House Cleaning: Traditional Bee Wax Furniture Polish And Modern Replacements

Bee wax was the first protectant used for fine wood furniture. Some examples of alternatives.

Bee wax furniture polish has been a long - time favorite for protecting fine, finished wood. It has always been a readily - available substance from nature. It gives wood a soft, satiny shine, and bee wax also protects it from some water damage. Before the manufacturing and distribution of lacquers and varnishes, bee wax was even used as a finish on bare wood.

Bee wax is produced by honey bees, hence its name. They produce the wax from glands on the undersides of their bodies. The honey bees use the wax particles to make the cells of their honey comb. Bee wax can often be found in waxes, polishes, and even in beauty cosmetics.

Bee wax itself is a soft substance that melts under heat easily. It never dries to become a hardened finish. Therefore, it does not provide furniture adequate protection from heat, steam, or chemical spills. Sometime over the years, though, bee wax was mixed with other harder waxes, such as carbuna, to form a more modern, durable furniture polish. This addition significantly increased its ability to protect wood. This type of modern waxes is often preferred by the caretakers of fine wood furniture.



A modern replacement that is similar to using bee wax is paste wax. This type of polish is a semi - solid compound that is often sold in metal tins. A good - quality paste wax will not only add a brilliant shine to furniture, but it can also enhance the beauty of the wood by filling in light scratches, scuffs, and mars. To properly use a paste wax on furniture, you should start with a clean wood surface. Remove any dirt or spills with a soft, clean, cloth that is moistened with tap water.

Be sure that you follow the manufacturer's directions on the can in order to achieve the best results. Basically, though, you start with a soft, clean cloth. Place two fingers in the middle of the cloth and dip it into the paste wax. Apply the wax onto the surface of the furniture and rub it around in small circular motions. After you have covered the entire area, wait a few minutes for the wax to dry to a dull haze. Then, use a soft, clean cloth to rub off the dried wax. Finally, you will need to use a soft cloth and some elbow grease to buff the wood to a smooth shine. Applying paste wax is much harder than using other types of polishes, but the upside is that you only need to apply it about once a year. In between times, the wood surfaces of the furniture can be simply dusted off.

There are many other types of furniture polishes on the market today that have replaced the use of bee wax. The most commonly - used product is probably the convenient lemon - scented type in an aerosol can. This polish consists of either mineral oil or lemon oil and a scent. To use this type of furniture polish, you simply spray it on the wood and then wipe it off with a soft, clean cloth. There are also liquid and semi - solid types of polishes as well.

The oil base in furniture polish not only adds a shine to the wood, but it also helps to condition the wood and protect it from water and other liquids. What the oil cannot do, however, is to actually clean the surface, and that is one reason why many people choose to mix up their on furniture polish. You can mix up a solution of three cups of olive oil and one cup of vinegar and use this to clean, as well as polish, your furniture. Or, you can mix lemon juice instead of the vinegar with the olive oil to create an economical, but effective cleaner/polish. To use this type of liquid polish, you should sprinkle some of the solution onto a soft, clean cloth. Wipe this all over the wood surface. Then, wipe the furniture with another soft, clean cloth.

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