Frugal Guide to Making Shoe and Furniture Polish

furniture polished

Picture by 27707 – Pixabay

There are a lot of different kinds of shoe polish and furniture polish on the market. People pay a lot of money for both of these. They usually contain toxic ingredients and in the case of furniture polish, they sometimes are also scented, though an aroma doesn’t make a polish any more effective. Furniture polish, especially, tends to even need a warning on the label stating that the product is poisonous.



Many such polishes contain petroleum distillates, which is what is primarily responsible for them being poisonous. They may even contain warnings to avoid contact with the skin and often say that if you get some on your skin, you need to wash immediately with soap and water. A common warning is to discard clothing, if you get any on what you are wearing. This indicates that they aren’t safe to use. Add to this the warning that the product is flammable.

Shoe polish is made to put a shine on dress shoes. Furniture polish is designed to make furniture shiny and to pick up dust. This means that they are much alike in that they are meant to make things shine. They share another trait, though; both are needlessly expensive. In fact, if they are also unsafe, they could cause additional expenses in medical costs.

Now, suppose I was to tell you that you can make your own polishes for far less money? That sounds good, doesn’t it? What if I added that the polish is all natural and so safe that you could drink it?

Furniture and Shoe Polish

It might sound incredible that you could very quickly and easily make homemade furniture and shoe polish in a minute or two that shines, removes dust, is safe, has a good aroma, and is much less expensive than the polish that is sold in stores. However, it is all true. When you read how to do it, unless you are already doing this, you might think, “Why didn’t I think of that before?”

There are only two ingredients in this outstanding polish: Olive oil and lemon juice. Mix the two together at a ratio of two parts olive oil and one part lemon juice. Since the olive oil isn’t purposely going to be eaten, it can be low quality and doesn’t need to be virgin or extra virgin olive oil. This drops the expense.

Here is a price comparison, though it may vary a little, depending on your location and prices. A 16-oz bottle (1 pint) of Old English brand furniture polish costs about $8.50 in many stores. This is arguably one of the best man-made furniture polishes on the market, though it is not only toxic, it is flammable.

A pint of regular olive oil sells for $4.99 locally and is cheaper per ounce if it is purchased by the quart. Olive oil is also relatively expensive here, so a person could get it for less than our local prices. A cup of lemon juice costs less than a dollar locally. The olive oil and lemon juice is actually edible, non-flammable, non-poisonous, all-natural, has a good scent and you can even mix up how much you need, when you need it. How edible is it? The mixture tastes great on green salad!

The Old English and homemade polishes are comparable in how well they shine and remove dust. The do it yourself version is suitable for shoes, too. Simply apply the homemade version to the shoes, allow a few minutes for the oil to sink in, wipe off the excess and buff to a high shine.

Dark Furniture Scratch Cover

Using the homemade polish, it is also simple to convert it into a polish and scratch cover for dark furniture. Dark wood furniture sometimes gets nicks and scratches, so when this happens, apply a few drops of the homemade polish and add just enough instant coffee to make a paste. Smear this over the scratch, allow it to soak in for a few minutes, wipe off the excess, then polish the furniture as normal. This works as well as the more expensive and toxic scratch covers you can purchase and it is cheaper.

Other Uses

The homemade polish can also be used to polish other things, like the dashboard of your vehicle, tires, chrome, brass, bronze, bowling balls, wood paneling and many other things that you want to shine. You can use your imagination. It shouldn’t be used on glass, since it will leave an oily film, however it can even be used on the cabinet of a television, since it isn’t flammable. The fine film of oil that is left behind also protects what it is used on. If some accidentally gets on glass or on a TV screen, simply use a damp, soapy cloth to remove it (with the TV off, to avoid electrical shocks).

This is good for nearly anyone who has something to polish, but it is particularly good for people who have small children, because it removes one more toxic poison that a child can get into and consume. It is even safe around pets. Since it is so simple to simply stir lemon juice into olive oil, it is also incredibly simple and fast to mix some up when you need it.

One last point in favor of the frugal shoe and furniture polish. If you are trying to be environmentally friendly, this polish is for you. It breaks down easily and doesn’t leave behind any harmful residues.



Are you ready to replace the more expensive and dangerous polishes you have now?






  • Comments

      1. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove Post author

        I especially love the fact that they are safe to use. 🙂 It is pretty good when you can make a very efficient cleaning product that also happens to taste good on salad. LOL

      1. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove Post author

        It sure is. I actually learned about it one day when I needed to polish the piano and only then found out that someone had used the last of the Old English polish. I made my own and honestly couldn’t tell the difference, except that it had a much more pronounced lemon scent.

      1. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove Post author

        That is exactly right. It is possible to save money and help the environment at the same time.

    1. Profile photo of Andria Perry
      Andria Perry

      I can do this cheaper, how? Use a coupon for the olive oil and pay around $1 less, and buy a bag of lemons at aldi`s 🙂 Thanks for this info, I needed this recipe.

      I stumbled this article

      1. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove Post author

        LOL…Yes, a couponer could probably save even more. I usually don’t buy anything special, though. We nearly always have olive oil and lemon juice on hand, since we use quite a bit of both. If we could save money using coupons, that would be great, but since we have what we need on hand, I usually just make some up as I need it.

      1. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove Post author

        That’s great! It just occurred to me that I could also have mentioned in the article that I don’t especially like to dust and polish, but I do like how it looks once I finish. 🙂

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