Wood furniture is beautiful, and it is important to give our most prized pieces some tender, loving care. That means preventing spills on them and polishing regularly. Most store-bought furniture polishes, however, are full of chemicals that can be unsafe and not environmentally friendly. But there are natural ingredients that can be used to make safer and less expensive furniture polish. Here are five recipes:

#1: 10 drops of lemon oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and a small amount of olive oil. This mixture is great for everyday dusting. The key is to get the right kind of lemon oil. Many brands contain petroleum distillates, which are not environmentally friendly. You can find pure lemon oil at an herb store or online.

#2: 1/4 cup of vinegar and a few drops of jojoba (if you can’t find jojoba, olive oil is an acceptable substitute). The type of vinegar you should use depends on the type of wood you are polishing. Apple cider vinegar is slightly more effective, but it could stain lighter woods. If you are concerned about staining, use white vinegar instead.

#3: 2 1/2 ounces of olive oil, 1 1/2 ounces of coconut oil, 1 ounce of beeswax, 1 ounce of carnauba wax, and 4 ounces of distilled water. Put oils and waxes in a double boiler and melt them, then pour in the water and mix thoroughly. Rub the mixture into your furniture and work in with a soft cloth.

#4: Juice of one lemon, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of water. Put a thin coat on furniture, let sit for a few minutes, and buff with a soft cloth.

#5: 1/8 cup of linseed oil, 1/8 cup of vinegar, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Linseed oil has a pleasant fragrance and polishes well. But it is important to get the food-grade kind, as the type found in hardware stores contains ingredients that may dry your furniture out.

When mixing your own cleaners, it’s important to consider the shelf life of the ingredients. Most oils and lemon juice can turn rancid, but some will last longer than others. Vinegar has an unlimited shelf life, and it is a preservative, so cleaners containing it will last much longer.

Making your own furniture polish allows you to be in control of its ingredients. That means you don’t have to worry about having an allergic reaction or exposing yourself and your family to substances that may be harmful to your health. It also means that you can be more considerate of the environment than using store-bought polishes will allow. Natural furniture polish provides an inexpensive and effective way to care for your furniture and protect your family and the environment at the same time.