Improve Your Shine With Furniture Polish
Furniture Polish is a term for a group of products designed to improve the appearance of wood furnishings. Historically, furniture polishes were just thin vesicles, usually greased, that were placed over wood and left overnight to be vacuumed out by the next day. Although these products made furniture looking great, they were difficult to apply and often left a heavy build-up over time due to the fact that they were quite harsh on the natural polish.
Furniture Polish can either be purchased as a dry powder or in liquid form. Both are very effective, but are readily available at most all types of retail stores and come in both spray and wipe forms. If you purchase Furniture Polish in liquid form, it is advised that you first apply a light coat to an area of your furniture, such as the legs of the chair you intend to clean with the cleaner. This will help to give the product a better chance of penetrating the wood and creating an even coating. Once you have applied the first coat, allow it to dry for several hours, then wipe off the excess with a soft cloth.
Furniture Polish is not to be confused with normal household cleaning products. Although some may use them interchangeably, they are intended for use on wood surfaces only, and should never be used on vinyl or plastic surfaces. This product was designed for the purpose of improving the appearance of furniture, rather than cleaning them. To help you properly clean your furniture, follow these guidelines:
Furniture Polish is best used on freshly stained or buffed wood surfaces, especially in cases where the finish has become faded from the sun. In these instances, the product is best reserved for cleaning small items, such as vases or figurines. When applying it, make sure to buff the surface using a light coat of wood polish, and not a thick or heavy one. A heavy coating can cause scratches, while a light coat will help to prevent streaking.
Furniture Polish consists of two major components – emulsions and solvent base. Emulsions are generally composed of turpentine or ammonia, which act as a lubricant between the furniture polish and the surrounding materials. Solvent base cleaners are generally either petrolatum or mineral spirits, which act as a solvent themselves. To add a more desirable finish, you should combine both emulsions and solvents, and/or both solvents and an aerosol can. This is especially important for areas that will be exposed to sunlight for a long period of time, such as a bedroom or office space.
Many people prefer the non-lammable, environmentally safe Furniture Polish, over other popular finishes. The biggest advantage of using Furniture Polish is that it requires little cleaning after application. You simply spray it on, allow it time to sink into the surface, buff it, then wipe it off. Unlike other types of finishes, Furniture Polish dries relatively quickly, within just a few hours. Therefore, there is no need to repaint furniture often when using Furniture Polish, as it only needs to be buffed once, and then it will provide decades of use, with virtually no maintenance. The solvents used in Furniture Polish are environmentally safe, with none of the chemicals typically found in other types of finishes.
However, some people do prefer the more traditional, more toxic, finishes; especially if they have children. For these people, there are a variety of options. One option that you may wish to consider is a non-chlorinated, all-natural alternative to Furniture Polish, such as lemon oil furniture polish or olive oil furniture polish. Lemon oil is naturally occurring and safe, and provides a long-lasting shine that is very similar to Furniture Polish, while being much safer to apply.
Apart from the environmental impact, there is also the price. Lemon oil and olive oil are generally cheaper than the more toxic type of furniture polishes available. However, many people who are concerned about the health risks associated with chemical cleaners choose only to use these types of products on their own. They may be able to achieve an even higher degree of shine by keeping a sponge nearby to clean any spills that occur.