4 cleansing oils to use around the house

Oils used on natural wood surfaces or leather make them look healthy. Most oils for wood or leather are extracted naturally from animals, seeds or the peel of citrus fruits. Some commonly used oils are listed below.

4 cleansing oils to use around the house

1. Citrus oil (orange, lemon and grapefruit)

  • Examples like Howard Orange and Lemon Wood Polish will help restore the finish on wood that's been neglected or has faded.
  • Citrus oil penetrates to moisturize and condition wood. It is often combined with a chemical cleaner.
  • Apply lightly, putting the oil on a cloth and then wiping onto the furniture or woodwork.
  • Oil has a tendency to streak if you apply too much. Wait for about 30 minutes for the oil to dry.

2. Pine oil

  • This is a general cleaner and disinfectant for floors, countertops and bathrooms. It comes from the turpentine family and has a distinct aroma.
  • To use, dilute it in a spray bottle or in mop water according to the package instructions.

3. Tung oil and linseed oil

  • These are good for natural wood, tabletops, wood panelling and wooden floors.
  • Some brands have dyes in them, so they act like a stain.
  • Linseed oil is also good for protecting outdoor furniture.
  • Both tung oil and linseed oil can combust spontaneously, so be very careful not to leave oil-soaked rags lying around the house or in a garbage bag.
  • Promptly after use, hang oily rags outside to dry thoroughly before you dispose of them in an outdoor garbage bin.
  • Or dispose of them in a sealed metal container outside in a shady spot.

4. Neatsfoot oil

  • It's light yellow colour, obtained from the feet and shinbones of cattle.
  • It's a great conditioner for leather (boots and saddles, for example), keeping the leather soft.

How to use the oil

  • Apply it with a cloth, let it soak in for about 5 to 10 minutes and buff or polish it dry, using circular motions.
  • Old cotton towels, diapers or T-shirts are great for this job.
  • You can buy citrus oil and pine oil products anywhere home supplies are sold at supermarkets, hardware stores, home improvement stores and discount retailers.
  • Tung oil and linseed oil are available from specialty cleaning suppliers and hardware stores.
  • Neatsfoot oil is available from saddleries, hardware stores, shops that sell leather goods and shoe repair shops.
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