Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wood & Leather Floors & Furniture

“Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots.”
Hoosier Farmer saying

“American consumers have no problem with carcinogens, but they will not purchase any product, including floor wax, that has fat in it.”
Dave Barry 
My formulas can be used on both finished wood and smooth tanned leather, they are not fat-free, and they are not made with carcinogens (in-fact depending on what essential oils you use you can safely drink them though I don't know why you'd want to and please note that Murphy's Oil Soap is not my formula).

Scroll down to find:
When Wood and Leather Need Soap

This is how I feel about
tea. And how your floors
will feel about it too.
            & Dusting Spray

Brew a pot of strong black tea (4 - 6 teabags)
Allow to steep until cooled
In a 1 quart / 1 litre spray bottle mix:

3 1/2 cups of the Strong Black Tea
1/2 cup distilled White Vinegar*
10 drops Essential Oil**

Make sure your floor is well swept and dusted.
Shake up the bottle and lightly spray either the floor or the mop or cloth you are cleaning the floor with (my neck no longer tolerates my using any sort of mop so I use soft microfiber towels to "skate" my floors clean).
Wipe the floor.
Enjoy the beauty! 

This can also be used as a dusting spray for wood and leather furniture, though generally one simply needs a soft dry dusting cloth.

*You can use citrus peel infused cleaning vinegar; for my white oak floors I keep planning on making lemon peel or maybe grapefruit peel infused vinegar. See bottom of post for directions.

**Lemon oil is fantastic for white oak or other woods you wish to keep light.
For all woods, lavender oil is wonderful. Of course you can use any oil you prefer. Or you can leave out the essential oil, it is optional, but then your cleaner would be fat-free.


1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (strained)
1 Tbsp vodka

Mix in a small spray bottle.
Shake well before spraying.
Spray onto soft (flannel) cloth and polish furniture.
Buff off.
Enjoy the luster.

For smooth tanned leather only!

The cheapest olive oil you can find will be fine for making this. Or mineral oil. Or probably any food-grade liquid oil. And the cheapest vodka. If you're going to use the whole formula up in one or two days you don't need to add the vodka at all; its main purpose is as a preservative for the lemon juice. One batch goes a long way, you can reduce to 1/2 or 1/4.

When Wood and Leather Need Soap

Dilute some Murphy's Oil Soap in water.

Dip a soft cloth in the soap solution, wring out really well, and clean your furniture.  

You can use Murphy's Oil Soap as a spray cleaner too; in a 1 quart spray bottle add 1 or 2 Tbsp Murphy's to 1 quart water, shake gently to mix, and there you go. (I always use boiled and cooled filtered water to make spray cleaners; filtered because we have very hard water, boiled because before I started boiling the water first I had some batches of cleaner grow some interesting things, cooled because I don't want to get burnt or melt my bottles.)

For smooth tanned leather only!

This is what I use to clean the leather sofa when it gets just too dirty for a damp cloth to do a satisfactory job, which with all these grandchildren in the house is not too infrequently.

To tell you the truth Murphy's Oil Soap works fine, smells nice, and I like it, but for cleaning leather there is nothing like the glycerin saddle soap bars I used to clean tack with a thousand years ago when I was young - you know, if you've been a horsewoman and been taken away from horses you simply never get over it, but I digress - the smell and feel and use, the quality and goodness of a good bar of glycerin saddle soap, ah, that I love, it's so good for leather, and if I could find some of those good cheap simple old fashioned bars in my area instead of strange expensive fancified who-knows-what's-in-them modern products, that's what I'd be using - come to think of it I should just order it online, shouldn't I? Remarkable how waxing poetic online will cause a pre-tech person such as myself to think of such things, isn't it?

Look - I found it already! Only two and one half  dollars! But it costs eight dollars to ship; I just can't make myself pay as much or more for shipping than than the cost of the item.

If YOU can find a bar of glycerin saddle soap I recommend giving it a try, your leather will love you for it, but if you don't already know how to use it make sure you get proper instructions first, I'm sure they can be found online.

for making hardwood floor spray cleaner
(I learned this on Pinterest)

1 quart Mason Jar with lid
Lemon or other Citrus Peels
Distilled White Vinegar

Put citrus peels in mason jar.
Add enough white vinegar to completely cover the peels.
Find somewhere to let it sit and steep for a couple of weeks.
After the couple of weeks or so, strain or filter the vinegar.
That's it!

This can be made with any sort of citrus peel, from just one sort or from any combination.

Use full strength for heavy duty use, diluted in water for regular cleaning, or in formulas such as the hardwood floor spray cleaner.

I use a spray bottle of full strength orange peel infused vinegar to clean my stove along with a little baking soda to scour if needed, it gets it spotless! And it's safe, natural, and ridiculously cheap - it just doesn't get any better than that!


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