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Dust … it’s everywhere and seems to multiply. It has a way of accumulating on furniture, books, and in little hidden places. Dusting furniture is one of those time-consuming chores I can’t stand, so I decided long ago to use natural homemade cleaners like this wood furniture cleaner and polish in place of chemical-laden conventional ones (so I could let the kids
do it for me help).
I do buy my cleaners more than I used to, but old habits die hard and since I have the ingredients on hand already (and it’s so much cheaper than buying it) I still make this wood dusting spray recipe on a regular basis. Not to mention it’s so much cheaper!
Kids: Can’t Live with ‘Em, Can’t Live without ‘Em
While it’s super useful having an army of kids helping around the house, they of course also leave their own special touches to make sure I know they’re around! As anyone with littles knows, the fingerprints and smudges on the table and furniture are never-ending.
This dusting spray can not only make a house healthier by tackling the ever-present dust, (which is laden with toxins and mold and things we don’t want to breathe) but because it contains vinegar and oil (just like a salad?) it also cuts through grime and leaves wood furniture with some extra shine and protection.
What Is Dust, Anyway?
Dust isn’t just unsightly, it’s downright unhealthy. It is true that dust contains mostly shed human skin, but it’s much more complex and surprising than that (and not in a good way!). It can include everything from decomposing insects and animal fur to more troubling components like lead, arsenic, and even DDT.
Studies show chronic exposure to dust may lead to a hyper-stimulated immune system and the development of allergies, asthma, and accumulation of toxins, especially in children genetically predisposed to problems in these areas.
How do things like arsenic and DDT get into dust? Dust is like a living history of the house, and there are many materials used in building homes (especially today) and around our homes (think cars, golf courses, and factories) that contribute to household dust. Studies have demonstrated how traces of a specific chemical can linger for years in indoor environments.
Are you feeling the urge to get up and dust yet? I am!
What About Microfiber Cloths?
Yes, I am a big fan of microfiber still and I use just microfiber and water around the house for all kinds of jobs. Microfiber cloths work amazingly well but I do find using a dusting spray seems to repel dust longer and offer more shine. The little kids also love few things more than a spray bottle and a rag, and I am more than happy to let them spray/dust away their own fingerprints and food crumbs to their heart’s content!
So, fear not, my cleaning cloths are safe and still in use. These are the ones I’m using now.
How to Make a Natural Furniture Dusting Spray
In searching for a spray that would not only clean the surfaces of my furniture but also sanitize and nourish wood, I needed just a few household ingredients:
Vinegar is one of those ubiquitous natural cleaners that can be used for everything from hair care to laundry. Even though vinegar is not my first choice of cleaners because of its smell, in this recipe it is the best choice. Vinegar easily cuts through the grime and dirt on any surface without needing to scrub and has disinfecting properties that gently deep clean without damaging the finish.
I did find a sneaky way around the smell with a leftover ingredient I always have on hand — orange peels!
How to Make Infused Vinegar: Place the peel of one orange in a glass jar and cover with vinegar. Let this stand for at least two weeks. The vinegar will develop a nice orange hue and smell much less like vinegar and more like the potent citrus cleaner it is. If you aren’t a fan of oranges, any citrus will work–grapefruits, lemons, tangerines, or even those sweet, little Cuties©!
What goes with vinegar? Well, oil of course! I chose to use lemon and cedarwood essential oils because of their cleaning properties and their smell. Cedarwood has a calming effect for me (remember, I don’t like to dust!), but more importantly has strong antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial capabilities so it is a great addition to any cleaner.
Oil adds a shine to the wood while protecting and nourishing it. My go-to oils for this are sunflower oil or fractionated coconut oil. Really any oil you choose will work … just remember, if you wouldn’t cook with it don’t use it on your furniture!
DIY Wood Dusting Spray Recipe
A simple, natural dusting spray suitable for cleaning and nourishing wood.
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup vinegar (orange-infused for extra cleaning power and scent!)
- 2 TBSP oil (sunflower, grapeseed, fractionated coconut, or olive are my top choices)
- 12-15 drops lemon essential oil
- 5 drops cedarwood essential oil
- Pour water and vinegar into spray bottle.
- Add oil and essential oils.
- Cover bottle and shake well.
How to Use
Simply lightly mist the furniture or a soft cloth and wipe down the entire piece. The dust and grime will disappear and a beautiful shine will be left behind. For even more shine, try following up with cleaner with a bit of straight coconut oil.
Note: Because this recipe contains oil, I don’t use this spray on stainless steel, granite, glass, or walls. I keep it by the dining room table and the kids know to use it on the wood furniture for dusting chores.
How to Store and Cautions
Essential oils are potent. An amber glass bottle is recommended to keep the essential oils from damaging the bottle. Shake before each use! Not recommended for unfinished wood or fine antiques.
Other Favorite DIY Cleaners
- Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner – Are you a cleaning minimalist? Try this spray that does it all. Four ingredients and thirty seconds to mix it up is all it takes!
- Natural Granite Cleaner – Includes an ingredient that might seem unusual for a streak-free shine on counters.
- Glass Cleaner – No need for that bright blue, highly scented stuff … vinegar + water cuts through dirt and leaves glass streak free.
- Bathroom Cleaner – For heavy-duty cleaning (with a little germ-fighting help from the right essential oils).
- Toilet Cleaner – Use undiluted white vinegar, pour around the top of the toilet bowl, scrub until clean.
How do you keep your wood looking great?
Discussion (21 Comments)
Wood furniture usually is already coated with a polyurethane or varnish. I’m wondering why it would be beneficial to put oil in this since it shouldn’t be able to penetrate finished wood pieces. Seems like it would be more of a dust attractant?
Will this work on top grain leather furniture?
Katie - Wellness Mama
It’s designed for wood, not leather, but I would be cautious of trying it…
Katie, in earlier posts you mentioned using canola oil for cleaning so as not to waste it, now you’re saying that if you don’t cook with it, don’t use it on your furniture… what’s the scoop?
Katie - Wellness Mama
That was more tongue and cheek. In reality, canola won’t hurt furniture, but I don’t have it in my house at all anymore so I don’t even use it in recipes like this.
I have found that using vinegar & a little water changes the color of wood. I had a aide that made a mistake and put some on a older furniture piece, it went through the shiny finish and turned it a orange color. She had used the rag for cleaning my class tables. Do you have another formula without vinegar and water?
Will this work on 100% wood furniture?We only have 100% oak antique ones,and I know that even a drop of water can damage them.
Which version of cedarwood essential oil do you use/recommend? I see there is a variety out there! They all appear to be kid safe, but not safe if pregnant.
Would this be as effective without the essential oils added?
Can this be used on other surfaces too, such as granite and stainless?
Is there such a thing as amber glass spray bottles so I don’t have to keep leftover solution in my plastic spray bottle? Or is it ok to keep it in plastic?
I like these.
Katie I can’t wait to make this! What do you mean by “orange infused vinegar”?
Fill a mason jar with vinegar and put an orange peel in it. Let it sit for at least 24 hours 🙂