Cleaning is a chore that many people simply hate to do. Because of the harsh chemicals used to create commercial cleaners, it can also be dangerous. Cleaning wooden floors or furniture requires special care because the surface can be quite sensitive and damage easily. The artificial lemon scent found in the wood cleaner that we’re used to using comes with many drawbacks.
However, there are different methods to replace your commercial furniture and floor cleaners. Using less toxic ingredients by making your own cleaners is one way to protect your health and your home. Here are five alternatives to traditional wood furniture cleaners.
When you want to remove a buildup of dust or grime, making your own cleaner for your wood furniture can be really easy. Choosing non-toxic ingredients might seem overwhelming but for this, you only need two things: distilled white vinegar (3 tablespoons) and one cup of filtered water. Combine the two in a bowl before using a damp cloth to gently wipe your furniture.
Dual Cleaning and Polishing
If you don’t have time to do each step individually, you can try an alternative to chemical polishes. The benefit here is that while you clean, you’ll be able to polish simultaneously. So when the solution dries, your furniture will have a slight sheen on it.
For this, you’ll need ¼ cup olive oil, ½ cup white vinegar (alternatively, if your wood is darker, try apple cider vinegar instead), 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerin, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and roughly 30 drops of lavender essential oil.
Once measured, combine all the ingredients in a clean spray bottle. Apply the solution to the areas you want to be cleaned or polished and rub with a soft cloth. Do note that Apple cider vinegar has the potential to stain your wood if it’s too light in color.
If your wood furniture seems a little dull, it might be as a result of regular use. This can cause the layers of polyurethane or other factory top coats to wear away with time. To get a quick shine on your furniture that won’t be harmful to you or the wood, you can try this recipe.
Using 1 teaspoon of white vinegar, 1/8 cup of lemon juice (or just a halved lemon) and ¼ cup of olive oil, whisk these ingredients into a bowl.
Using a soft dusting cloth that’s lightly dampened with your mixture, rub it over the wooden furniture. If you find the surface is too slick or oily, allow it dry completely for up to 24 hours.
Generally, wood furniture needs specific products in order to maintain their quality and appearance. Using essential oils is one of the preferred methods for making homemade cleaning products because they leave behind a pleasant smell without toxins or heavy residue leftovers. However, you might find traditionally chosen oils (like olive oil) to still be too greasy—especially on surfaces where you plan to eat.
To avoid this but still use homemade wood polish recipes, invert the vinegar to oil ratios. Also be mindful of what type of oil you use as some are known to go rancid after a period of time. Liquid wax jojoba, for instance, does not go rancid and makes a fantastic alternative to other oils.
Boiled linseed oils are often recommended in hardware and home improvement stores as a clean alternative but sometimes they can contain synthetic properties to help them dry faster.
Sometimes, your wood furniture is going to need more than a simple cleaning or updating via polishing. After a time, the topcoats and stains on your wood can fade. This will result in your furniture looking older and might even cause damage as the wood fibers are eroded. Part of the protecting your wood pieces is to periodically restore it to its original condition as close as you can. Before you buy anything, there are great alternative methods for this process, too.
You’ll need the following: 1/8 cup distilled white vinegar, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and 1/8 cup flax oil. Combine these ingredients before applying to your furniture with a microfiber cloth, being careful not to leave too much moisture behind.
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