How to Clean French Polish

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The beauty of French polish comes from the layers and layers of polish that have been used to build up a deep lustre. When cleaning, you remove the dirt and old wax from the top layer of polish, and you must take care not to damage the actual French polish finish. Never sand French polish or use undiluted white spirit or other solvents, or you may end up having to refinish the whole surface.

Wipe the surface gently with a clean cloth and warm water containing a very small amount of soap. Use water sparingly. Dry with a soft, dry cloth. This should remove surface dirt.

Mix a solution of white spirit and linseed oil in a 10:1 ratio and apply liberally to the surface. Leave for two minutes, then wipe off with a clean cloth.

Gently rub the surface with very fine steel wool dipped in the white spirit and linseed oil solution, following the grain, to remove any of the remaining dirt. Wipe any residue off with a soft cloth before it dries.

Rub with a dry cloth and then wax with a good quality beeswax, making sure you thoroughly wipe off the wax afterward.

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