Whenever I take down my Christmas decorations, it is mandatory that I clean and polish everything in sight. I can't rest until it's done - and it must by done before New Year's Day!
As I'm trying to be careful about chemicals in my home and also trying to save money, I wanted to use a cleaner/polish that would meet those two qualifications. I remembered a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Marian of Miss Mustard Seed . She posted a recipe for a wood cleaner/polisher that she uses for her found treasures. It only uses two ingredients, which I already had on hand - oil and vinegar.
I shook the oil and vinegar (I changed her recipe a little and used 1/2 and 1/2) up in a jar and dipped my rag in it and carefully squeezed out the excess. Then I rubbed the cloth over the surface of my furniture and buffed it with a clean cotton rag. It was hard to capture on camera, but if you look closely you can see where I polished on the left and where I didn't polish on the right.
Again, polish on the left - no polish on the right. The wood on the left looks much richer.
Well, I couldn't stop. After I polished all of the wood furniture, I also polished the wood doors, my kitchen cabinets, and my wood baseboards. Then, on a whim, I took a swipe at some metal. Here is the old weather vane that tops our fireplace tool caddy. I've had it for 25 years or so. I found it in my Aunt's basement in Fredericksburg, VA.
After I wiped it with the polish, it seemed to have much more character.
For a side by side comparison, I polished one castiron bookend (on the right) and left the other alone. See the difference? It's really much better in person.
I polished every metal item I could find: barn stars, kitchen sink, cast iron tub, metal figurines, and all of my lanterns.
I didn't stop there though, I went on to polish candle sticks and even the candles (you know how those large candles get finger prints on them), ceiling fans, and window sills. I think I'd still be polishing if my arm didn't fall off - just joking (kind of).
Remember how I showed you how I mix up vinegar and water into my Sparkle Cleaner? Well, I've decided to keep this in a jar labeled Marian Mix. I hope Marian doesn't mind having a cleaner named after her!