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Effective Wood Cleaning With Essential Oils

Updated on September 10, 2013
Effective Wood Cleaning With Essential Oils
Effective Wood Cleaning With Essential Oils | Source

Collector of Wood ~

My passion for all things made of wood began in a small community craft fair.

I was there peddling my wares of terracotta products I painted. Intrigued by the other stands I wandered off to see what crafts would catch my eye. It was not long before a table full of beautiful objects in wood caught my eye.

Some were smooth and shiny, others rough and coarse. I could not resist touching these hand carved beauties and started talking with the elderly wood turner who was there. James and I became firm friends that day and I became quite the collector of his exquisite pieces from mushrooms to lamps.

I bought my first wooden mushroom from him, which ended up turning into a collection of mushrooms in all shapes, sizes and woods from many different sources. Last count was 110.

I find such beauty in wood;the rawness, the textures and character they possess with their knots, uneven coloring and grains all tell a story, all so full of life.

Full of Character

Wooden Rocker
Wooden Rocker | Source

The Beauty of Wood ~

Wood furniture has real character which changes through the years. Character often comes from how we maintain it, use it or live in it. Looking after wood is important to stop it becoming too dry and cracked.

Some woods need a little more so apart from some cleaning and may require a polish or wax. Commercial cleaners and waxes are easily substituted for more natural alternatives including essential oils.

The oils are naturally antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial with various therapeutic qualities.

Here are a number of easily doable recipes using ingredients that are commonly found in the home or are easily accessible in local supermarkets or health food stores.

Potent and Versatile

essential oils have therapeutic, health, fragrance and skin benefits
essential oils have therapeutic, health, fragrance and skin benefits | Source

Before Cleaning or Polishing Woods ~

It is important to remember to always test your cleaner on an inconspicuous part of the wooden furniture such as underneath it. Every wood is different and may react differently to certain essential oils. Finishes or varnishes on wood may react to different formulas so do remember to be cautious.

Cleaning wood can be difficult and time consuming but when it is finished it looks beautiful, rich and healthy. Taking care of your furniture will stand to you and using homemade polishes, waxes and cleaners gives you a wide spectrum of products to choose from.

Citrus Wood Polish ~

1 cup olive oil

1/2cup white vinegar

1/4tsp lemon essential oil

1/4tsp orange essential oil

Mix the ingredients together in a measuring jug and pour into an 8 oz spray bottle. Apply this with a clean dry cloth.


Peppermint Stain Remover ~

2 drops peppermint essential oil

white vinegar

First remove any previous polish by wiping furniture with the vinegar on a dry cloth. With a dry cloth rub 2-3 drops of peppermint onto the stain (water mark or rings) working from the outside to the centre of the stain. Leave for a few hours and then buff. Don’t forget to test on an inconspicuous area first before applying directly on the marks or stains.

Citrus Olive Oil Polish

Shauna’s Mom’s Furniture Polish ~

This recipe is with kind permission from my friend and fellow hubpages writer, bravewarrior. A lover of antique furniture, this recipe is her mom’s secret winning formula for keeping your wood in tip top condition. Thank you Shauna, it works a treat!

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 quart warm water

Mix the ingredients together and store in a bottle with or without a spray attachment. It works best when warm and may be heated in a pan of hot water before each use. Spray on your furniture and rub dry with a soft cloth. It will wash off dirt, dust and leave a light conditioning oil film to protect the wood from drying out.

Lavender Essential Oil

one of the most versatile essential oils to have in the home
one of the most versatile essential oils to have in the home | Source

Lavender Restorative Paste ~

2 tbsp carnauba wax chips

1 cup linseed oil (walnut oil, olive oil or almond oil may be used instead)

5-7 drops lavender essential oil

small glass container with lid

double boiler or

saucepan and glass bowl


Add the carnauba wax and linseed oil into the double boiler or use a bowl sitting in a saucepan of boiling water. Heat gently and stir until fully melted.

Remove from the heat and add the lavender, mixing well.

Pour into the container and leave to completely cool before applying the lid.

This paste is excellent for restoring old furniture. Apply some paste with a dry cloth using small circular movements, working it in well.

Buff it up with a different dry cloth and watch it gleam.

Linseed Oil, Beeswax and Turpentine Wax Polish

Ever Made Furniture Polish?

See results

Aromatic Beeswax Polish ~

30 g yellow beeswax (pellets or grated)

125 ml linseed oil

7 drops rosemary essential oil

7 drops cedarwood essential oil

Small glass container

Double boiler

Add the pellets or grated beeswax to the double boiler with the linseed oil and heat until completely melted. Remove from the heat.

