PHOENIX -- One of the biggest misconceptions about caring for wood furniture is that you should polish it each time you dust. Many people grab the can of spray polish and a cloth and just spray and wipe. Actually, this is not a good thing.
Many spray polishes contain silicone, which actually can dry out wood furniture. Back in grandma’s day people dusted their furniture on a regular basis and occasionally waxed or polished it. This is still the best practice.
Toss the spray can and dust with a lambswool duster or a microfiber cloth. Periodically, polish the furniture using something simple and natural that will moisturize and condition the wood.
Here are two of my favorite recipes. They will both last about a year stored in the pantry or cabinet. You apply them with a soft cloth, sparingly, and then buff. You don’t need to overuse it. Apply enough to lightly cover the table and then buff really well.
Mineral oil polish
1 cup of mineral oil (find at drug stores and home centers)
1-2 tsp. lemon or almond extract
Mix in a covered container. I like a glass or plastic jar with lid. Shake before using.
Olive oil polish (This is my favorite and I use it on my furniture.)
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
Mix in covered container; shake well before using. Apply with a soft cloth, working in well, and then buff.
I have had a lot of questions lately about what to do when you end up with a white heat mark, from a hot dish being placed on the table, or a white ring from a drinking glass. Try this, dip your finger into car wax and follow the ring or mark on the table with your finger.
Gently, working with the grain, massage the car wax into the white ring or heat mark. Work at it for a few minutes, then take a clean, soft cloth and buff firmly. Repeat if necessary.
If you have heavy furniture polish build up and soiling on wood furniture do this to restore it’s luster.. Take a piece of 0000 steel wool. This is very fine steel wool. Dip it into lemon oil. Find lemon oil where furniture polish is sold in hardware and home stores. Working with the wood grain, work it into the wood. Press gently, increasing pressure if needed.
This will remove the buildup on the furniture and also remove soiling that is trapped in the furniture polish. Apply additional lemon oil as needed and keep turning the steel wool pad. When you are done, buff well with a soft cloth. Always test this method in a small inconspicuous area before doing an entire piece of furniture.
This method is excellent for older pieces and things that you buy at garage or thrift sales. This only works on real wood, not on laminates and other plastics etc.
Do not use it on floors or they will be extremely slippery.
For more information on the Queen of Clean Linda Cobb, to find products used and recommended by the Queen and FREE printouts go to queenofclean.com. Find the Queen’s books at national book stores and on Amazon and queenofclean.com.