I have quite a bit of finished wood furniture that I love, except when it comes to polishing. There's always some sticky fingerprints or a glob of something unidentifiable (thank you, Beckett). Most commercial polishes do okay on relatively clean surfaces, but don't do a great job on the really messy stuff. Sometimes I'd spray some polish right on the spots, polish the rest and hope the globs loosened up enough to wipe away. Once in a while it worked. Other times it resulted in a ring around the spot while the sticky may or may not have loosened at all.
I finally did a little research on homemade furniture polish recipes. Here's the one I use.
3 parts olive oil
1 part vinegar
Splash lemon juice (optional)
Combine everything in a spray bottle and shake to mix. Some recommend storing it in the refrigerator or only making what you'll use in a day. I make about 1-2 cups worth at a time and keep it at room temperature. So far I haven't had problems with it spoiling.
For light polishing, I spray the rag and wipe. For heavier cleaning, I spray directly where needed. I have never had it leave a ring, and it buffs nicely without leaving a residue. It works equally well on furniture with a matte stain and pieces with a high gloss varnish.
I love that this recipe uses things I have around the house and costs less than even the cheap commercial polishes. I also like knowing that it is completely nontoxic. I can let Beckett help without worrying that it might hurt him if he sprays it in his face. Or my face. Seriously, you never know with this kid.
You could probably customize it with a few drops of essential oils, too. I think something citrus-y would be nice. Also, if you don’t have olive oil, you could try swapping it with whatever you have on hand.
Give it a try and tell me what you think. If you'd like more “green” cleaning options check out my handmade laundry products at http://www.Zibbet.com/SubEarthanCottage. Right now all laundry products are 20% off.