This natural homemade furniture polish leaves your home’s wood surfaces shining clean for pennies.
Homemade furniture polish does wonders for your wood furniture by cleaning, moisturizing, and protecting it simultaneously. It also costs just pennies to make and doesn’t fill your home’s indoor air with aerosol fumes or chemicals you don’t recognize.
Benefits of Using Homemade Furniture Polish
There are several reasons you should consider switching from commercial furniture polish sprays to making your own natural furniture polish.
No buildup or haze. Commercial polish contains silicone, among other ingredients, and silicone bonds with itself, so every application adds another layer which traps dust and humidity. Over time, those layers make your furniture look dull and dirty even when you’ve just polished it.
Allergy-friendly. The ingredients in homemade furniture polish don’t contain the synthetic fragrances or aerosolized ingredients of commercial sprays. Many people with allergies find their symptoms begin to clear up when they switch to homemade cleaning products like this one.
Affordable. Olive oil and vinegar are two ingredients most people have in their kitchens. Save the good olive oil for salad dressing, though: a cheap olive oil works fine in furniture polish recipes. If you decide to add lemon essential oil to your DIY furniture polish, you can pick up inexpensive bottles of it at most major retailers. (I use this brand.)
Safe around pets and kids. The ingredients in this natural furniture polish recipe are safe and non-toxic, so you don’t need to worry about using it near your kids or pets. But, if you have a puppy or other pet that likes to lick furniture, skip the essential oils since many are not pet-safe.
Natural Homemade Furniture Polish Recipe
The ingredients in this natural homemade furniture polish accomplish several things. Olive oil moisturizes and shines wood but also helps dissolve dirt. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant that removes soil and smudges. The lemon oil provides additional shine and leaves a lovely fragrance.
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 3-4 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a clean glass spray bottle and shake well to combine.
- For light polishing, spray onto a lint-free cloth and apply to furniture following the wood’s grain. Wait a few seconds, then wipe in the same direction with a dry cloth to remove excess spray.
- For heavy-duty cleaning, spray directly onto the furniture and wipe across the grain, then follow the directions for light polishing.
- Shake vigorously before each use. Store in a cool, dark place. Discard and replace monthly.
Common Questions About Polishing Wood Furniture
Below are questions that readers have asked about making and using this natural furniture polish recipe. If you don’t see your question answered below, please ask it in the comments.
How Often Should I Polish my Furniture?
There’s no firm rule about how often you should polish wood furniture, but it’s safe to do so when it begins to look dull. With commercial polishes, you shouldn’t use them every time you dust, or you’ll get buildup. With this natural homemade polish, that’s not a problem. So, you can use it every time you clean or apply it as needed to maintain the shine.
What’s the Best Fabric to Use to Polish Furniture?
Lint-free cloths work best to dust or polish furniture. Old t-shirts make great dusting and polishing rags. So do flannel baby diapers. Whatever you choose, make sure it will not leave pieces of lint all over your freshly polished furniture. You can use the same cloth several times before laundering, and just stash it with your homemade furniture polish spray for quick touchups.
Can I Use a Different Oil?
You can use several types of oil to polish your furniture naturally but avoid oils that quickly go rancid, or your home will stink. Oils you can use to polish furniture include jojoba oil, grapeseed, and food-grade mineral oil. Tung oil and walnut oil can work on teak or darker woods, but they are not pet-safe.
My Furniture Is Sticky. Will This Help?
If your wood furniture feels sticky, you should remove wax buildup from it before using furniture polish. Follow these steps to get rid of sticky wax buildup on furniture.
Can I Use Apple Cider Vinegar?
You can use apple cider vinegar instead of the distilled white vinegar in homemade furniture polish. Be aware, however, that ACV contains pectin, which can attract pests like ants and cockroaches. You should stick with the original recipe if such things are a problem in your area.
Can I Add Lemon Juice?
Some recipes on the internet recommend using lemon juice in homemade furniture polish in addition to vinegar, presumably because it’s acidic. In this recipe, the vinegar already provides enough acidity to remove grime. Adding more acidic ingredients like lemon juice can damage your furniture’s finish. (Lemon essential oil does not contain citric acid.)
Can I Use a Different Essential Oil?
You can use your favorite essential oil when making homemade furniture polish. But if you have pets, avoid eucalyptus, tea tree, cinnamon, orange, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, wintergreen, or ylang-ylang essential oils since they are among the essential oils not safe for pets.
Can I Use This Homemade Polish on My Wood Floors?
This natural homemade furniture polish is designed strictly for use on furniture. If you use it on hard floors, it may leave them too slippery. To clean and shine hardwood floors, try this homemade floor cleaner instead.
Can I Use This on Painted Furniture?
Use this natural furniture polish on unpainted wood, with or without varnish. It’s not designed for use on painted surfaces. To clean those, use warm, soapy water and a microfiber cloth, then rinse with a fresh, damp cloth. Don’t saturate the painted wood’s surface, or you may ruin the finish. Buff dry to finish.
What Else Can I Use This Homemade Furniture Polish to Clean?
Since this is an all-natural, food-safe recipe, you can use it on various things around the home. Try using it to give a gorgeous shine to any of these:
- Wood spoons and cooking utensils
- Wooden cutting boards
- Unpainted wicker baskets
- Wood picture frames
- Unpainted wooden knickknacks and decor
- Leather sofas and chairs
- And in a pinch, a quick spray will add a nice shine to the top of leather shoes and handbags when you’re in a rush.