We'll let you in on a little secret: you can keep your home free of toxins and chemicals without compromising on the appearance of your furniture. If your home is fitted with wooden surfaces, you'll know how important it is to treat the wood to prevent damage. But if you're looking to avoid using chemicals, does that mean the end of furniture polishing in your home? Nope!
Luckily, there are effective eco-friendly substitutes for every home cleaning and maintenance product, including furniture polish. Our top all-natural picks that do the trick? Beeswax or coconut oil. In this guide, we share our favourite beeswax furniture polish recipe, and, for the vegans among us, we also break down how to make furniture polish with coconut oil.
The Low Down on Furniture PolishIt's important to implement a polishing routine to keep your wooden furniture looking clean and shiny. It's also essential to protect the wood from cracking or drying out as it ages. Most of the commercial furniture polishes on the market contain a host of chemicals and toxins. They work really well, which is why most of us have used them in our homes. There are four types of furniture polishes you'll likely stumble across at the shops.
- Clear Polish – Clear polishes contain slow-evaporating petroleum distillates. They will clean grease and effectively remove wax, but cannot rid your furniture of water-soluble dirt, such as fingermarks. Clear polishes come in a liquid form.
- Emulsion Polishes – These are made from petroleum distillates and water, meaning they can clean both wax and water-soluble dirt stains. They commonly arrive in aerosol cans.
- Silicone Polish – These products are actually just clear or emulsion polishes with added silicone. These products clean surfaces as well as make them slick and scratch-resistant, which the above two products cannot do.
- Wax Polishes – These polishes can clean wax and dirt, are long-lasting and scratch-resistant, and usually come in a liquid or paste. Wax polishes are arguably the most effective of all the polishes.
Unfortunately, these common commercial polishing products contain petroleum, synthetic polymers, solvents, colourings, fragrances, and preservatives. The solvents and propellants in these furniture polishes are also highly flammable and toxic to the air and waterways.
So, is there a more planet-friendly alternative? Fortunately, you can actually create your own DIY wax furniture polish using all-natural ingredients.
Why Opt For Organic Furniture Polish?
Natural, organic furniture polishes are just as effective as chemical-derived products, and you won't have to worry about any toxins spilling out into your home. Organic furniture polishes will clean, nourish, and protect your wood pieces without harming your health or the environment. Fortunately, there are a number of organic waxes that have been used for centuries to polish wooden furniture. Not only are they very effective, but they're also produced naturally, which means they're a more sustainable option long-term. Organic furniture polishes are also more suitable for sensitive skin and noses, as they're naturally scented and contain no flammables, toxins, or chemicals.
How to Make Wax Polish From Natural Ingredients
The best part about natural furniture wax polishes is that they're easy to make and contain only a few ingredients. We've popped our DIY hats on and shared our favourite recipes for natural wax polishes. We take a look at both a beeswax polish (if you're not necessarily after a vegan alternative) and a coconut oil polish (for our vegan friends!).
How to Make Beeswax Furniture PolishHistorically, beeswax was the primary ingredient used to polish wood. It was first used to treat wooden furniture in the 14th century and remained the most dominant form of wood polish up until the late 18th century. It contains particular properties that effectively clean the wood, add a beautiful sheen, and protect the surface from scratches or damage. Beeswax polish is also safe to use on cheese boards, chopping boards, and wooden plates or bowls — it's chemical-free, so you won't need to worry about your food coming into contact with toxins. Let's dive into the recipe! This recipe has been adapted from Lovely Greens.
- ⅔ cup beeswax
- 3 cups olive oil
- 10 drops of essential oil. We love the Essentially Australia peppermint gum or lemon myrtle oils (optional)
- Fill a large pot with hot water and place it on the stove.
- Place the beeswax and olive oil into a smaller pot (that will fit into the larger one — if you've ever melted chocolate on the stove, you'll know where we're going with this!).
- Place the smaller pot into the larger one, and turn the heat to medium. The hot water in the larger pot will slowly melt the oil in the smaller pot. Ensure no water laps up into the pot containing the oil.
- Keep the heat on medium until the oil and wax have melted. Stir gently.
- Add the essential oils and stir well.
- Pour the mixture into airtight glass containers. We love these Kilner containers or these glass jars.
- Let the mixture cool and set for two hours, until it reaches a balm-like consistency.
How to Use Your DIY Beeswax Polish
Once set, scoop out some of the polish with your fingers or a cloth, and work it into the wooden surfaces and furniture. You can wipe off the excess, or leave it there for a few hours to allow the oil to diffuse through the wood. Buff the surface afterwards for a shiny finish.
How to Make Furniture Wax Polish with Coconut OilOur coconut oil furniture polish recipe is the perfect alternative if you want to avoid using animal-derived ingredients. It contains just three key elements that work together to create an effective vegan wood polish. Candelilla Wax makes a great vegan wax alternative. It works to bind the ingredients together and creates a protective coating to lock moisture in. Coconut Oil is high in saturated fats and Vitamin E, meaning it locks moisture in and conditions surfaces. It may make your furniture last longer and will leave them looking good as new. Jojoba Oil is easily absorbed and a nourishing moisturiser, whether it be for the skin or your armchair.
- 1/4 cup Candelilla Wax
- 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
- 1 tbsp Jojoba Oil
- 15 drops of desired Essential Oil (we used 10 drops lavender and 10 drops frankincense essential oil)
- Place the candelilla wax, coconut and jojoba oil into a sturdy glass jar and place it into a saucepan with about 6cm of water.
- Pop the heat on medium until the ingredients have melted.
- Remove the jar and stir in the essential oils.
- Let the mixture cool slightly and pour it into your container and seal.
How To UseApply to your wooden furniture with a soft cloth to clean and polish. Buff afterwards for a brilliant sheen. Keep the mixture out of sunlight and use within 12 months. This recipe makes enough to fill a 1 x 120ml glass mason jar.
Natural Furniture Polish is the Way to Go
Take care of your furniture and the planet, cruelty-free, with these natural furniture polishes. You'll improve the condition and longevity of your furniture, and leave them smelling divine, all without petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, and toxins. Has learning how to make furniture polish with coconut oil and beeswax put you in the mood for a little more DIY? Explore our range of DIY recipes that use only all-natural ingredients.
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