Updated at: 20-09-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

Chairs, dressers, and other wooden home decorations and accessories can all benefit from the sheen provided by furniture polishes. Furniture polishes have been around since 1929, but their application is still widely misunderstood since, most crucially, they are not wood finishes. In contrast to polyurethane and other treatments, most of these products don’t seal the wood, but they do clean and shine it to restore its appearance. if you buy the best furniture polish for the job, and then test it on an inconspicuous location on the furniture to make sure it doesn’t do more harm than good. in these regards, they function well.”

To assist you in your search for the perfect furniture polish, we put the best-of-the-best furniture polishes to the test. Learn more about what to look for when shopping for the best furniture polish for your home’s wooden furnishings, and why we think the following products are the best of the best.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Furniture Polish

When looking for the best furniture polish, keep these characteristics in mind for squeaky-clean results.

8 Best Furniture Polishes of 2022 - Top Wood Furniture Polish Brands

Wood Finish

The ideal furniture polish for your job will be determined primarily by the existing finish on your wood. To determine the finish on a piece of furniture, perform this test on a hidden area of the piece. Examine the wood after it has been treated with some boiling linseed oil.

  • An oil finish is one in which the wood is able to absorb the oil.
    • if the acetone dissolves after 30 seconds, it has a lacquered finish.
    • Varnish or shellac finishes will harden into a gel-like material after a few minutes (shellac will dissolve quickly when you dab a cotton swab with denatured alcohol on it, while varnish will dissolve more slowly).
    • You have a polyurethane/polyester finish if the acetone dries on the surface.
  • It’s best to finish any unfinished wood furniture first (with one of the treatments indicated in this section) and then use furniture polish to protect the finish if you have it. Most furniture polishes, with the exception of paste wax (discussed further below), should not be used on unfinished wood.


If you want your furniture to have a shiny sheen, you’ll need to choose between four different types of furniture polish.

  • Silicone, wax, and other cleaning chemicals are all found in silicone polishes. You can use them on furniture with varnish, shellac, or polyurethane finishes to add a glossy sheen since they remove water-soluble filth from the wood’s surface while leaving behind a hard, slippery coating. Because of their slickness, they are dust-resistant and easy to clean.
  • In order to remove water-soluble and oil-based buildup from the wood surface when polishing, emulsion polishes, also known as cream polishes, use a combination of water, oil, and cleaning chemicals. However, the matte or satin sheen they produce is more prone to dust, less easy to apply, and less abrasion-resistant than waxes, which are more ideal for wood with varnish, shellac, or other polyurethane finish.
  • Mineral oil is commonly used as a foundation in oil-based polishes, but other solvents, such as petroleum distillate, may also be used. Because of the thin coating of oil they leave behind on furniture, they work best with oil-finished wood, which not only highlights the wood grain, but also attracts dust. However, they eliminate oil-based buildup as they polish, and water-soluble filth may be wiped clean with a cloth. Consequently, they are useful for polishing.
  • Another type of furniture polish is a wax composed of carnauba or beeswax. Creamy waxes produce a dust-prone matte or satin sheen, while paste waxes produce a high-gloss shine that is dust-repellent. Furniture with lacquered finishes is a good match because of the protective coating they have built up. As a sealant, paste wax can also be used on unpainted wood, making it ideal for use on furniture.

Application method

It is necessary to apply the following formulas to the furnishings in various ways, as they come in various forms.

  • The majority of furniture polishes on the market today are aerosol polishes, which include silicone, emulsion, and oil-based choices. It’s the easiest to use, since all you have to do is click a button on the can to pressurize the polish and spray it directly on the furniture.
  • Emulsion and oil-based liquid polishes are available in bottles that may be poured or squirted onto a damp cloth and then wiped over furniture to clean it. Oil-based polishes require more buffing than emulsion polishes; nevertheless, this is less of an issue with emulsion polishes. Wipes that are pre-soaked in liquid polish are all that is needed to clean a surface, and spray bottles make it easy to apply the product to a surface and then wipe it clean.
  • They are frequently sold in little tubs of wax-based products. To apply, the user must slather the product onto a cloth and then buff it thoroughly into the wood; however, creamy waxes require less buffing compared to paste waxes.