When the mixture begins to thicken, stir in the essential oils. Pour into your glass container and allow harden. Use like regular wax by applying with one cloth and buffing it with another soft cloth.

Food for Thought . . . .

Wooden furniture can be maintained, restored and kept supple and healthy in the way as our skin and hair. Chemicals, synthetic fragrance and toxins can have damaging and lasting effects when used in commercial products be they for personal cosmetic products or antique wooden furniture. Essential oils may be incorporated into cleaning products easily so why not give them a try, you will not be disappointed.

"Creating health awareness through homemade beauty solutions"

Author Info ~

Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @ Suzie HQ

Credit to homesteadbound ~

All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs

© 2013 Suzanne Ridgeway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I love this! I have some heirloom pieces of furniture passed down from my great grandmother (a secretary and armoire) that I was told absolutely NOT to use Pledge or other types of commercial products on because they produce wax build-up. I've made my own furniture polish using extra virgin olive oil but would love to try what you have here. Thanks for sharing these. I'll test them on my other furniture first.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Great info, Suzie. I haven't tried the essential oils in my mom's concoction, but it's worth a try. After all, if Pledge can add lemon scent, so can we!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      When we get our little farm and move to the country I will remember this one. I love your hubs...they may not all relate to me but they are written and constructed perfectly. Well done Suzie!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Another wonderful addition to your series Suzie. Amazing and so interesting; therefore voting up for sure.

      Eddy.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi FlourishAnyway,

      How gorgeous to have some heirloom furniture! I have a few pieces too and the craftsmanship in them is beautiful. It pays to look after them and good to hear you were told NOT to use commercial products. Hope these help, olive oil is such a winner to use.Do use any new ones on an inconspicuous area first to avoid any problems. Thanks so much for your interest!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Shauna,

      So good you enjoyed this and thanks again for allowing me include your recipe, it works beautifully as i used it on a few tables I have in our living room. Lemon really is one of the best oils or fruits to have hence why I am so looking forward to growing my own tree or two!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
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      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Lovely to see you my friend, been a busy week here. Ah when you move to the rural landscape that you both love so much, bet you are counting the days so to speak!

      You know, your words relating to my hubs being written and constructed perfectly means more to me than you will know!! I am beaming! High praise indeed which I am truly grateful for. You are such a gem!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
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      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Eddy,

      How good to see you. Glad you enjoyed these ideas! Appreciate your votes as always :-)

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I love the story that you shared at the beginning of this article. It's so funny how we get hooked on different things. I've learned so much about essential oils from your articles. I had no idea that they were so versatile.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      These great cleaning product hubs are not only interesting and useful, but they are interesting, too. I like that you started it out by telling a story of how you started collecting wood, and then you went on to talk about the beauty of wood. I think polishing wood is so satisfying, and I look forward to trying these out someday!

      Thanks for sharing this with us, and I hope your week is going by very well!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Rose,

      Many thanks for taking time to read this. All true, i loved going to the markets weekly and checking out more mushrooms to buy or other wooden pieces made by hand. More recently I found a store in the countryside doing the most amazing work and bought chairs, candle holders, a basket made of wood and had my eye on more!! Delighted you enjoyed more uses of essential oils, they really are worth stocking up on.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      Good to see you! I do love wood and luckily I have a partner in MJ who equally loves this type of material and all things in wood! We even looked at a house in Italy to buy and it was floor to ceiling wood in every room. That was too much for me!! Too dark for my liking could not imagine living there but MJ did like it but eventually saw the property was too remote anyway!

      You are right about polishing wood, the shine or gleam from a floor or wooden piece is so worthwhile! My apartment floor was all wood and I actually enjoyed cleaning it regularly to see it shine! LOL

      My apartment by the way got rented and I was thrilled.Got a good price considering the market in Dublin and the tenant (a Spanish gentleman) seems perfect.

      All is well here, weather changing which I hate seeing initially as I love summer but look forward to the leaves turning later.

      Appreciate your comments and interest as always, have a great weekend, hope the job hunting is going okay!

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 3 years ago from Georgia country

      I'm also a great wood fan. Many things in our home are made of wood and also my children have some wooden toys. It's good to know that essential oils are also good for wood cleaning. Thank you for sharing these useful and interesting information along with some great recipes.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Janet,

      Lovely to see you again, hope your week went well. Wood is special and I love seeing them in children's toys. Homemade cleaners are much safer for kids too than the toxic commercial ones when you think of all the germs toys are open to and then your kids. Appreciate your comment as always, thank you!

