If your search endeavors have led you to this article, then you, just like me, must be fed up with the wood polishes and varnishes sold in stores. The heavy scent, along with the irritant fumes that linger in the air and irritate my eyes and windpipe, were the reasons why I searched for alternatives.
Apparently, there are ways you can make milder and natural wood protectants from oils that are most probably sitting on your kitchen’s counter right now.
At first, I was skeptical about homemade recipes because, you know, there’s a reason these products are on the market carrying such hefty price tags. But, after trying these procedures, I think I found safer and much cheaper methods to look after my wood floors and furniture without hurting my health or pocket, for that matter.
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1. Vegetable Oil and Lemon
Let’s kick off with a super easy recipe that leaves a heavenly natural scent in the air. It’s one of the safest protectants for finished wooden items, including floorings, furniture, and kitchens.
- 1 ½ cups of olive oil or walnut oil (you can use any other cheap vegetable oil if you want)
- 1 cup of lemon juice or a few drops of lemon essential oil
- Spray bottle
- Cleaning cloths
Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and make sure to shake them well. Spray the mix on a clean cloth and use it to wipe on your wood’s surface in a circular motion. Leave the protectant to do its magic for 5 minutes, then wipe it off with a dry cloth.
Never apply the mix directly to the wood. Spraying oil or aerosols directly onto the furniture can damage the finish. Also, leaving the mixture for long can cause staining, so don’t skip the “wiping off” step.
Another piece of advice is always to use a clean rag and change it in the middle of the process if you find that it has caught lots of dust. These dust particles will only scratch the wood you’re trying to keep smooth, so change to a clean rag frequently while you’re wiping.
P.S: This recipe can be used for unsealed wood as well. Just use mineral oil instead of vegetable oil as it offers better protection.
2. Vinegar and Lemon
If you find the previous recipe too oily for your liking, here’s another way to care for your unfinished wood.
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- A few drops of vegetable oil
- A few drops of lemon juice
- Spray bottle
- Cleaning cloths
The directions are pretty similar to the previous procedure. Just mix the ingredients in a bottle, spray some on a clean rag and begin wiping on your surfaces.
With only a few drops of oil, this recipe is way less greasy than the previous one. The white vinegar and vegetable oil provide the shine you want and protect the wood from dryness, while the lemon leaves a good smell and helps the cloth pick up the dust.
3. Gum Turpentine and Linseed Oil
Ready to protect your wood, polish it and give it some nourishment while you’re at it? Behold this impressive recipe. It cleans, removes scratches, and restores the shape of old wood. It also works well for new wood showing signs of drying.
- 5 ounces of gum turpentine (not mineral turpentine)
- 2.5 ounces of raw linseed oil
- Clean cloths
Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl, then dip a clean cloth in the mix and wipe it on the wood. After you finish brushing the wood, go over it gently with a clean rag.
The turpentine does the cleaning while the linseed saturates deep into the wood grain, nourishing it and adding a protective layer against scratches and humidity changes. It’s a wonderful mix that brings out the color of your wood and gives it an eye-pleasing glossy finish.
Note that turpentine is prone to self-heating, so be careful not to get too close to a fire source. Also, make sure to throw out the used pieces of cloth immediately after finishing.
4. Beeswax Rub
This is another recipe that doubles as a wood protectant and polish as well. Unlike the previous ones, it involves more than just mixing some ingredients, and thus it’s a bit tricky. Yet, it’s one of the best recipes to protect and nourish outdoor wooden furniture.
- 1/2 cup of grated beeswax
- 1 ½ cups olive oil
- A few drops of any essential oil you prefer (for the scent)
- Double boiler
- Glass bottle
Fill the bottom pan of the double boiler with water to reach halfway up the smaller pan’s sides, then add the beeswax to the top pan. After that, melt the wax on the stove on medium to low heat.
When the wax starts to liquefy, stir in the olive oil and essential oil until the whole mixture comes together. Dip a piece of cloth in the mix and start running on your wood surfaces. And of course, don’t forget to remove the extra wax and oil from the wood with another dry and clean rag.
After finishing, store the rest of the mix in a glass container. Since these ingredients will harden again, just microwave the mix for a few seconds to soften before it’s time to apply the protectant again.
Nobody wants their wood looking dried-out and lifeless. As you can see, with a few accessible ingredients, you can protect your wooden items and enjoy the glint radiating off of their glossy surfaces again. What are you waiting for? Go make your own homemade wood protectant and tell us about your experience with it!