I hunted and searched through my brain for a funny and/or inspiring wood story to accompany this post. Perhaps something about trees and how they symbolize the seasons we all go through as human beings? Maybe something about the Virgin-Mary-shaped stain I left in our old wood coffee table from fingernail polish remover?
Maybe no. Nothing was good enough or funny enough, because instead, my mushy brain decided to get the theme song from the Woody Woodpecker Show stuck on repeat. (ha ha hahaha!)
The good news is, this wood polish recipe will do the exact opposite to your wooden goodies that Woody Woodpecker would. The bad news is, now you have that song stuck in your head, too. Sorry. Stupid head songs are the price I demand for my stunning expertise.
So I’ll just shut up now and show you the fancy picture (how do you like the new “frame” program I worked with today?) of exactly what we’re about to make:
I don’t really own a lot of beautiful wood things, but a few weeks ago I did buy these adorable wooden bowls at a thrift shop for a whopping $1.50 (for the entire set, people, sheesh).
The only caveat was that they were in pretty rough shape – the kind of shape wood tends to get in when it’s washed and dirtied and forgotten for years at a time. The perfect task for a homemade beeswax wood cleaner, wouldn’t you agree?
Here’s what they looked like before I took the wood polish to them:
I can’t wait for you to see the final before and after picture. The last thing I expected was that all the white scuff marks would disappear, but they did! Oh yes. Gone. Poof. Like Wile E. Coyote from a high desert cliff.
This Wood Polish is Economical AND Effective
If, for some reason, you’ve been skittish about working with beeswax thus far, this is the best starter recipe to get your feet wet with. It’s so simple to make, and it dirties nothing but a spoon (if you make it the way I did).
Best of all, it only uses TWO ingredients (unless you want to toss in some essential oil): Beeswax and olive oil. If you don’t have beeswax, you can always buy it at Mountain Rose Herbs or your local natural food store (or a local beekeeper!).
I did some rough estimating, and the homemade wood polish in the quantity I made cost right around $0.45 or less for about 1/2 c. of wood polish. This will last me months, though if you have a lot of wood to polish, you might have to replenish your supply more often (or double the recipe).
This wood polish is great for any type of wood, AND you can even use it to condition and clean up your cutting boards, if you so desire. It doesn’t just bring your wood back to shiny, rich life, it also protects and cuts down on cleaning time for a while after you use it.
Here’s another awesome thing about the beeswax wood polish: It doubles as a quick dry skin balm. (This is if you don’t include any essential oils in your recipe.) If you ever run out of your hand or elbow moisturizer, just reach for the wood polish.
Betcha Pledge can’t say the same thing, now can they? So there!
Easy-Peasy Homemade Wood Polish Recipe
Even though there are a lot of pictures in this post, you should be aware – yet again – that this is ridiculously easy to make. Don’t feel overwhelmed. I was just having fun with the camera today. Wood is photogenic.
Here’s what you need:
- 2 Tbsp finely grated beeswax or beeswax beads
- 6-8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (6 if you want a firmer polish, 8 if you want your polish to be a little squishier)
- A small glass container
- A pot with about 2 inches of water in it
- A spoon
First, you want to heat up your water to steaming (not boiling). Once the water is pretty warm, put your beeswax in the glass container and then set the glass container gently into the warm-hot water, making sure the water does NOT sink into the beeswax or overflow in any way, shape or form.
By the way, doing it this way really helps avoid any beeswax mess and cuts down on cleaning time immensely (to almost zero minutes). Otherwise, you could always just use a real double boiler to melt everything, and then you’ll have to clean your double boiler after you pour it in your container.
Next, melt the beeswax completely.
No lumps or bumps.
Just melted beeswax.
Once the beeswax is melted, pour in the 6-8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and stir very, very well. You can remove the container from the hot water before you add the olive oil, but you might have to reheat it anyway, because the room-temperature olive oil might make the beeswax set up immediately, leaving you with big clumps floating in your oil.
You’re done. Leave it alone.
Oh, unless you want to add 10-15 drops of a lemon, tea tree, or woody – like pine or cedarwood – essential oil. Do that now and stir well.
And then leave it alone. To set up. To get firm. To be ready for your nimble, adept hands and a rag. Because once your beeswax furniture polish is ready, you won’t be able to put it down until all the wooden things in your home gleam like a baby’s bottom.
Yes. That’s right. I said babies’ bottoms gleam.
They do, right? I haven’t seen one in ages. I’m probably thinking about clean car windshields. They’re easy to confuse.
How to Use Your Wood Polish
First, whatever wood things you want to clean, make sure they’re lightly dusted and free of any major gunk and stains. You don’t want to trap any of that in there.
Next, you just dip your fingers or a very clean rag into the polish and scoop out a little bit.
Massage it into the wood, being careful not to miss any spots. Though you WILL be able to tell if you miss a spot – the difference is that pronounced.
You can either wipe it off immediately, if you’re in a giant rush, or – even better – after you’ve coated the wood with your wood polish, leave it alone for 20 minutes to an hour and then come back and wipe it all down again with a clean, dry rag.
Think of it as the difference between conditioning your hair and using a hot oil treatment. The longer you leave it, the more goodness soaks in.
And that’s it! You’re done, until the next time.
Without further ado, here is the before and after picture of one of the bowls I wiped down. And I didn’t even WAIT 20 minutes to an hour to wipe it off; imagine how perfect it would be if I had.
I wish I owned more wood now.
You guys have to try this out, if you haven’t already. It’s a little addictive.
The more I think about it, the more it seems that being crunchy and making my own homemade cleaners has turned cleaning into an adventure now instead of a chore. If I could, I’d clean the whole world.
Today, though, I’ll just settle for some bowls.
Do you have any wood cleaning tips, or a favorite wood polish recipe you’ve used before? Think you’ll try this one?
P.S. Feel free to yell at me if you really DO have the Woody Woodpecker song stuck in your head now. I deserve it.