Whether new, vintage or reclaimed, hardwood furniture is meant to last for generations. Yet many of us are unaware real wood needs regular conditioning, not waxing. Homemade furniture polish made from all-natural ingredients is right for your furniture, as well as the air in your home.
For decades, most of us have grown up with aerosol furniture waxes. Although they do produce a nice shiny surface initially, they have some significant drawbacks. Aside from the aerosol aspect itself, waxes don’t condition the wood. They aren’t meant to and the waxy build-up over time looks bad. Removing it is a major pain. Waxes aren’t good for the long-term health of wood furniture, the environment or for people.
According to the Environmental Working Group, fumes from everyday cleaning product fumes can trigger attacks in persons previously diagnosed with asthma. Studies have also linked fumes from the frequent use of many common cleaning products with the development of asthma and other respiratory problems in healthy individuals.
There is a better way to care for hardwood furniture. Here are two easy to make all-natural alternatives: one, a homemade furniture polish and another, for the best dusting spray we could find.
Homemade Furniture Polish
- 1 Pint-sized Mason jar
- 1 Cup Jojoba oil
- 4 Tbsp. Beeswax pellets
- 8 drops Citrus Fresh essential oil (substitutions: Bergamot; Eucalyptus)
- 1 wood craft/popsicle stick or other wood stick for stirring
Fill the Mason jar with jojoba oil and beeswax. Place the jar in a small saucepan with 2-3 inches of water on the stove and heat on low setting. Slowly stir the oil mixture with a wooden popsicle stick. Melt the pellets completely.
Remove pan from heat and very carefully remove the jar from the pan and set aside on a heat-resistant surface. Add the essential oils and mix with the wooden stick until well-combined. Let the mixture cool for a couple hours, then, pour into the Mason jar and close it with a good-fitting lid.
Apply sparingly to any flat surfaces first, in a light, even layer with a soft cotton cloth and a circular motion. Use the already polish-infused cloth to address any nooks, crannies or carved areas. Buff gently with a clean cloth. Remove all visible streaks from the surface.
Best Dusting Spray
- 4 oz. Spray Bottle (amber or cobalt glass bottles are best for preserving the essential oils and prevent them from reacting with plastic. (See bonus tip below.)
- 1/3 Cup water (distilled is best)
- 4 Drops Cedarwood essential oil
- 8 Drops Citrus Fresh essential oil OR
- 2 Drops Lemon +2 Drops Lime + 4 Drops Orange essential oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon liquid castille soap
Put all ingredients in spray bottle and shake to combine.
Shake well before using. Spray onto a soft, dry cloth and wipe dust away.
Bonus Tip: Heinz Wine Vinegar (from the Dollar Store) comes in amber glass bottles that can be fitted with spray nozzles from plastic spray bottles (also from the Dollar Store). Just pour the wine vinegar into another jar and use it on salad!