Furniture type

Product selection can be limited by the sort of furniture you’re polishing:

  • When it comes to everyday furniture, such as dining chairs and coffee tables, the majority of these pieces are utilitarian and therefore need to be reapplied with furniture polish every month or so. Aim to use aerosol or liquid polishes to lift dirt from and lend a matte to high-gloss sheen to these items with less effort than waxes require.
  • Oil-based polishes and waxes, such as paste wax, are great for highlighting elaborate details on antique furniture, which can range from wingback chairs to bed chests. Because these objects will only need to be polished two or three times a year, the extra effort required to apply these products will be tolerable for most consumers. Silicone polishes, on the other hand, are prone to showing finger smudges on these goods.

Our Top Picks

Choose the best furniture polish that’s suited for the wood in your home with our recommendations for the best formulas and ways of application.

Pledge Multi-Surface Furniture Polish Spray

  • Formula: Silicone
  • The manner of application is by aerosol.
  • Scent: Lemon


  • Does not require a wood surface to be utilized
  • a pleasant smell that isn’t overwhelming
  • There is no oily residue after use.


  • Requires a hard, non-porous surface to function

Pine-Sol Furniture, Polish 4in1 Cleaning

  • Formula: Emulsion
  • The manner of application is by aerosol.
  • Scent: Pine


  • Inexpensive
  • Suitable for use on a wide range of hard surfaces
  • There is no oily residue after use.


  • Pine aroma may not appeal to everyone.
  • Requires a hard, non-porous surface to function

Guardsman 461500 Clean & Polish For Wood Furniture

  • Formula: Emulsion
  • Liquids are used in this approach.
  • Scent: Woodland


  • Fine surface scratches can be hidden by using this product.
  • A small amount can go a long way.
  • It does not leave behind any residue.


  • Only suitable for use on wood-based surfaces.

Old English Lemon Oil Furniture Polish

  • Formula: Oil
  • Liquids are used in this approach.
  • Scent: Lemon


  • Prevents stains by adding a protective coating.
  • Natural wood’s beauty is accentuated
  • the act of reviving and nourishing wood


  • It’s quite greasy.
  • To be used on oil-finished wood only, or on unfinished wood.

Howard Products Wood Polish & Conditioner

  • Formula: Wax
  • Method of application: Semisolid
  • Scent: Orange


  • Protective coating and delicate shine are left behind.
  • Natural wood’s beauty is accentuated
  • Aroma of orange marmalade


  • It’s difficult to get polish out of the bottle.

Parker & Bailey Furniture Cream 16oz

  • Formula: Emulsion
  • Liquids are used in this approach.
  • Scent: Lemon


  • Null traces of oil
  • Convenient to use
  • Spreads easily on any surface.


  • Lemon smells musty rather than fresh and vibrant.

Weiman Wood Cleaner and Furniture Polish Spray

  • Formula: Emulsion
  • Spray bottle is used to apply the product.
  • Scent: Almond


  • Water and dirt are deterred by the protective layer that is left behind.
  • Surface scratches are mended with this product
  • Includes a microfiber cleaning cloth.


  • Flooring should not be covered with this product.

CARGEN 3 PCS Wood Seasoning Beewax

  • Formula: Wax
  • Method of application: Semisolid
  • Natural beeswax has no scent.


  • All sorts of treated wood can be used.
  • It’s simple to get started with
  • Leaves a protecting layer in its wake.
  • Unprocessed material


  • Applying it might be a pain.
  • Excessive buffing is required to remove the wax.

The Original Bee’s Wax Old World Formula Polish

  • Formula: Emulsion
  • The manner of application is by aerosol.
  • Scent: Lemon


  • Multiple surfaces can be used.
  • Contains no waxy residue.
  • It’s simple to use


  • An agent that does not restore or refinish

Orange Glo Wood Furniture 2-in-1 Clean and Polish

  • Formula: Liquid
  • Using a spray bottle is the preferred technique of application.
  • Scent: Orange


  • Orange-scented air
  • Condition both finished and unfinished wood surfaces. –
  • Wood will not dry out or be damaged by using this product.


  • incredibly slick
  • To be used on oil-finished wood only, or on unfinished wood.

Our Verdict

Pledge Furniture Polish and Guardsman Clean & Polish are our top selections. Cleans and polishes a wide range of surfaces without leaving behind a residue that is difficult to remove. Guardsman Clean & Polish is ideal for use on all types of wood, and it goes on with little effort. Additionally, it hides fine surface scratches and requires only a small amount of product to polish surfaces. Both polishes are necessary to ensure that both wood and non-wood surfaces can be cleaned with the same instrument.

