The journey of a Christian wife, stay-at-home mom, quasi-tree-hugger, and cheapskate to find ways to "CHanGE" her life to be Cheaper, Healthier, Greener, and Easier. Constructive feedback always welcome!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cheaper, Greener: Homemade Furniture Polish

The need arose for me today to polish our kitchen table. I've been a Pledge user for years, but I started wondering what exactly was in it. So I stopped by the website for SC Johnson, who makes Pledge. Here are the ingredients, taken directly from this website.

- Water
- Isoparaffin
- Dimethicone
- Polydimethylsiloxane
- Octylphosphonic Acid
- Nitrogen (propellant)
- Polysorbate 80
- Sorbitan Oleate
- Aminomethyl Propanol
- Fragrance from SC Johnson Fragrance Palette
- Proprietary Thickening Agent
- Methylisothiazolinone

Besides water, can you tell just by looking what any of those ingredients do? Nope, I can't either. The website does explain what each ingredient does, but really? Isn't there something simpler I can use to polish my wood furniture? I made a vow after I ran out of my current can of Pledge that I would research cheaper homemade solutions with ingredients that I recognize.

Here is a recipe that I found from DIY Life that worked well.

- Juice of 1 lemon or 4 tbsp of bottled lemon juice
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp olive oil (the website says 2, but 1 is fine)

That's it. Simple, huh? The website says to put into a spray bottle and shake well, but I just mixed it in a bowl and dunked a microfiber cloth into it, then used the wet cloth to polish. It worked beautifully. My table and chairs are nice and shiny instead of the dusty mess caused by home renovations. It doesn't go terribly far, but it was enough for a table and 5 chairs, polishing the entire chair (not just the seat). And you don't want to make a huge batch of it for future storage as the olive oil will go bad. Just make as much as you need for the next couple of days.

Cheaper? I would think so. If you can get the olive oil for BOGO, then I would say yes. You're just using a tablespoon. And a bottle of lemon juice lasts me forever. Unless you're just an amazing coupon whiz and can get Pledge dirt cheap, this would be less expensive.

Greener? Definitely. This doesn't leave much of a smell, and if it does, it's just juiced lemons, not an unknown chemical. There's also no can to toss; you can keep refilling a spray bottle or bowl. Olive oil and lemon-juice bottles can be recycled, and lemons have all sorts of uses creating zero waste; I'm not sure about Pledge cans.

Easier? In most cases, yes. These are ingredients that most people have on hand, so there's no special trip to the store if you need to polish your furniture that urgently and are out of store-bought polish. But you do have to take the time (a whole 5 minutes) to create the solution.

I'd say give it a try!