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How to Clean Furniture With Linseed Oil

Sal Marco

Manufacturers press flax seeds to remove their oils, resulting in linseed oil. Linseed oil is available as raw or boiled. Raw linseed oil generally requires dilution or it will leave a slow drying, sticky feel to furniture. Boiled linseed oil, while never actually boiled, has additives that speed up drying times. Using linseed oil restores and revives an old finish without having to strip and refinish. You can also make your own furniture polish rather than using a commercial furniture polish. Linseed oil preserves a wood surface and protects against wood rot in both indoor and outdoor furniture.

Reviving Wood Finishes

Restore the shine to your furniture with linseed oil.
  1. Add equal parts linseed oil and turpentine to a glass jar or metal container. Do not use plastic because it may react with the turpentine or linseed oil and melt the container. Use raw linseed oil for outdoor furniture and boiled linseed oil for indoor furniture.

  2. Stir the ingredients to mix with a wood stir stick.

  3. Dip the corner of a soft cloth into the mixture. Rub a light application onto the furniture surface. Allow the mixture to sit on the surface for five minutes.

  4. Rub the excess mixture off the surface with a soft, lint-free cloth until it feels dry and no longer sticky to the touch. Outdoor furniture may feel slightly tacky and oily. The sticky feel will dissipate as the oil evaporates. Drying times vary depending on temperature and humidity.

Homemade Furniture Cleaner and Polish

  1. Mix equal parts linseed oil, white vinegar and turpentine in a glass or metal container.

  2. Stir well to blend the ingredients with a wood stirrer.

  3. Dip a soft cloth lightly into the polish. Rub the polish onto the furniture. Allow the polish to remain on the surface for two to three minutes.

  4. Rub the excess polish off the furniture with a new soft, lint-free cloth.