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Restore Wood Furniture with Olive Oil and Vinegar

If your kitchen shelves look anything like ours, there is plenty of olive oil sitting around. It’s wonderful to cook with, drizzle on our salads and vegetables, and condition your hair with. The question is…are you also using it to clean, polish, and restore your wood furniture?

If you aren’t using it for that, you should really try it. Here’s how it works:

You mix together half a cup of olive oil and half a cup of white vinegar. You can leave it in a bowl and just dip a soft cloth into it, or you can put it in a spray bottle and shake it up. Either way, once you have a damp cloth, you wipe down your furniture with the mixture, let it sit for a few minutes, then come back around with a soft dry cloth to wipe off any extra. You’ll leave behind clean, beautifully gleaming wood.

The Oil

Olive oil, as you already know, is a great conditioner. When you apply it to wood, it soaks in, swelling the wood fibers and deepening their color.

You may be wondering if the oil will go rancid as it sits and oxidizes. May people have used this oil and vinegar solution on their wood furniture for years and report no yucky smell of old oil coming from it. Since the smell of rancid olive oil has been likened to “crayons” and “cardboard,” maybe it does go rancid and the smell just isn’t very noticeable. No matter…years of use don’t lie. The smell of rancid oil is not a problem with this mixture.

The Vinegar

Vinegar is one of those incredible all-around house cleaners that seems to be able to do anything. In the case of cleaning wood, the acetic acid in it cleans quickly and without any heavy scrubbing, leaving your wood safe and its surface clean.

What about the smell of vinegar? It doesn’t linger more than a few hours. Vinegar gets used on everything from women’s hair to operating room surfaces to wood floors. Typically, by the time the vinegar dries, the smell is faded.

If you’re nervous of the smell though, alter the mixing ratio to ¾ oil to ¼ vinegar, then add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (orange, peppermint, lemon, basil, etc.). As long as your wood doesn’t need serious cleaning, it should still work fine and the smell will be less intense while it does last.

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