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How We Tested the Best Furniture Polish

Maintaining the luster of wood furniture is easy with the right furniture polish. As a sealer for wood furniture, wood polish also works as a protective layer. Based on the specified surface type, we tested each polish. We tested the product to see how successfully it cleaned up grime, fingerprints, and other gunk from our hands. Furthermore, we looked into the degree of conditioning it provided to the wood and the level of protection it left behind.

The application process was also examined to see if it was straightforward to use and effective. Finally, we thought about how nice it was to smell like polish. To make cleaning more bearable, even if it’s just for show, having a good-smelling cleaner helps.

Best Furniture Polish Products for Antiques

Antique furniture polishing takes time, especially if it hasn’t been done for some time. As a result, you should be ready to put in some time and effort to work the polish into the wood in a direction perpendicular to the grain. Among the top furniture polishes on the market, these are some of the most popular.

Paste Wax

In most paste waxes, you’ll find both beeswax and carnauba wax, which enhance the depth of the wood and provide long-lasting protection from everyday wear and tear. With a clean, soft cloth, apply a little amount of wax to the wood and knead it into the surface with small circular motions. The following paste waxes are of high quality and are fairly priced.

  • Paste Finishing by Minwax – around $30
  • Antiquax – around $15.
  • Approximately $40 for Gillboys Polishing Waxes
  • Briwax Wax Polish – about $20
  • About $20 for a bottle of Briwax Wax Polish

Liquid Wax

Although there is considerable controversy about the safety of using liquid wax to polish antique furniture, it is still regarded a viable choice. For example, Restor-A-Shine by the Howard Company, a well-known liquid polish manufacturer, retails for between $10 and $15 at most supermarkets and hardware stores.

Metal Polishes

Handles, knobs, and other metal embellishments may or may not be present on your antique furniture, depending on its design. You’ll want to take particular care when cleaning and polishing if yours has any of these features. Due to metal polishes’ potential for damage to ancient wooden furniture, it is best to remove these pieces and polish them individually. You can rejoin your metal accessories once they have been cleaned and polished. You can’t go wrong with these metal polishes.

  • As low as five dollars for Goddard’s Sterling Polish
  • It costs as low as $5 to buy Goddard’s Brass and Copper Cleaner.
  • About $10 worth of Never-Dull Brass Polish
  • Maas Metal Polish – approximately $30 a bottle

Caring for Antique Furniture

When it comes to caring for antique furniture, many individuals make the mistake of mistaking a fading varnish or finish for filth and grime. There’s no denying the historical treatments (such as linseed oil or shellac, or varnish) offer character to an antique piece. As a result, before using any polishes or shines on your antique furniture, be sure to thoroughly clean it of dust and filth.

Why Polish Your Antique Furniture?

Wax polishing antique wood furniture every a year or so is necessary to protect the wood from fluctuations in humidity and airborne particulates. Wax polish applied over a long period of time can form a protective layer that accentuates the wood grain’s natural beauty.

Products to Avoid Using on Antique Furniture

It’s best to avoid using popular in-store furniture polishes if you’re working with antique furniture, as they may cause long-term damage. It’s best to avoid using these products on your antique furniture.

  • Dust and dirt are attracted to furniture polished with aerosols because of the sticky film they leave behind.
  • If you’re going to use a citrus-based cleaner, avoid using lemon polish because it leaves an oily layer that attracts dirt, grime, and fingerprints.
  • When used on wood, oil polishes can color the wood black because, as one expert tells PBS, they “soak into open grain” and “oxidize,” causing damage.

If You’re Unsure, Check With an Expert

While most antique furniture can survive a light dusting and a good polish every six months to a year, depending on how frequently the piece is actually used, other historic finishings demand a little more care. An expert in antique furniture restoration can help you determine whether your pieces need additional particular attention. Carpentry skills could be useful if you can’t find an expert in antique furniture. Avoid polishing your table or chair until you’re confident that it will not endanger its integrity in the future.

A Little TLC Goes a Long Way

Even while all of these polishes will help you give your antique furniture a fresh coat of paint, it is best to buy paste wax from a local hardware shop or other business that doesn’t include essential oils if you want to support your local economy. Waiting for the ideal wax coating on your antique furniture is like waiting for the rain, and you’ll have it in a matter of years.

