When wood is unprotected and exposed to water it has the tendency to stain, warp, and rot. For those of us trying to maintain a valued piece of furniture or beautiful flooring, this can be a real concern.
The problem with buying products that protect wood is that they often give off harmful fumes that are damaging to our health. This is true for furniture polishes, sealants and wood stains. Luckily, there are very simple safe and natural method for getting these things done.
Wood Polishes and Sealants: Despite what they promise, petroleum-based wood polishes do not live up to their claims for protect wood finishes, rather, they are generally highly toxic chemicals that cause respiratory and nervous systems damage. Similar to our chemical paints, they simply aren't safe for us to be breathing, and the fumes are linked to cancer and asthma issues that tend to linger for lengthy periods of time. But, there are natural alternatives available that may surprise you, and you may already have them in your kitchen.
Olive Oil and Lemon: Mix three parts olive oil to two parts lemon juice. This can be put into a spray bottle and applied to the wood, or use an old rag and dip in the mixture. Once applied wait for 10 minutes than remove the excess solution. You can safely store this non-toxic solution in a glass jar or a spray bottle. That’s it. There’s still that lovely lemony scent in the air, the wood is being looked after, and we aren’t killing ourselves to get it done.
Coconut Oil: Rub in some coconut oil and melted cocoa butter, then with a rag rub off the excess that didn't soak in. This will moisturize, revitalized, and protect the wood.
Oil and Vinegar: Who are we kidding here? Believe it or not, a bit of canola oil (3 parts) and vinegar (1 part) makes a dandy wood sealant, protecting wood from borrowing insects, wear and water. Plus, this can be reapplied to revitalize the wood, something that works without sanding off varnish. I prefer to use a heavy oil thick oil like olive oil rather than canola.
Linseed Oil: This is a natural substance, linseed oil is from the flax plant. And while raw linseed oil is actually taken as a medicinal food, when “boiled” linseed is used as a natural ingredient for sealants. You can purchase raw linseed oil and boil it at home yourself, this will assure that it remains all natural and chemical free.