Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Homemade Polish For Metal and Wood

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!


  1. Great tip...I can't wait to try this! Kelly...I can't believe your arm hasn't fallen off! :)

  2. It really amazes me how much oil and vinegar are capable of. Now you'll have to excuse me because I have some polishing to do...

  3. You can tell I really need your blog! What kind of oil do you mix with the vinegar?

    Thanks in advance!


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