Friday, February 18, 2011

Chemical Free Spring Cleaning- Furniture Polish

It's nearing that time again! Temps in the 60's yesterday with the sun shining brightly made it feel just like springtime. I know we are still a little ways off here, but I like to get a jump start on just about everything. So, yesterday I made some furniture polish and set about cleaning a few of the dusty nooks in our house. My homemade polish is easy to make and works best on darker stained wood finishes. Why would I bother to make my own furniture polish when it is cheap and easy to get?

I have a beautiful, crawling, 11 month old baby at home. She is teething and puts her mouth on everything. I don't want her swallowing commercial furniture polish. Isn't that a good enough reason? :)

So, here is how to make it. I use black sesame seed oil and regular coffee grounds.

Weird huh?
I put a couple of tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan with a tablespoon of coffee grounds. Sorry, this is not an exact science.
 Get the oil hot, take it off of the burner, and allow it to cool a bit.
 I strain it through a fine metal sieve lined with a paper towel or coffee filter. When the oil has mostly run through, gather the top edge of the filter and squeeze the rest of the oil through (like you might squeeze a tea bag).
You will have a rich brown oil, as some of the color from the coffee will have leached into the oil. 
 So, here is how it works. I use a paper towel and dip it in the oil. I just buff the scratches with a good bit of oil, wiping off excess. When the piece of furniture is not scratched or nicked, you can use a lot less.

I didn't mess with these photos at all, they were taken with my iPhone. The polish works well on dark wood. And of course, because I was doing something, the little bunny was there in a heartbeat with her hands in it. No matter though, it won't hurt her a bit!

Here is my disclaimer: The polish smells strongly at coffee and sesame seed oil. If you don't like the smell, you could try another oil, or use lemon fresh Pledge. Please try this in an inconspicuous place on your furniture first. It works for me, but I don't want to be responsible for the ruin of your Great Grand Aunt Myrtle's dining table. Also, it is oil, so if you apply it to a chair or something you might brush against, make sure you polish it off well so it doesn't stain your favorite skirt. And finally (wheew! Thank goodness for the legal team here at Farmhouse Garden!) I don't know if sesame seed oil is a common allergen, but do find out if anyone in your house is allergic before you let your child gum it off of the coffee table. 

Hope you like it! I have other non chemical cleaning tricks up my sleeve- so there is more to come. 


  1. What a fabulous idea. I had no clue about this or how effective it is. Really impressed and looking forward to more like this! Any tips on lighter woods?

  2. great idea!

    I love these kinds of things.. I just made my own dryer balls (to use instead of dryer sheets) with wool, as well as some washable swiffer clothes made of fleece! I'm going to definitly give this a try :)

  3. Thanks guys! Glad I am not the only one who is in to crazy cleaning concoctions.

    Portia, I don't know about light colored wood stains. I just kinda fooled with some ideas I had for the dark wood, and it worked out. I would consider using something that has that hue to mix with a clear oil. I was thinking maybe a very small amount of turmeric (?) Maybe I'll try this out and let you know how it works.

    Sarah Elaine, how did you make the dryer balls?

    Hi Blackberry and thanks!

  4. Turmeric! Genius. Would it work to stew tea bags for different lengths of time to get different depth of colour??

  5. Did you choose sesame oil because of the color? I woodier if the coffee would color another type of oil.

  6. Sew Country Chic, I did choose the black sesame for its color. I need to experiment more to see how other variations work out.
    Portia, I think tea is a very good idea also! And it might smell better depending on the kind.
    Well, I still have plenty of dusting to do so....


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