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 3 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      What a lovely idea. Much better for the environment than commercial aerosol sprays. Voted up and pinned and shared.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Tea Tree Oil is also a very useful essential oil

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great info Suzie. I really hate using chemicals in the house and these natural wood cleaners are a great idea. You just keep putting out great DIY ideas that we can all use. You have quite a library going and I noticed that you went over the 100K views mark, bravo. Keep it going, you are laying the groundwork for a prosperous future here. Voted up , shared, etc....

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Suzie you are a true font of information! Furniture polish, really? I never would have thought, but, like you, I love wood. You've certainly included some great 'recipes' and I will be bookmarking this hub for future reference.

      Talking about books my dear, I think YOU should be starting one.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and pinned.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I love these hubs and I keep saying "oh, I'm going to do this..." but never do. I promise I am going to make some of these cleaners. I used a bleach cleaner today and think I made myself sick from breathing in the fumes. I'm ready to go with homemade cleaners. Thanks for posting these. Now, where to find the oils nearby! If I can't find them, I'll order online.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Sue,

      Many thanks and apologies for lateness in replying, internet was playing up yesterday and last night. So glad you enjoyed these ideas, they do work AND have your wood does look so much the better too. Hope you give some ideas a try! Cheers for your great support, votes, share and pin, much appreciated as always!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
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      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi barryrutherford,

      Absolutely, tea tree is another one that may be incorporated into cleaners. There are approximately 25 different essential oils that can be mixed and matched between the different types of cleaning products for kitchen, bathroom and furniture I have shown and tea tree is one of the beneficial all-round oils to use. Appreciate your comment!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Great to see you my friend. The more I learn about chemicals the more frightening it is to be honest. We are surrounded by them and use them continually. i love having a clean, healthy environment at home with essential oils wafting through the air rather than bleach! The therapeutic benefits are a bonus too helping with moods, health, feeling alert or relaxed depending on the fragrance and I notice headaches which both of us are prone to, have lessened.

      Thanks for your congrats on the 100k it was something I had set myself a goal on and achieved it! It is so amazing to think that amount of people have viewed my work, truly. I enjoy hubpage sand the community are incredible here. I am looking to do other things with my work but will be here too have no fear! LOL

      Thanks for your votes, share and pin, your usual support is so appreciated my friend! Looking forward to the cruise series!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Mary,

      Glad you too appreciate wood, there is something so raw and beautiful about it and I love the work that goes into each piece I have. I get such a buzz finding simple ingredients that work even better than chemical ones and cost less. I am no expert but I do have the interest and genuine passion for what I do which counts in my book!!

      Speaking of book, yes that is the plan, a book would be icing on the cake plus my website with products to buy.

      i see so much, it is putting it together that will take some time.

      Cheers for your lovely words, votes and pin it is so nice to receive!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Elizabeth,

      So good of you to pop in and leave such a lovely comment, thank you! i have done the same had every intention of doing an idea seen here and forgotten or have not gotten around to it, shame on me! Bleach does give you that sickly feeling I find and after recently cleaning my apartment from top to bottom thoroughly for the rental market, I used a mixture of products (mine plus a few commercial) but no way will be looking to buy chemicals from now on and do not use here. Getting the other half to clean his hands (car mechanic) full of oil, grease and god knows what else, is baby steps as he has his favorite one, fast orange. make sure you but therapeutic grade (organic if you can) oils and you should get them in a good health food store, beauty salon or spa, department stores sometimes or craft shop. Online mountain rose herbs.com are excellent for all organic ingredients and containers for homemade cosmetics and more or check out ebay too.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Olive oil has so many uses and so beneficial as a natural ingredient. I remember my mother using turpentine and linsee oils around the home. Thanks for sharing.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi teaches,

      Many thanks glad you enjoyed the benefits of going a more natural way for cleaning. Appreciate your support and interest!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Well I am definitely trying the peppermint stain remover. Our old dining room table has horrible water stains and I am ashamed to take the tablecloth off even though I would love to. Thanks for this hub! Shared around.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi GTF,

      So glad you found this useful. i hate water stains too on wood. Appreciate you trying the peppermint it is an excellent one! Thumbs up and thanks for sharing :-)

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Loved this hub! I need to try it out on some of my old wooden furnitures.

      Thanks, voted up and shared!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      I have cleaned my wood furniture with olive oil and red wine but I have not tried it with essential oils. Thanks for this very useful and informative hub. Next time I´ll be using your ways in polishing the furnitures. Thanks Suzie. I hope you are fine.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Thanks Thelma, good to hear from you appreciate your comments! Love how more natural products may be used for cleaning and the more the merrier, always interested in knowing new ones.

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