Water isn't a friend to wood, so the best way to clean it is to dry-dust, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. Use a lintfree rag or microfiber cloth- which traps dust, lint, and pet dander- for furniture and collectibles. Dry-mop or vacuum floors to pick up dust and food particles. Once a month or so, depending on the usage, you should polish your furniture. However, NEVER put polish on your wood floors. They will become a slip and slide disaster.
However, when furnishings and floors have collected a little more grime than floating dust or lint, some of the following do -it- yourself green cleaning recipes that use a minimum of water are offered below. These cleaning solutions are in "Green Cleaning for Dummies" by Elizabeth B Goldsmith, and Betsy Sheldon.
For Dust Busters for Collectibles: Mix 2 cups water, 1 cup white vinegar, 2 drops lemon oil. Put all ingredients in a bowl or spray bottle. Dampen cloth with solutions. Wipe down collectibles. Be careful when damp-dusting delicate items, antiques, and furnishings that have old paint, gilding, or gold leaf. Avoid leaving any water on these pieces and take care not to rub too vigorously.
For Hardwood Floor Cleaner: Mix 3 cups white vinegar, 1 tablespoon castile soap, 3 drops grapefruit essential oil, 3 cups water. Put all ingredients in a bucket of water. Barely wet the rag or mop with the solution. Run over floors and let air-dry.
For Wood Furniture Polish: Mix 1 pint linseed or olive oil and 4-5 drops of lemon essential oil. Put the 2 ingredients in an open container. Dip cleaning cloth in the solution and rub into your furniture. Use sparingly. Buff into wood.To make this into a wood cleaner also, add 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar and put in a spray bottle, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Company in Evanston, Il.