When my husband and I first got married we discovered this magic stuff for wood. Different than the waxy Pledge we both grew up using, this stuff was a little bit oily but not too much. And it smelled like orange. It might have even been called orange oil cleaner – I don’t remember now.
Anyway, we both fell in love with this new cleaner for our wood surfaces – and boy did we have a lot of wood in that first house! Gorgeous old oak baseboards that were thick and windowsills that meant business!
But as life will happen, we moved on to new houses and less wood surfaces, and I’d kinda forgotten about it. Until recently, when I looked around and noticed all the wood in my house piling up with dust. Oh — we run the cursory dust cloth over everything once or twice a week — but goodness there’s a lot of dust in this house! So I’m thinking a little bit of extra cleaning and conditioning on that wood might go a long way to keep the dust at bay.
Plus, now I’m reminiscing about that smell of the orange oil all throughout my house. Nice.
Time to figure out how to make a sweet orange cleaning solution without any yucky chemicals or a high price tag!
For basic cleaning of wood, coming up with a recipe I liked was pretty easy. I wanted it to clean, and yet I wanted it to smell orangy and NOT like vinegar. This is my recipe:
Homemade Orange Oil Cleaner for Wood Surfaces
1 Cup Water
4 TBSP Vinegar (both distilled and apple cider varieties work fine!)
10 Drops of Orange Essential Oil
Shake well, spray on and wipe off with a dusting cloth.
The orange essential oil has antiseptic properties to help remove the germies (like on our wood banister yuck!) and also makes the house smell pretty and fresh and cheerful.
To mix up the ingredients in the recipe, I got the water and vinegar into a cheap plastic spray bottle using a funnel. Then I dropped in bits of the orange oil into the bottle until I got the smell I wanted. Gave it all a good shake and we were ready to go! I’ve heard that essential oils can degrade the plastic over time, but the good news is – this makes up just enough you can use it all up in one cleaning spree or save for a few days. In a glass bottle it can be stored longer.
Now – if you really like the smell of LEMON in your wood cleaner, you can substitute Lemon Essential Oil instead, which is similar in antiseptic use and possible mood lifting effects.
You can also use this orange oil cleaner on any hard surface — I like to spray it on my linoleum right before I steam mop to help get extra dirt and germ lifting power! (And the smell again.)
I’ve used my orange oil cleaner on my stair rail, hardwood stair treads, wood furniture, and linoleum floor so far. What surprised me most was the crazy amount of dirt on the stair rail! It didn’t look very dirty, just felt a little sticky – but wow! It definitely needed that wipe down.
I got down on my hands and knees with a spray bottle and cleaning cloth for the floor, but you could definitely apply the cleaner with a mop if you prefer. Just spray, then mop! Judging by the sheer amount of dirt on my cleaning cloth, this stuff worked beautifully and had the added benefit of lifting my mood as I cleaned! What a pretty scent for floor cleaning.
PLEASE: Test this and all other chemical mixes in an inconspicuous place on your wood finish before applying in large amounts. Your results may vary.
As with all citrus oils, these oils can be phototoxic and should not be used by small children or applied to the skin before going out in the sun.
NOTE: I order all of my essential oils from Rocky Mountain Oils. They ship for FREE and are of the highest quality without requiring any MLM participation or markup. You are going to love these oils!