10 Best Furniture Polishes of 2024

Bust dust and dial up the gloss.

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Dusting may have ranked among the most hated household chores in America, but using the right furniture polish can make things easier and even help repel dust and fingerprints so you may not have to dust as often.

Our top picks deliver the TLC that furniture needs, since sunlight, dirt and daily wear can cause wood and leather to age and lose luster. While some great polishes can be used on a multitude of hard surfaces, antique furniture should be polished with a furniture-specific formula that contains ingredients that help condition and protect. But don't worry, we'll walk you through everything you need to know below.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab rigorously tests all kinds of cleaning products, including hardwood floor cleaners, upholstery cleaners and carpet cleaners to be sure they won’t damage surfaces with proper use. In our last test, we took over a month to assess 33 furniture polishes, evaluating each on how well it cleaned and removed fingerprints, water rings and crayon marks. We assessed how much shine each imparted, and we noted ease of use, whether extra buffing was needed, how the wood looked after application and any lasting protection.

Read on after our picks to learn more about how we test furniture polish in the Cleaning Lab, plus what you should consider before choosing a formula for your furniture.

Guardsman was a top performer in earlier Good Housekeeping furniture polish tests and held its rank in our recent dust-off. Made by a company dating back to 1915, Guardsman's Anytime spray both cleans and polishes wood, and it leaves a warm glow and light scent.

This brand is a favorite of fine furniture makers and has been recommended to us by furniture brands over the years. UV protective ingredients shield against drying, discoloration and fading from sunlight. The quick-dry formula buffed away easily in our Lab, with no greasy residue or streaks remaining.

Our test wood panels still looked freshly polished even after 24 hours, and this brand was a superstar at erasing water rings and crayon marks, earning a spot in our Best Cleaning & Organizing Awards. We found it also helped conceal light scratches. It imparts a nice low-luster shine without the use of wax.

ECOS Furniture Polish + Cleaner, made with olive and orange oils, is formulated to clean wood, Formica, particle board and vinyl and protect against damage. We've tested other ECOS products with good results and awarded the brand's Laundry Detergent Squares a Good Housekeeping Cleaning Award. While we haven't evaluated this exact plant-based formula in the Lab yet, online reviewers say it cleans well, smells great and doesn't leave a film behind.

One satisfied reviewer said, "We have a beautiful walnut dining table and were not satisfied with the cleaners we had been using. This nourishes the wood at the same time. Leaves our table looking beautiful." Another wrote that it left a "beautiful sheen" on their kitchen cabinets. The brand is packaged in recyclable containers, and it's Leaping Bunny certified and certified by the EPA Safer Choice program.

Our Cleaning Lab experts and at-home testers loved how shiny this Diptyque lotion left wood, how well it removed light water rings and how good it smelled, with notes of cedar, patchouli and beeswax.

"It felt like I was giving my wood and leather a spa treatment," said one consumer tester. Another shared, “It performed beautifully. My wood surfaces stayed well-polished and shiny for days. It also removed two rings on my coffee table that I was unable to remove with other products." A Good Housekeeping tester said the product even buffed away a minor scratch on the arm of an antique wood chair, a mark she had not been able to erase.

In our test, this Diptyque polish went on smoothly, absorbed well and required little to no buffing after application. One tester used it on the leather seats in her car with great results. The company even recommends it for leather jackets and shoes. Its sister product, the Diptyque La Droguerie Odor Removing Candle, earned one of Good Housekeeping's Best Cleaning & Organizing Awards. The product is Ecocert Greenlife certified, with 99% ingredients of natural origin.

This Pledge is a multitasker. The spray tackles electronics, glass and mirrors, granite, laminate, marble, stainless steel, wood and more — essentially, any sealed surface. It helps you spend less on cleaning products since you won't need a whole arsenal. Its antibacterial formula also sanitizes hard, non-porous, no-food-contact surfaces in 60 seconds when used as directed.

