Photo credit: Target
In this edition of our green cleaning series, I’m going to help you navigate the world of wood furniture cleaning. After dust bunnies on my hardwood floors, other wood surfaces are the quickest areas to accumulate noticeable dirt and dust. A lot of this, I’m sure, can be blamed on my shedding dog that struts around all day. And while new furniture materials are growing more popular, in most homes, wood surfaces still account for a reasonable amount of surface space that must be cleaned.
Skin irritation is a common reaction one has to toxin-laden wood cleaner and/or polisher. Even those not concerned with the environmental effect have likely noticed the reaction skin has to common household cleaners. According to the Organic Consumers Association
, these cleaners are flammable and dangerous to ingest, many of them contain nerve-damaging petroleum. What’s worse, when used in aerosol form, they have an easy route for being inhaled into the lung tissue. It’s my pleasure to provide you with simple tools for making your own safe wood cleaner as well as a recommendation for a green option to purchase.
Homemade Household Cleaner Concoction:
Each person has a certain type of “clean” they like to attain for their homewares, so I invite you to play around with these two distinct recipes to find your favorite. Fortunately, they are both very easy, mostly contain ingredients you likely have at home already and will end up saving you more than the name brand cleaners at the stores. For both recipes, just add all ingredients together, apply to your rag and spread on your surfaces.
½ cup distilled water
⅓ cup coconut or grapeseed oil
2 dozen drops of lemon essential oil
½ c. white vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil
If you have a few scratches in your wood furniture, try these tricks to avoid costly repairs or replacements. Rub equal parts lemon juice and vegetable oil OR just the meaty part of a walnut in the direction of the scratch until it disappears. You can also use tea or coffee grounds to darken the scratch to match it to the color of the wood’s stain.
There are a lot of green products available for cleaning wood furniture. The Environmental Working Group
does a great job of categorizing the risks associated with most cleaning supplies, with green claims or without. Their top choice is Method Wood for Good Daily Clean
. This product works well, has a third-party certification and is readily available for the general public.