Making Your Own Cheaper Furniture Polish

A recent article about dust storms and sandstorms brought up an excellent point. Cleanup after even a mild dust storm, and in fact during times when the home simply gets dusty, usually includes dusting and wiping down furniture with furniture polish. Furniture polish can be quite expensive. However, you can make and use a much cheaper version that works just as well.

In actuality, you aren’t really making the alternative furniture polish. It is really a matter of using something that already exists and that is less expensive, but that works as well as the name-brand furniture polish that is sold in bottles in stores. It leaves the furniture shiny and beautiful. Even better, the alternative is totally non-toxic and is environmentally friendly.

What is the miracle furniture polish? The alternative furniture polish is simply olive oil. Before anyone points out that olive oil tends to be expensive, let me mention that it can be the cheapest regular olive oil you can buy. It definitely doesn’t need to be virgin or extra virgin olive oil; the kind a person would cook with.

Regular olive oil is the poorest grade of olive oil and the price usually reflects this. This kind of olive oil isn’t greatly more expensive than vegetable oil. Locally, I can buy a quart of regular olive oil for about $3.50. The cheapest furniture polish in a bottle costs a little over $4.00 for a cup and a half. By using the regular olive oil, I’m saving easily over 50% and still getting the same results.

Olive oil has very little scent and it is very light amber in color. If a scent is desired, simply add about 10 drops of your favorite essential oil to each cup of regular olive oil and mix it in well. Be sure to use essential oil, though, and not extract. Essential oils mix easily into the olive oil.

If all of your wooden furniture is dark in color, you can mix freeze-dried coffee into the olive oil to make the oil darker. This also works well as a scratch cover.

If you normally use furniture polish that comes in a spray can, which is even more expensive than the liquid kind for the amount of polish you get, simply put the polish in a spray bottle and use it in the same way that you’d use the polish in the spray can. 

This furniture polish alternative is cheaper than name-brands, it works as well, and it is just as easy to use. In fact, almost the only difference is the price you’ll pay. Most people dislike the chore of dusting, as it is. Why not save money when you have to dust? Since it can be made to smell the way you want it to, you are in total control of the task of dusting.


What do you think?

Written by Rex Trulove


    • That probably works quite well. I usually use regular olive oil. Sometimes we have a good buy, locally, and for cooking, I only use extra virgin olive oil, so I’ll sometimes get the regular olive oil specifically for polishing furniture and shoes. A small amount goes a long way.

      • thanks for giving me idea on mixing some coffee, this will be best for antique tables made of dark hardwood and the aroma of coffee would give a nice smell.

        • It works well on my piano, which is deep mahogany. Using the coffee is also far less expensive than commercial scratch cover polish. The last time I bought the commercial stuff, it cost close to $6 for a small bottle.

  1. This is timely for me since I have never had wood furniture before but lately inherited some rather nice pieces. I haven’t put anything on them yet, but just read an article comparing using olive oil and coconut oil which concluded they work pretty much the same. I have a lemon tree, so maybe I will add some lemon to the oil as well when I try this.

    • Lemon juice will work, as long as it is dilute enough that it doesn’t bleach the finish, but it is a little difficult to keep it in suspension in the oil, so you’d need to mix it or shake it up every time you use it.

        • You could probably gently heat some olive oil with fresh grated lemon peel in it, then just strain it before use. It would be much the same as using lemon essential oil and would have a citrus smell.

          • Good idea! Lemon with the olive oil, and maybe some orange peel in the coconut oil. I would like a grapefruit tree, but at least a good friend has a magnificent one and I have oranges and lemons.