Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 6, 2011: Olive or Citronella Oil Wood Furniture Polish

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Are you ready to start spring cleaning yet? Let’s start with a natural homemade product that is incredibly simple to make yet is far more effective than any readily-available product on the market: wood furniture polish.

Olive Oil and Lemon Wood Polish

Olive oil (the cheaper the better; no need to use your good EVOO here)
Lemon juice (fresh is nice, but bottled keeps better)
Dishwashing liquid

Select your container. I use an old dishwashing liquid bottle with a squeeze top that works well, but any type of container with a small opening will work.

Fill it up most of the way with olive oil. Squeeze in the juice of one-half of a lemon or add about a quarter cup of bottled lemon juice, depending on the size of your container. The idea is to make a liquid that flows easily but isn’t too thin. Now add a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Shake it all up and it’s ready to use.

This polish is incredibly effective for restoring an old, dry piece of furniture. I use it on a piano stool and old blanket chest that were my husband’s father’s and it has brought these pieces back to life! It’s great for any real wood – furniture, paneling, even floors – but don’t use it on veneers because it will just make them oily. You can, however, use your oily polish rag to remove dust from veneers or just about anything else on which you would normally use a commercial spray furniture polish.

Bug Repellant Wood Polish

This is a variant of the recipe above; simply substitute citronella oil for the olive oil.

This is particularly good for homes with wood paneling (like mine) or floors. I tend to get lots and lots of spiders, especially in the spring and summer months. I use the citronella formula on all the walls and furniture to keep them at bay during warm weather seasons.

Tip: Reserve one or two rags for use with this wood polish. It’s unlikely you’ll ever get all the oil out of the rag, even after washing, but that’s okay as long as you use the same one just for this purpose.


  1. What a great idea! I love the idea of using natural products to clean my home ... and having a bug repellent variation is just fabulous!

  2. Hi Mama Kelly! This recipe is cheap and it smells good, too. The only problem is that my dogs like to lick the olive oil version off!

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