homemade recipes are free of chemicals and toxic materials.
- It is guaranteed that there’ll be no allergic reactions.
- Fragrance-free. If you like your polish with some fragrance, add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oils.
- Your recipe is environmentally friendly, and you don’t have to worry about aerosol can disposal.
You can use any of these homemade furniture polish recipes on other wood items like cutting boards, rolling pins, wood countertops, bowls, and even some faux wood furniture.
© 2018 viryabo2
Lisa Bean from Virginia on December 14, 2018:
I bet all of these would make the furniture/house smell good too!