When on a treasure hunt for vintage or antique furniture, don’t pass up a bargain wood table, bed, chair or cabinet with great lines and detailing just because it’s dirty. Finding a great chair or bed at a yard sale or in an attic may turn out to be the perfect piece of furniture with a little cleaning.
Homemade furniture polish isn’t only used on pieces that have been dug out of your great aunt’s house or located along side of the road. New or newer furniture also benefits from a good cleaning. If you have discovered a great piece whether in your home or someone else’s, always clean the abrasive dust and dirt before using the table. Dust and dirt acts like tiny pieces of sandpaper that will scratch the finish.
Furniture polish is an expensive product to buy even when you cut your coupons or look for sales. There is a very easy way to make your own furniture polish that's much less expensive, safe for you and the environment and good for your wood furniture. Stripping dirt and grime off the surface of wood furniture, restores the shine to the furniture and gives a glow to the entire room. You probably already have all of the ingredients right in your own kitchen.
In a small glass jar or bowl mix 1/2 of a cup of Olive Oil with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Pour the contents into a lidded jar or bottle.
Mix ingredients well before use because oil and vinegar separate.
Dip clean, soft cotton or flannel rag into the cleaning mixture and wipe a generous amount onto your wood surfaces.
Dip a cotton swab into the cleaner and wipe the carvings or lines to remove dirt. Change cotton swabs often to prevent redistributing dirt and dust.
Let the furniture polish sit for two to three minutes.
Wipe and buff the furniture cleaner with a clean, soft flannel or cotton rag. Wipe the recesses with a cotton swab to remove excess cleaner.
Rub the surface to buff off excess cleaner and leave a shine on the wood.
If your wood furniture find is particularly dirty, dip a soft, well worn rag into white vinegar and wring out the excess.
Place the vinegar soaked rag at the edge of the tabletop, chair, bed or other wood surface and pull it across to remove the dirt and grime.
Turn the rag over to a clean area and pull it across the surface. Do not use the same dirty area because you may scratch the finish. Change rags once the rag has no clean surfaces and repeat until you pull all dust, grime and dirt off the wood.
White vinegar and olive oil are non-toxic, making these ingredients a safer alternative to commercial or store bought furniture polishes and cleaners.
Store your wood cleaner and polish in lidded glass container for up to three months or if the oil becomes cloudy.
Shake the mixture well before each use to thoroughly mix the two ingredients before use.
Adjust the ingredients proportionately depending on how much or how little you need.
If your furniture is very old or valuable, bring it to a professional for restoration to avoid damaging the furniture. Although olive oil and white vinegar are generally safe for use, don’t take chances with valuables.