Furniture Wax Polish: Know the Differences

When combing the aisles at your local grocery or home-improvement store, not all furniture wax polish is the same. Don't grab the cheapest item or the bottle closest to you. There's a difference between traditional furniture polish and wax polish, and the one you need depends largely on the furniture and how you want to clean.


The main purpose behind furniture polish is to give the wood protection against typical damage. Abrasions occur on the wood, for example, if you slide a plate with a small chip on its base across the table. Polish protects the table from scratching. But when you polish furniture or floors regularly with a spray or liquid product, you help to keep them looking new at the same time.

Polish also reduces the friction of a wood surface, so there's less adhesive on which dust will cling. In essence, dusting your furniture with polish means you have to dust less in general.


Furniture wax is an entirely different product than polish. Not only is it thicker, but it is literally a "wax" application that creates a resilient barrier for furniture, according to HGTV. It does a nice job of creating a moisture barrier, as well, eliminating the likelihood of water damage. It is also more effective at protecting wood from abrasions.

As a general rule, use furniture wax infrequently; it can build up on the surface of wood furniture and start to diminish its shine. In addition, keep in mind that polishing on top of waxing actually removes the wax. Check first that wax is safe to use on your furniture, and if you commit to this treatment, you'll need to buff your furniture in between applications.

Furniture wax polish that is safe to use on flooring and decor won't leave chemicals or a film behind. You'll simply notice bright, gleaming floors and wood products. Armed with these reminders, you can confidently care for your wood furniture.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.