In our testing, we found that it works well, is versatile and has a pleasant citrus scent. We also like that it doesn’t leave a sticky residue behind. While it won’t fully restore the look of your wood furniture, it will give it a good, quick sprucing.

We like this squeezable wax to pamper and help preserve antique wood. Made by Howard, a California company dating to 1969, the formula contains carnauba wax (derived from the carnauba palm tree) and beeswax to provide a protective coat and help keep moisture out.

Feed-N-Wax is also made with conditioning oils to help guard against further drying and fading, which are natural consequences as wood ages. In testing, we found it’s easier to buff dry than most traditional wax-only formulas, like paste wax. It also capably cleared away crayon marks, greasy fingerprints and water spots and is suitable for finished or unfinished wood.

Applied to a microfiber dusting cloth, Endust grabbed an impressive amount of dust in our test — much more than you could get using a naked cloth. In our Lab tests, the silicone-free formula helped reveal the existing shine on finished furniture without leaving any residue or buildup.

It removed greasy fingerprints, smudges and smears, and the formula works on a variety of surfaces, including cabinets, countertops and paneling. One Amazon user who gave this five stars said, "My surfaces with glossy finishes are gleaming after using this."

Scott’s Liquid Gold goes on easy and swiftly snagged dust and added shine in our tests without leaving behind a smeary residue or needing extra buffing. It gave wood a soft glow, thanks to oils that help hydrate and nourish, so it's a good choice for old and new furniture. We were so impressed when we tested it that it earned a past Good Housekeeping Cleaning Award.

We're not the only fans. It's earned over 4,500 five-star reviews on Amazon. Reviewers raved about Liquid Gold's performance on a solid oak bedroom set, wood cabinets and antique furniture. "I recall my parents using this when I was a kid," said one user. "Same great product. Restores wood's beauty."

GH Seal star Weiman Furniture Wipes are convenient and ideal for targeting small spots. We like them for sprucing up a few surfaces, like end tables, in a hurry. In our tests, they cleaned very well and left our test wood panels with an excellent gloss. The wipes also protected against smearing; any marks were easy to rebuff, and smudges vanished quickly from the polished surface with a quick wipe.

The Weiman Wipes are infused with lemon-scented oil and, according to the brand, offer UV protection. Take note, these wipes should not be used on wood floors or stairs since they contain oil and can make surfaces slippery.

This versatile pre-treated cloth helps keep furniture, mirrors, floors and more dust-free with a soft touch and no threat of scratching. A regular dry cloth can't compete with a pre-moistened cloth that traps dust and allergens. Simply rinse it off after each use, shake it out to dry and use it again.

We have used this brand in our homes for years and love that it keeps going time after time. It effectively removes dust without camouflaging the wood’s finish, allowing the shine to come through.

A supple leather couch or buttery tufted ottoman signals comfort and luxury. But you definitely need to know how to keep leather furniture clean because it can get badly damaged, fade or crack if not cared for properly.

We gave high marks to GH Seal star Furniture Clinic's Leather Care Kit because it both cleans and protects. In our test, the cleaner erased grime — even blue denim transfer dye stains — and the Protection Cream helped repel water spills and protects against oily stains. It also imparted a warm glow and made it easier to remove new stains later.

The large kit comes with a bottle each of Leather Cleaner and Protection Cream, an applicator sponge, a cloth and instructions. You can also replenish leather shoes and bags, and in our tests, this kit worked well on those items too.

To find the champs, we tested 33 furniture polishes in the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, evaluating each for how well it cleaned dusty wood test panels and a finished wood end table. We also considered each product's performance at removing greasy fingerprints, crayon marks and water rings.

