Natural Cleaning Week: Wood Furniture Polish

by Elise Schwartz | May 4, 2012 6:20 PM

In my home growing up, we used lemon scented spray like Pledge or Endust to clean and shine our wooden furniture.  I know now that those cans of cleaner are toxic.  These types of spray furniture cleaners contain petroleum, silicone, paraffin and kerosene which are used to make it seem like they are cleaning and shining your wood, however they instead coat the wood and leave behind a thin oily finish.  These types of carcinogenic ingredients are also harmful to human health, well known to disrupt the endocrine system, linked to arthritis and fibromyalgia, and even cause cancer.

After learning that, how could you go on using commercial wood cleaners??  It is really simple to clean your wood at home using a few simple ingredients.  The first time you are making the switch, you will have to use the Wood Furniture Polish recipe below.  The lemon juice will help to break down the waxy/oily toxic finish left behind from your old cleaners (in some cases this can be years of buildup!).  You may find you need to treat your wood with the polish multiple times in a row to break down the buildup.  Once you break through the toxic oily finish, you can simply use a slightly dampened rag of water and vinegar to wipe down your wood (I use a soft cut up t-shirt).  Follow up with a Wood Furniture Polish a few times a year to draw out any grease that collected over time.  Your wood will shine like new and for much longer between cleanings following this natural regimen!

Wood Furniture Polish

use a few times a year
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil

In a small bowl or clean spray bottle, mix the lemon juice and olive oil thoroughly.  Spray a few spritzes onto a dry, clean, soft rag (I use a cut up t-shirt) and buff onto the wooden furniture.  The lemon juice breaks down the dust and grease from the wood, and the olive oil refreshes and hydrates it.

Maintenance Wood Cleaner

use on a regular basis

1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
1 gallon filtered water

Mix ingredients together.  Dip in a soft clean rag, wring out as much as you can.  Rag should be just slightly damp.  Wipe furniture down, rinsing rag often.

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