Homemade, All-Natural Furniture Polishes

Wood furniture looks its best when polished regularly with a good quality furniture polish. It keeps the wood from drying out and protects the finish from moisture and staining. The most common furniture polishes come in aerosol cans (which is something we should stay away from anyway---the CFCs in aerosol cans are harmful to the ozone layer) and contain a variety of chemicals that have a negative effect on health and indoor air quality.

By making your own natural furniture polishes, you can avoid the harmful chemicals while saving money. These three recipes for homemade furniture polish are inexpensive and easy to make.

The Easiest Recipe: Black Tea Furniture Polish

I use this one most often at my house because it is insanely easy. All you need to do is boil some water, and steep some black tea. Tea bags work just fine for this, and are very cheap. Pour some of the boiling water into a large cup or bowl and steep three or four tea bags in it until the water cools. Once the water is cool, remove the tea bags, dip a cotton cloth into the tea, and wipe it onto your wood furniture. No rinsing is necessary, and you will end up with a nice, natural sheen on your furniture.

So why does this work? The tannic acid in the tea removes residues from old, dull furniture polish, restoring the natural sheen of the finish.

The Salad Dressing Polish: Vinegar and Olive Oil

This is another inexpensive polish, and it is perfect for all types of wood furniture. To make it, you simply mix one cup of olive oil and a quarter of a cup of white vinegar together, and pour it into a spray bottle. Don't worry, your furniture won't smell like a salad--the vinegar smell dissipates as the polish dries. To use it, just spray the mixture onto a soft cotton cloth and polish the furniture, rubbing with the grain of the wood. It will leave a gorgeous shine on your furniture.

Why does this work? The vinegar removes dirt and any residues from old furniture polishes. The olive oil moisturizes the wood and leaves a nice shine behind. You could also replace the vinegar with an equal amount of lemon juice, which would do the same job as the vinegar while leaving behind a light lemony fragrance.

Weird Enough to Work---Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise, delicious though it may be, is not always the best thing for our diet. It is good as a furniture polish, though. To use it, simply put a small dollop of mayo on a soft cloth, and polish your furniture, rubbing with the grain of the wood. You don't need to rinse. Just keep buffing until your furniture has a nice shine to it. By the time it does, the mayonnaise smell will be gone.

Why does it work? It works because mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip---not the same thing at all!) is an emulsion of oil, vinegar, and eggs. The oil and eggs are what work to give your furniture a nice shine, and the vinegar in the mix cleans and removes old residues.

Okay, I'll admit it: it sounds a little crazy to tell people to wipe tea or mayonnaise onto their furniture. Just try it. Your furniture will look great, your home will be healthier, and you'll save money, too. Plus, you'll never run out of furniture polish---almost everyone has at least a couple of these ingredients on hand at all times.

Yep, mayonnaise works as a furniture polish. Who knew?
Yep, mayonnaise works as a furniture polish. Who knew?

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Comments 12 comments

Rachel Nichols profile image

Rachel Nichols 8 years ago

This is fabulous! I'd never thought of tea bags!! Great hub. Thank you! :)


C.M. Vanderlinden profile image

C.M. Vanderlinden 8 years ago from Metro Detroit Author

Thanks, Rachel!


Lela Davidson profile image

Lela Davidson 8 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas

Thanks, I have been collecting these recipes and replacing my store-bought cleaners when they run out. I'll use the oil and lemon juice, super easy!


C.M. Vanderlinden profile image

C.M. Vanderlinden 8 years ago from Metro Detroit Author

I like that oil and lemon juice one, too.

Thanks for commenting!


TAM 8 years ago

I've seen a number of sites that give the recipe for oil (olive or other vegetable oil) and vinegar or lemon juice for use as furniture polish. Cooking oils go rancid so quickly at room temperature--isn't this a risk using this as a cleaning product?

Would it be possible to use mineral oil--which doesn't go rancid--as a replacement?


DarleneMarie profile image

DarleneMarie 8 years ago from USA

Great inexpensive and green tips!


bohurupi 6 years ago

Very good post. Mayoneese is also good.


What's News 6 years ago

I'm going to have to try this I bookmarked and rated up.


Kathe 5 years ago

I just use the Mayo and God Bless You, my dining room table look so beautiful. Thank you for the wonderful Birthday gift.


Backyard Bargain 5 years ago

thanks for sharing best furniture guidelines and we must follow it for better furniture.


Best furniture store AL 5 years ago

I liked the salad dressing polish...I will use it for sure.


JANICE CANTRELL 5 years ago

JUST TRIED MAYO ON A TABLE AND ON MY DR SIDEBOARD...WOW..I WILL NEVER USE A COMMERCIAL POLISH AGAIN...THANKS FOR THE

REASON WHY PORTION...ONE SITE SAID KEEP ON FOR ONE HOUR

BUT WAS A BIT AFRAID OF THAT..I POLISHED RIGHT AWAY..I WAS

TRYING TO GET RID OF A WATER MARK (THAT'S NOT

TAKE IT AWAY BUT SEEMED TO ALLEVIATE IT...

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