We note whether each formula leaves behind a cloudy film, streaks or unpolished dry spots and assess the general uniformity of application to the wood. We apply each to a freshly cleaned wood panel and use a gloss meter, a handheld scientific device, to gauge the level of shine on the panel surface. We calculate glossiness before and after using each polish and check to see if the product helps protect against smears and water spots. After 24 hours, we go back to the wood panel to recheck it for hazy film, dry spots or distortion to the shine.

We also evaluate the clarity of the manufacturer's label directions, how neatly the polish dispenses and the level of difficulty buffing for maximum gloss. To cap off the process, we review each product’s safety data sheet, label warnings and cautionary statements for proper safety.

Furniture polish sprays, lotions, creams, cloths and wipes command more and more shelf space at the store. You can find almond, orange, leather, patchouli and other scents too. Here's how to choose:

✔️ Read labels for recommended surfaces: Many polishes are only safe to use on specific finishes and could damage others. For example, the Howard Feed-N-Wax is only meant for wood but Endust can shine up wood, stainless steel, chrome, natural stone and plastic. Leather formulas have special ingredients to nourish that supple material.

✔️ Choose oil or wax-based formulas: Never use oil- and wax-based polishes on the same piece of wood furniture. Putting oil on top of wax can cause the surface to become tacky.

✔️ Consider scent: Consumers often report that if a product smells good, it can make them want to clean.

✔️ Select a spray for better control: Trigger pumps and aerosol sprays are typically more convenient because you can control application more precisely than with a liquid you pour.

Fuzz-coated wood furniture is a downer, so clean and polish whenever you see a layer of dust. It generally accumulates faster in rooms with carpets or plush furnishings, like bedrooms, and less often in rooms with bare floors and smooth surfaces. A quick dusting week-to-week should be adequate.

Heat and sunlight can quickly dry out furniture, leaving it cracked, faded and prone to stains and scratches. Do a deep dusting every few months (or as needed). Apply polish to a cloth, spread it evenly over furniture and buff it well with a clean cloth. If you see streaks or film, turn the cloth over and continue buffing until a hard, protective shine remains.

It’s best to try out a new product in a hidden area before you use it. Don't continue use if you note a change in color, feel or appearance.

Furniture polish won’t repair any deep scratches or grooves, but it can condition wood so that small scratches are less obvious. Regular polishing also helps create a protective barrier and can reduce the likelihood of future scratches.

Carolyn Forté is the executive director of the Home Care & Cleaning Lab and has a B.A. in Family & Consumer Sciences from Queens College, City University of New York. She has extensive consumer product and testing experience in a wide array of categories, including cleaning, appliances and textiles. She has worked at GH for over 40 years and has been known to test leather cleaners on the interior of her car.

Contributing writer Alice Garbarini Hurley has written about home, food, health and style for more than 40 years for Seventeen, Good Housekeeping, Brain & Life, Coastal Living and other magazines. Dusting was the first chore her mother had her do once she was tall enough, at age 5, to reach the furniture. After working on this article, she plans to get some classic yellow flannel dust cloths.

Carolyn Forté brings more than 40 years of experience as a consumer products expert to her role as executive director of the Good Housekeeping Institute's Home Care and Cleaning Lab. Using deep analytical testing and writing expertise in appliances, cleaning, textiles and organizational products, she produces cleaning and home care advice for GH, has authored numerous books and bookazines for the brand and partners with the American Cleaning Institute to co-produce the Discover Cleaning Summits. She holds a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences from Queens College, City University of New York.

Alice Garbarini Hurley has been a lifestyle and consumer writer since a pizza parlor taste test for the Dumont High School Periscope. She wrote about prom dresses and mascara at Seventeen, then about everything that matters at Good Housekeeping as a senior lifestyle writer for 10 years and as a GH freelancer for 10 more. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Coastal Living and InStyle. She has published essays and has blogged at Truth and Beauty since 2010. Writing keeps Alice calm and focused while raising a teenage girl. She loves bluebells and daffodils, Cape Cod, accessories, cream in her coffee and reading cookbooks cover to cover.   

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