Lemon Oil – Not Just for Furniture
I have had a successful cleaning business for nigh onto twenty five years. As a result I have learned many secrets. As I get closer to retiring from my business, I plan to reveal some of those secrets. One such trade secret is the many ways Lemon Oil furniture polish can be useful.
First and foremost Lemon Oil on furniture does an excellent job of nourishing & protecting your low luster furniture. The oil leaves a beautiful shine, and prevents fine wood finishes from drying out. Lemon oil replaces lost moisture in older wood surfaces and penetrates worn finishes.
Wood furniture should be polished at annually and lemon oil is a my product of choice. Be sure to pick a brand of lemon oil that polishes without the use of waxes, silicones, or harmful solvents. An added feature of the popular brands is that of a sunscreen to keep your furniture from fading. When polishing with lemon oil, I recommend putting a small amount on a soft, non-abrasive cloth (old t-shirts make great dust cloths) and applying onto the wood surface. I do not recommend using lemon oil on high gloss veneers.
On heavily soiled surfaces such as painted wood, plastic-laminated surfaces, fiberglass shower stalls and glass shower doors spray a small amount of lemon oil on the surface before spraying with the all purpose cleaner of choice. The lemon oil penetrates deeper and loosens the dirt. The combination of oil with your cleaner will result in a cleaner surface in half the time.
After cleaning shower stalls and doors, rinse well in order to get rid of excess oil. Dry surface and wipe with a cloth that has been treated with a very small amount of lemon oil to prevent hard water stain build-up. The thing to remember is to use a very small amount and not to use it on the tub or shower floors or you will make it slippery.
When cleaning offices which have many large leather chairs I would simply wipe the arms and top of chairs lightly with a treated cloth and it would wipe the dust and leave a nice protective shine. The office chairs get a lot of wear, especially on the arms and just a light rub with the oil helped to preserve the leather and prevent splitting. I once cleaned a chiropractor’s office and there were many leather tables. Some of them were starting to split and wiping them with a lemon oil treated cloth retarded the splitting..
When cleaning house, lemon oil was invaluable. My oil treated cloth would quickly wipe away the beginning signs of tarnish on silver and brass knickknacks. This served to extend the length of time between thorough cleanings. The face of the microwaves which would get so greasy from fingerprints would wipe to a clean and brilliant shine with my magical lemon oiled cloth.
Stainless steel is another troublesome surface to clean. It gets smudged and smears easily. There are several good products made specifically to clean stainless. However, you will find that these cleaners are all oil based products. Cleaning professionally, economy was a factor to consider. Also I had to consider how many products I could fit in my kit. Therefore the fewer products that would give the same results the better. I found that a cloth treated with lemon oil did wonders for wiping out smears and smudges on stainless steel leaving a spot free shine. Even marble surfaces can be brought to a smudge free brilliant shine with lemon oil.
One more use I want to mention is the cleaning of scuff marks on floors. On wood floors use a very minimal amount on a soft cloth or sponge and rub ever so gently to remove stubborn scuff marks. On other floors you can use a little more and rub a little harder. The oil lifts the scuff marks like magic and then mop as usual.
When I first starting selling on ebay, I would come across some very old musty items that had been stored in basements and attics.. Spraying a cloth with a small amount of lemon oil and wiping the items would clean the items and aid in removing water stains. This worked well on old vinyl and leather items, although the color would darken a bit. I would suggest that you always test an inconspicuous area first. An added benefit to cleaning these items with lemon oil was the pleasant citrus fragrant that lingered. In extreme mildew, a hint of the mildew odor remained. However, in most cases there was always a definite improvement.
I could also salvage many hard covered books by wipe the outside with a cloth that had been pre-treated in lemon oil. It would help to remove any water stains. Of course you would not attempt to wipe the pages. If the book had any old labels, like book store stickers that had been partially worn away the lemon would dissolve the glue and remaining label. The oil did darken the color of the book cover a little. Again the key factor is to use just a little and not to put the oil on the book but on the cloth.
The important thing to remember when using the lemon oil is ‘less is best’. I always treated a cloth with the oil and kept it in a plastic baggie. It would be enough to last through the whole days worth of cleaning, sometimes longer. Today you can purchase lemon oil in premoistened wipes if that is your preference. I would be careful using such wipes on surfaces like leather or shower stalls as there may be too much oil in the wipes. I still prefer treating my own clothes. Whichever you use, lemon oil has many uses in cleaning professionally or for your own personal use.