Making your own cleaning and furniture-care products at home saves money and is easier than you may think. In the old days, fine wooden furniture was polished and preserved for years without store-bought products. A recipe like the one below may be what your grandmother used on that lovely antique dining table that still looks so beautiful.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Double boiler pans
- Wooden stick for stirring
- 2 pints turpentine
- 1 pint linseed oil
- 142gr. beeswax
- 1 tbsp carnauba wax
- Mason jars or steel containers with lids
Melt the beeswax in a double boiler pan. Stir completely to make sure all chunks of wax have dissolved. Never melt the wax without using a double boiler as there is a danger the wax may overheat and catch fire.
Remove the pan from heat. Add the turpentine, linseed oil and carnauba wax to the melted beeswax. (Turpentine is flammable, so be sure to remove from heat and do not accidentally splash it on the stove, especially if you cook with gas.) Stir the ingredients together using a wooden stick until the liquid is clear. Do not use a metal spoon to stir as the wax will adhere to metal.
Transfer the polish into containers for storage, either mason jars or steel containers with tight-fitting lids. The polish will cool into a milky paste which keeps for years.
Apply the polish to your wooden furniture using a soft rag. This type of polish requires a bit more elbow grease to rub into wood than the spray products sold at stores.
Tips and warnings
- If someone in your household is sensitive to smells, look for odourless turpentine, which does cost more than regular turpentine. If you have chemical sensitivities and prefer to avoid turpentine entirely, another recipe for homemade furniture polish uses two parts beeswax or olive oil and one part lemon juice.
- The beeswax, linseed oil and turpentine recipe requires the right tools---double boiler and wooden stick---as well as time and attention. The ingredients are all potentially flammable, so read the above directions carefully.
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