How to Care for Your Furniture


One of the most common causes of furniture damage and degradation is improper handling. Lifting and moving objects incorrectly can cause joints to weaken and thin legs, rails or arms to break under pressure. Unfinished wood is particularly vulnerable to chemical changes caused by human oils and lotions, as well as dirt from the hands. It is possible for jewelry, loose clothing, and ID badges to scratch and abrade a surface when used on a daily basis. To keep damage to a minimum, observe these handling instructions:

  • Before moving an object, assess it visually to make sure it is sturdy enough to do so. Before transferring the piece, remove the drawers and loose shelves.
  • Before you move the object, take off any jewelry or loose clothing you might be wearing.
  • Put on cotton or nitrile gloves to keep the oils on your hands from slipping and scratching the surface. Avoid splinters and loose veneer with your gloves.
  • Rather than dragging a piece of furniture, lift it. Legs are prone to breakage. Use straps and dollies if a component is too heavy to move on your own.
  • When handling larger objects, it’s best to use two individuals or more.
  • In order to avoid stress and damage to a piece of furniture, never raise a piece of furniture from its top or built-in handles, by any decorative appendages, or by its legs, and never use the original castors to move it.
  • Do not lift chairs by the legs or the back crest rail, but rather, from underneath the seat and rails.
  • Tables and shelves made of glass or marble can be carried vertically wherever possible.


Wax and shellac finishes, as well as artificial light, can be damaged by sunlight’s visible and ultraviolet wavelengths, resulting in crazing and embrittlement. Dye, paint, and stain fading can also be caused by light. Away from bright overhead lights and direct sunlight, furniture should be displayed. UV window film (available at any hardware shop) and shades or drapes can assist minimize the amount of light your furniture is exposed to if it is situated under windows.

Temperature and Humidity

If left in the same spot for a long period of time, furniture can adapt to the fluctuations in relative humidity (RH) in the environment it occupies. Moving furniture from a climate-controlled room to an uncontrolled one (such a garage or screened-in patio) or vice versa can cause considerable damage because of the unexpected and sudden changes in RH. Because of the expanding gaps caused by shrinkage and splitting caused by low relative humidity, wood connections can collapse. Given a rise in relative humidity (RH), the wood can expand and cause the doors and drawers of a cabinet to jam, the glues and veneers to fail, and the joins to come apart. Mold and rust can also be caused by an increase in RH. Furniture can sustain mild to severe damage from temperature and humidity fluctuations over time.

  • When working with marquetry and veneer, the temperature and humidity must be as steady as feasible. In areas where temperature and humidity are likely to change dramatically, such as near windows and outside doors, furniture shouldn’t be positioned near heat sources, air vents or return lines.
  • Open the doors and panels that separate portions of furniture on a regular basis to allow fresh air to circulate through the frame of the piece. You may also protect your surfaces by removing drawers from the cabinet occasionally and placing them on padding (such as blankets or even a sheet). Mold and fungus will not be able to grow in places with poor ventilation if this is done.


Pest damage can be minimized by maintaining a clean home and keeping an eye out for signs of pest infestation.

  • Whenever dust accumulates on furniture, use a soft cloth to remove it. Excessive dusting might abrade the surface.
  • Take care not to catch fibers on any loose moldings, veneer, or marquetry, or on splits in the wood, when using a clean, soft, dry dust cloth. Remember that dusting might also cause components to come loose.
  • Dust can be removed with a natural hair bristle brush and a vacuum. Use cheesecloth or pantyhose to cover the end of the vacuum nozzle to prevent any debris from being drawn into the suction.
  • Do not use “wet cleaning” without consulting a conservator first.
  • On antique furniture, do not use Pledge® or any other commercially available polish. A “bloom” of opaque whiteness left by current commercial polishes’ solvents and silicones can damage original finishes over time and is not removed by traditional waxing.
  • Only use classic furniture paste wax, not a cream or a spray, when waxing surfaces every three to five years or less. Check to see if the wax contains any silicone. When waxing, use a small amount of product at a time. Buff with a dry, clean duster or chamois to restore luster between waxes.
  • If at all feasible, leave the patina on brass fittings. With a duster or chamois, lightly buff them to remove any loose dirt. Metal polishing creams can discolor the wood surrounding the fittings and create white deposits that are difficult or impossible to remove, so avoid them at all costs. The use of metal-polishing cloths should also be avoided because of the risk of over-cleaning. You can use the same wax that you use to protect your wood finish to protect brass fittings.
  • Use a duster to clean the glass shelves and fronts. Remove them if they’re filthy and use cotton wool swabs wet in a 50:50 solution of water and rubbing alcohol to clean them. Using a piece of cardboard to shield the surrounding wood from getting wet is an option if the glass cannot be removed.
  • If you see anything suspicious, check the furniture for signs of insect or rodent activity. As soon as possible, isolate the object by placing a white or black sheet of paper where it could collect sawdust, droppings, or remnants (if an object has separate components, remove them and place them in their own plastic “environments” for monitoring). Contact a conservator right once if you notice any of this frass on your art.


