How to Remove Old Polish From Furniture

Polished wooden furniture can be an attractive addition to any home.

The polish can fade and rub off, however, or can begin to accumulate dust, grime and grease as it is touched and used over the years. Removing polish and the buildup it causes is fairly easy for any homeowner. .

Mix the solution you wish to use to remove the polish. Mixtures will vary depending on the materials you choose to use. For instance, a mixture can consist of three parts linseed oil to one part turpentine, or equal parts water and vinegar. Be sure to wear gloves if working with chemicals or any corrosive materials.

Apply the solution to the surface of the furniture with a triple zero steel wool pad to scrub away polish or grimy build up.

Wipe clean with a soft cloth; you can dampen the cloth with warm water if you so choose. The cloth will add a bit of shine back to the furniture and will also remove any excess solution or small bits of grime or polish.

Things You Will Need

  • Bowl
  • Vinegar or linseed oil
  • Turpentine
  • Water
  • Triple zero (000) steel wool pads
  • Soft cloth
  • Gloves


  • Apply mixtures in a well-ventilated area.


  • Be sure to use protective gloves if working with any chemicals to prevent damage to skin.

About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.