10 min 5 min prep
4 ounces beeswax
2 tablespoons carnauba paraffin wax
2 1/2 cups mineral spirits
Beeswax Furniture Polish
Beeswax has been used in furniture polish for centuries, and you can use it to make some yourself.
1/4 cup of liquid soap (not dish detergent)
1/4 lb grated beeswax
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup turpentine
Dissolve the soap in the water and keep it warm (a minute or so in the microwave will re-warm it, if required).
Melt the beeswax and turpentine together in a double boiler.
Slowly pour the soap mixture into the wax mixture, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened and slightly cooled. Pour into wide-mouthed jars and seal with a lid once thoroughly cooled.
4 ounces (weight) beeswax
2 tablespoons carnauba wax
2 1/2 cups odorless turpentine or mineral spirits
Here is a simple, elegant polish formula to make yourself that is solvent free, inexpensive, and easy enough to make. Protect your furniture, your health, and the environment.
Basic Polishing Cream Waxing Formula
* 4 ounces oil (2 1/2 ounces olive oil or jojoba, 1 1/2 ounces coconut oil)
* 1 ounce beeswax
* 1 ounce carnauba wax
* 4 ounces distilled water
Melt the oils and waxes in a double boiler over medium heat. Remove from the heat, pour in the water, and mix with a hand mixer until thick and creamy. Dab some cream onto a soft cotton rag and rub into the furniture. Buff and polish until the oils are well worked into the wood.
Homemade Furniture Polish
Most of the old folk formulas for furniture polish ask for 1/4 cup of oil or so, plus a few drops of vinegar. I feel those folk formulas leave the furniture too oily, and in hot weather there is a risk of the oil going rancid.
Instead, I've found that reversing those ratios -- using 1/4 cup vinegar plus a few drops of oil -- makes for a much better wood cleaner and polish. The vinegar pulls the dirt out of the wood, and the few drops of oil lubricates the wood so that it doesn't dry out.
The best oils to use are those that have the longest shelf life. Olive oil works well. The best choice of all is the liquid wax jojoba, because it never goes ranced. It is found in most health food stores. Boiled linseed oils found in hardware stores have synthetic drying chemicals in them and shouldn't be used. I do love the smell of linseed oil in a furniture polish -- it is rich and nutty -- but I only use that which is food grade.
You can substitute lemon juice for the vinegar. Organic apple cider vinegar is the best choice of vinegar, although I don't usually recommend this for general cleaning because of the possibility of staining. If you are cleaning something that could possibly stain, use white distilled vinegar.
Homemade Furniture Polish Cloth
Dip a soft recycled cloth, such as one of flannel, in the vinegar and oil mixture, and wipe furniture.
Lemon Oil Duster
Most commercial lemon oil is not all natural, but may contain petroleum distillates. Contact herbalists for pure sources of lemon oil. Traditionally, lemon oil has been used for furniture because it is so lubricating and antiseptic.
10 drops lemon oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
A few drops olive oil or jojoba
Dip a soft recycled cloth, such as one of flannel, in the lemon oil mixture, and wipe furniture.
A commonly available mineral full of many cleaning attributes, baking soda is made from soda ash, and is slightly alkaline (itıs pH is around 8.1; 7 is neutral). It neutralizes acid-based odors in water, and adsorbs odors from the air. Sprinkled on a damp sponge or cloth, baking soda can be used as a gentle nonabrasive cleanser for kitchen counter tops, sinks, bathtubs, ovens, and fiberglass. It will eliminate perspiration odors and even neutralize the smell of many chemicals if you add up to a cup per load to the laundry. It is a useful air freshener, and a fine carpet deodorizer.
A chemical neighbor of baking soda, washing soda (sodium carbonate) is much more strongly alkaline, with a pH around 11. It releases no harmful fumes and is far safer than a commercial solvent formula, but you should wear gloves when using it because it is caustic. Washing soda cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax or lipstick, and neutralizes odors in the same way that baking soda does. Donıt use it on fiberglass, aluminum or waxed floorsunless you intend to remove the wax.
White Vinegar and Lemon Juice
White vinegar and lemon juice are acidicthey neutralize alkaline substances such as scale from hard water. Acids dissolve gummy buildup, eat away tarnish, and remove dirt from wood surfaces.
Liquid Soaps and Detergent
Liquid soaps and detergents are necessary for cutting grease, and they are not the same thing. Soap is made from fats and lye. Detergents are synthetic materials discovered and synthesized early in this century. Unlike soap, detergents are designed specifically so that they donıt react with hard water minerals and cause soap scum. If you have hard water buy a biodegradable detergent without perfumes; if you have soft water you can use liquid soap (both are available in health food stores).
Mold Killers and Disinfectants
For a substance to be registered by the EPA as a disinfectant it must go through extensive and expensive tests. EPA recommends simple soap to use as a disinfectant There are many essential oils, such as lavender, clove, and tea tree oil (an excellent natural fungicide), that are very antiseptic, as is grapefruit seed extract, even though they arenıt registered as such. Use one teaspoon of essential oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle (make sure to avoid eyes). A grapefruit seed extract spray can be made by adding 20 drops of extract to a quart of water.
Make sure to keep all home-made formulas well-labeled, and out of the reach of children.