October 12, 2021

You worry about your furniture cleaning products being effective, but do you ever question whether or not they’re safe?

Read on to learn more about the issues with conventional furniture cleaning products. You’ll also find recommendations for 7 natural DIY furniture cleaners you can make and start using today.

Harmful Chemicals in Conventional Furniture Cleaning Products

Conventional furniture cleaning products contain a variety of chemicals and compounds that can be harmful to you and your loved ones. The following are some of the most noteworthy ones you ought to avoid:

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs, are gases that are released into the air from various products and processes. Some VOCs are harmful and can cause serious health problems, including chronic respiratory issues and certain types of cancer.


VOCs are often found in aerosol spray cleaning products, as well as dry cleaning chemicals, detergents, upholstery cleaners, and furniture polish. If you use any of the furniture cleaning products in your home regularly, you could be exposing yourself and your loved ones to VOCs without even realizing it.


Perchloroethylene is commonly used in dry cleaning solutions. If you take rugs, blankets, pillows, curtains, or other soft items to be dry cleaned, there’s a chance you and your loved ones are breathing this chemical in when you bring them home.


The fumes given off by perchloroethylene can contribute to short-term issues like dizziness, a loss of appetite, disorientation, fatigue, and nausea. Long-term, they can also cause more serious problems like liver damage and cancer.

Petroleum Distillates

Petroleum distillates are often found in conventional furniture polishing products. Petroleum distillates, along with other frequently used ingredients like ammonia and nitrobenzene, can irritate the eyes, skin, lungs, throat, and windpipe. If ingested, they can also cause nausea and vomiting.


Many air freshening products, as well as perfumed sprays used to keep furniture smelling nice, contain formaldehyde.


Formaldehyde has been linked to brain damage and certain types of cancer. It can also be irritating to the skin, throat, and eyes and is highly flammable, so it’s best to avoid cleaners that contain it, especially if you’re particularly sensitive to strong smells.

7 Natural DIY Furniture Cleaners

If you want to reduce your chances of dealing with any of the issues listed above, making your own furniture cleaning products is a great alternative.


Whether you need a product for dusting, cleaning wood, polishing leather, or removing stains from upholstery, there are lots of homemade options you can use, including the 7 listed below:

1. Baking Soda Upholstery Cleaner

Baking soda, combined with water, makes an excellent and all-natural upholstery cleaner. It does a great job of removing stubborn stains as well as removing lingering odors from your couches and chairs.


To make this upholstery cleaner, combine:

  • 1/2 cup of baking soda 
  • A few teaspoons of water
  • Mix the two ingredients to create a thick paste
  • Apply it to the upholstery. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a microfiber cloth

2. Olive Oil Furniture Polish

Olive oil is an excellent alternative to conventional furniture polishes. Mixed with castile soap, white vinegar, and essential oils for a fresh scent, this is an easy-to-make furniture polish that is also more cost-effective than many store-bought options.


To make this furniture polish, combine:

  • 1 cup of organic extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 cup of white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of castile soap
  • 15 drops of essential oils (citrus and herb essential oils are good options)
  • Spray it onto wood furniture, then wipe with a microfiber cloth

3. Coconut Oil Leather Cleaner

To clean and refresh leather furniture, try making this simple homemade coconut oil cleaner.

Start by combining:

  • 1 cup of liquid coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of castile soap
  • 1 or 2 drops each of essential oil and grapefruit seed extract
  • Mix in 4 cups of warm water
  • When everything is combined, spritz the solution on your leather surfaces and wipe them clean with a microfiber cloth

4. Lemon Juice and Salt Stain Remover

For those who don’t want to use baking soda to remove stubborn upholstery stains, this lemon juice stain remover is a great alternative.


  • Simply squeeze fresh or bottled lemon juice directly on the stain
  • Pour salt on top
  • Use a cloth or clean sponge to gently rub the lemon juice and salt mixture into the stain
  • Rinse with water
  • Repeat these steps until the stain has disappeared


5. Baking Soda, Cornstarch, Cornmeal, and Borax Dry Carpet Cleaner

If you’re looking for an all-natural dry carpet cleaning product, this combination of baking soda, cornstarch, and cornmeal is a great choice.


  • In a blender or food processor, mix 2 cups of baking soda with 1/2 cup of cornstarch, 1/2 cup of cornmeal, and 1 tablespoon borax
  • Add in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • When everything is finely ground and has a uniform consistency, transfer it to a mason jar or another storage container.
  • Sprinkle the mixture liberally onto the area you want to clean, using a hand brush or broom to evenly distribute it.
  • Let it sit overnight, then vacuum it up.


6. Baking Soda and Vinegar Liquid Carpet Cleaner

For an easy-to-make and easy-to-use liquid carpet cleaner, try this recipe using baking soda, vinegar, and water.


  • Start by sprinkling baking soda on top of the stained area. Let it sit for at least an hour (although, overnight is better)
  • Pour equal parts water and white vinegar into a spray bottle, then shake it to combine
  • Spray the mixture liberally onto the baking soda, then blot it using a rag
  • You may need to repeat this process multiple times depending on the severity of the stain


7. Essential Oil Room Spray

To give upholstered furniture a soft, pleasant scent, use this all-natural essential oil room spray.


  • Fill a spray bottle ⅓ of the way with witch hazel, then fill it the rest of the way with distilled water
  • Add 25-30 drops of your favorite essential oils, then screw the lid tightly onto the bottle and shake it to thoroughly mix everything
  • Spritz around the room when you’re finished cleaning



If you’re ready for a cleaner furniture cleaning experience, start swapping out your conventional products for natural DIY versions. Give one (or more) of the recipes outlined above to start cleaning your home in a non-toxic way.

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