We like to keep wood looking nice, but don’t always stop to think that what makes it look nice and shiny might not actually be good for the wood itself. Aerosol wood polish sprays generally just coat the surface in a slick, impenetrable layer of who-knows-what, leaving it looking ridiculously shiny. It doesn’t actually ‘feed’ the wood, moisturize it, or last very long at all (when I used it, I found it made a difference for all of 3 hours.) Luckily, there are several very easy ways to naturally care for your wood that, at least in my experience, work much better than a lot of stuff sold in stores.
1. Olive-Oil lemon polish
You will need…
-1 ½ cups of olive oil
-1 cup of lemon juice OR several drops of lemon essential oil
-2 clean cloths
-Spray bottle (optional)
Mix 1 ½ cups of olive oil with 1 cup of lemon juice in a spray bottle and shake to blend thoroughly. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can do this in a bowl. Spray some of the mixture onto a clean cloth (or dip cloth in it) and gently apply to wood in a circular motion. Let sit for 5 minutes or so, and then go over it with a soft cloth to bring out the shine. Keep in a glass storage container, or in the spray bottle, if you make more than you will use in one sitting.
2. Beeswax Wood Sealant and Polish
A small amount of this goes a long way towards protecting your wood from the harmful effects of moisture, as well as keeping it from drying out. It also leaves the wood with a nice healthy glow, and so doubles as a polish when you use it.
You will need…
-1/2 cup of grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles
-1 ½ cups olive oil
-Several drops of essential oil (optional)
-A glass container for storage
Melt down ½ cup of beeswax in a double boiler (I just put a metal bowl over a pot with some water in the bottom.) Stir in 1 ½ cups of olive oil, and add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give it a nice scent if you like. Pour into a glass jar to store, and let it harden. You can microwave it for roughly 25-30 seconds to soften it before use if you like. Before using clean the surface with a damp cloth and wipe dry. Then, dab some beeswax sealant onto a clean, soft cloth and apply in a circular motion. When it is dry, buff in the direction of the grain with another clean soft cloth (preferably one that is lint-free.)
3. Coconut Oil Rub
If you just don’t feel like actually making something, rubbing some straight coconut oil into dry wood is also an option.
You will need…
-About 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
-A clean soft cloth
Clean surface with a slightly damp cloth and dry. Follow by rubbing some coconut oil onto another clean cloth, and apply to wood in a circular motion. Let it dry, and then buff in the direction of the grain.
Wood is a lovely thing to have in a home, and naturally keeping it healthy and looking good is incredibly simple to do, not to mention rather satisfying. All of the above recipes are food safe, and will last in their containers for up to 12 months in a cool dark place.
Wood Care Tips
-There is no need to slather wood with any of the above-a thin layer is all you need (or in the case of the spray, and little spritz.) They last longer, and it’s better for the wood, if you don’t go overboard.
-Light degrades wood, so keep it out of direct sunlight for extended amounts of time, if possible.
-Dirt and grime can, over time, also be harmful to wood surfaces, so keep them clean by simply wiping them down.
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