This is my recipe for an easy, yet useful wax wood polish. It’s what I’ve tried out and what worked for me. Alas, as usual, the internet provides a vast mass of recipes and details.
Beeswax – The classic wax. Available from beekeepers, amazon, or at your local wood shop. Completely natural/organic and food safe. Sold as pellets.
Paraffin Wax / Mineral Wax – Paraffin wax is made from mineral oil, thus it’s not organic but very useful and applicable. If you’ve got some uncolored rests of candles at home (especially tealights) you can use them for making polish.
I have heard that nut oils (walnut, peanut, etc.) are very suitable for making polish, but I never tried them. Here’s what I used until now – these oils harden completely over time when exposed to air and they make for a protective layer on your wood. They’re food safe and suitable for cutting boards:
Linseed oil / Boiled linseed oil – One of the standard natural wood oils. Hardens well, is food safe and available at every hardware store.
Tung oil – Just like linseed oil, a natural/organic wood oil.
Mineral oil – Like the one that IKEA sells. Since it’s mineral oil, it’s not organic but useful and food safe.
Why don’t cooking oils from the supermarket work? These oils don’t harden (completely) and can only be applied in a very thin layer, making it necessary to re-oil the wood more often. You might end up with a greasy surface on your wood – at worst it’ll be rancid and stinking – you don’t want that.
- One part (by weight): Wax
- Two parts (by weight): Oil
- if applicable: Orange oil or similar
I used beeswax with mineral oil resp. paraffin wax with linseed oil, thus I used mineral and natural ingredients “crosswise”. Melt the wax in an old pot until liquid (I recommend a water bath and a tin). Take off the heat, add the oil and – while hardening – stir thoroughly for good mutual incorporation. Attention: HOT. You can vary the oil/wax ratio for a more liquid or solid consistency. If you like, you can add a few drops of e.g. orange oil for a pleasant scent. Fill into a wide-mouthed glass jar (for easier usage) and let cool completely.
Apply in a circular motion with a lintless cloth (linen, old t-shirt, etc.) at room temperature. It will make for a shiny and smooth visual appearance and surface feel. If there’s a thin layer of residue left on your wood, let it dry and buff it in with a soft brush or cloth. You can easily re-polish or re-furbish the surface with a little wax and polishing.