Examples of damage caused by incorrect use or display include warping, denting, and surface wear (scratches, abrasions, stains, and excess wax from candles). Due to the alcohol component in wine, a simple wine stain can destroy a polished surface practically rapidly. Furniture should be used and displayed with caution.

  • To avoid warping, make sure the furniture is level on the room’s flooring. If wedges are required, place them underneath the mattress.
  • Consider putting a rug or carpet under your furniture if you have a stone or brick floor. This will lessen the temperature fluctuations caused by the floor.
  • Reduce temperature and humidity variations by avoiding placing furniture near heat sources such as radiators or air vents.
  • Consider adding a barrier between the object and the furniture while putting it on a surface. Alternatively, it could be a piece of Mylar that has been sliced into the desired shape. The barrier will protect the finish of the wood from scratches and abrasions, as well as damage caused by liquid spills, such as wax from a candle.
  • Keep the original keys out of sight to avoid misplacing them.


It’s best to protect antiques and fine furniture from moisture and dye transfer by using acid-free or well-washed, breathable materials like old bedding while storing them.

  • Avoid stacking or placing furniture directly on stone or brick floors if at all possible. It’s possible that stacking will put unnecessary strain on the joints and limbs, leading to fractures and joint failures.
  • In order to provide an even distribution of weight while storing, wedges should be used
  • Bubble wrap will leave scars on highly polished surfaces if used directly against them. You can protect the wood from bubble wrap by putting a clean bed sheet or other barrier between it and the bubble wrap.
  • It’s best to keep furniture stored in clean bedding or dust coverings to limit the quantity of dust that accumulates on the surface.

References and Resources

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works’ Find A Conservator feature can help you locate a local conservator. Caring for Your Treasures is another section of the AIC website’s Resource Center worth exploring. You’ll find instructions on how to properly maintain various family artifacts, categorized by the materials from which they were crafted. The manuals are available for free download and printing from the website.

Gregory J. Landrey. The Winterthur Guide to Caring for Your Collection. Winterthur Decorative Arts Series, Wilmington, DE, 2000.

Richard W. Long and Jane S. Long. Heritage Preservation: Taking Care of Your Family’s Artifacts. Abrams Books, New York, NY, 2000.

Best Furniture Polish for Precious Furniture: 2021 Buyer's Guide

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You’ve learned all you need to know about selecting and using the best furniture polish. You may, however, require additional details. Here, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions concerning furniture polish.

What type of polish is best for wood?

When it comes to polishing wood, the best product depends on the sort of wood you’re working with. Raw or semi-finished wood is best treated with oils and waxes. Emulsion polishes are the greatest option for furniture that has been polished. When it comes to wood polish, always go by the instructions provided by the furniture’s maker.

What is the difference between furniture wax and polish?

It is possible to use wax as a polish, although not every polish is wax. Wax polishes are often sold in tiny quantities and in a semi-solid form. There are emulsion and oil-based formulas for polishes, as well as aerosol, spray, and squirt bottles for application.

Does furniture polish contain wax?

Wax-based polishes are available. These polishes are applied to the surface using a sponge or cloth and are usually semi-solid in consistency.

How often should you use furniture polish on your furniture?

Even if it has a beautiful sheen, you should polish your wood furniture every six weeks. Furniture polish also contains water molecules, which can elevate a wood veneer over time. So, don’t go overboard with the furniture polish.

How often should you pledge your furniture?

Only use traditional furniture paste wax, not a cream or spray, when waxing surfaces. Check to see if the wax contains any silicone. When waxing, use a small amount of product at a time. Buff with a dry, clean duster or chamois to restore luster between waxes.

What is the importance of polishing and buffing furniture?

Protection. Your furniture will be protected from the gradual degradation that comes with normal use and abuse when you use a professional furniture polisher on it. It’s inevitable that furniture will age, yet this can provide more protection than if there were no polish on it.

Should I polish my wood furniture?

Polishing wood furniture can only do so much to preserve it from nature’s damage, but experts say it’s still a good idea to do so in order to reduce friction on the furniture’s surface. Every wood furniture owner desires the gloss and slipperiness that can be achieved by polishing.

Is polish good for furniture?

Dust, filth, and dampness can be removed from hardwood furniture using homemade polish. In a spray container, combine equal parts white vinegar and lemon juice and shake well before using.