Two Frugal Fairfielders

"Paying attention to all the thousands of ways we spent our money that make a tremendous difference." –Amy Dacyczyn, 1990

Inexpensive Homemade Furniture Polish Using Olive Oil

diy polish

The ingredients to making amazing furniture polish for pennies–olive oil, vinegar, essential oils for fragrance.

A little goes a long way when it comes to making this low-cost homemade furniture polish that smells great, and shines up your wood.

I came across a furniture polish recipe I really, really like, cheap and easy to make, and all you need is a dab to buff on the furniture. To make this amazing non-toxic wood furniture polish, take a look at this recipe adapted from the Do It Gorgeously book by Sophie Uliano. I made some up in a little bowl at first just to test it out and I could not believe my eyes. So, I whipped up a small batch and used it again on the same worn table. I just love the sheen.

diy polish on table

The lower half of my worn console table is buffed with diy polish, the upper half is not. Enlarge the photo to see the difference–it’s very subtle at this size. But…in person, the sheen is so wonderful, so is the fragrance. Thank you, Sophie Uliano!

Here’s the recipe:

Mix in a bowl the following: (I make 1/2 of this recipe because you really don’t need much to polish/buff a table.)

-1 cup inexpensive olive oil (don’t use extra virgin)

-1/4 cup white vinegar

-1/4 tsp of each essential oil (I like to mix orange/tangerine with lemon which is what Sophie suggests, but you can use your favorite essential oil fragrance; also add more essential oil if you’d like. Or, if you’re out of essential oil, by all means, use a bit of lemon juice.)

-Put in a bottle (empty shampoo bottle or small glass container, that sort of thing). Use a tiny bit (dime-size dollup) on a dry rag and buff into wood.

Store the mixture covered in a cool dry place.

 Your furniture will thank you!

If you have any favorite furniture polish recipes, please let TFF know!

UPDATE November 2012: I noticed a Pintrest commenter who said a few weeks after using this polish her furniture felt sticky-ish. I haven’t had that problem at all and I use it on wood tables with heavy traffic. I would suggest extra buffing to work the polish in and then off the furniture. Perhaps the recipe was a bit off and there was too much oil in the mix. Not sure, but again, never had this problem on various pieces of wood. ~Marilyn, TFF

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13 comments on “Inexpensive Homemade Furniture Polish Using Olive Oil

  1. June
    December 6, 2013

    Thanks for sharing your recipe and experience with this. I made up my own polish with vinegar that I had steeped with orange peels. No EO needed. My wood counter tops and furniture soaked it up happily.

  2. iamincredulous
    August 9, 2013

    Essential oils are toxic to pets.

    • jaimegunn
      September 3, 2013

      You are correct they are toxic to pets, but so is bleach & ammonia, and whatever it is they put in endust and febreeze. If I am going to use essential oil around the animals and I have quite a few, I cut the essential oil ratio in half. I use a lot of eucalyptus oil that I make at home for cleaning, and that is extremely toxic, BUT has so many great uses….. anyway, I think that if you are careful and diligent when you use this product everyone will be happy. :)

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  4. CherylS
    February 7, 2013

    You will get the best results with this if you use a microfiber rag to apply, then another clean microfiber rag to buff. You can buy these in multiple packs in the automotive department at hardware stores, Sam’s Club, etc. They are plenty cheap if you consider you can wash & reuse them practically forever. I mix my polish up in a plastic spray bottle & spray a fine mist, then wipe & buff. Love the shine & no stickiness later.

    • TFF
      February 8, 2013

      Hi Cheryl, Since we’re stuck indoors with blizzard conditions, I think I’ll make a batch up and get polishing! Thanks so much for writing in with the tip about the microfiber rags! ~Marilyn, TFF

  5. Barb
    June 12, 2012

    Thank you for this recipe. I just polished all my furniture. I used lavender essential oil instead of the lemon. When the vinegar smell dissipated I could smell the lavender. So great. Sure beats the strong smell of the polish I used to use, which I liked how it treated my furniture but the smell lingered so long I hesitated using it. I love this. Thank you.

    • TFF
      June 13, 2012

      I’m so glad! I want to try lavender oil next, also! It’s on my list….Marilyn

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  7. Carol
    January 12, 2012

    By the way, did you ever price out how much your formulation cost to make? Can you estimate how much you’d use on a cleaning cloth, and how many times you’d use that cloth before washing it/tossing it out?

    • TwoFrugalFairfielders
      January 12, 2012

      Good question! I actually did price it out in my first draft, but it got confusing because the items I used were purchased on sale a while ago.So for my particularbatch, it cost.12 cents for 1/8 cup of vinegar, .20 cents for 1/2 cup olive oil (cheap olive oil), .08 cents for a few drops of orange essential oil, and .06 cents for a few drops of lemon essential oil. A grand total of .49 cents for under a cup, but…it’ll last quite a while, it’s non-toxic,and it sure beats the look of any other polish out there. Hope that helps! ~TFF

  8. Carol
    January 12, 2012

    I use pure lemon oil, and reuse the oil soaked cotton flannel cloth many times before tossing it into the rag wash bin. A little goes a LONNNNNGGG way, it smells wonderful

    • TwoFrugalFairfielders
      January 12, 2012

      Great idea! I have to delegate a rag for the process! ~TFF

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