The idea behind polishes for wood furniture is to protect the wood by soaking oil into it. Many oils commonly found in kitchens work very well.
Olive Oil and Vinegar. Mix 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar. Apply and polish with a clean, soft cloth. (NOTE: some furniture experts are concerned that this formula may be incompatible with the finish on some furniture, and may, in time, have an adverse effect on the wood.)
Vegetable or Olive Oil and Lemon Juice. Mix 2 parts oil with 1 part lemon juice. Apply and polish with a clean soft cloth to leave furniture looking and smelling good. (See "NOTE" above.)
Mild Soap. To clean wood, dampen a cloth with a solution of water and mild soap such as Ivory or Murphy's Oil Soap. Wring the cloth almost dry, and wipe the furniture section by section, drying with a clean dry cloth as you go.
Vinegar. Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Wipe onto wood and polish with a clean dry cloth.
Beer, Sugar, and Beeswax. Boil 1 quart beer with 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 tablespoons beeswax. Allow to cool, wipe on wood, and let dry. Polish when dry with chamois cloth.
Mineral Oil*. Apply sparingly with a soft cloth. To make a lemon polish, dissolve 1 teaspoon lemon oil into 1 pint mineral oil. NOTE: Mineral oil is flammable. MINERAL SPIRITS SHOULD NEVER BE SUBSTITUTED FOR MINERAL OIL.
Grease Spots: Salt. Pour salt immediately on grease spots to absorb grease and prevent staining.
Scratches: Lemon Juice and Vegetable Oil. Mix equal parts lemon juice and oil. Rub mixture into scratch with a soft cloth until the scratch disappears.
Scratches: Walnut. Rub a piece of walnut "meat" into the scratch.
Water Spots: Toothpaste. Apply toothpaste to a damp cloth and rub gently to remove water marks.
Water Spots: Oil and Wood Ash. Mix a small amount of oil with wood ash, apply with a soft cloth, and polish.
Water Spots: Oil and Salt. Mix lemon oil or salad oil and salt. Rub with a soft cloth until stain is gone. Restore luster by polishing
Water Spots: Walnut. Rub water marks or white stains with the "meat" of a walnut.
Cream of Tartar. To remove stains from aluminum cookware, fill with hot water and add 2 tablespoons cream of tartar for each quart of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard solution and wash and dry cookware as usual.
Vinegar. To clean aluminum cookware, bring equal pots of water and white vinegar to a boil. Wash and dry as usual.
Olive Oil. After each polishing, rub brass with olive oil to retard tarnish.
Worcestershire Sauce. Clean and polish unlacquered brass with a soft cloth dampened with Worcestershire sauce.
Salt, Vinegar, and Flour. Dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup white vinegar. Add enough flour to make a paste. Apply the paste and let sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse with clean, warm water and polish with a soft cloth.
Lemon and Salt or Baking Soda. Make a paste of lemon juice and salt. Apply with a soft cloth, rinse, and dry. Or, use a slice of lemon sprinkled with baking soda. Rub brass with the lemon slice, rinse, and dry.
Vinegar and Salt. Pour vinegar over the metal surface. Sprinkle salt over the vinegar and rub in the mixture. Rinse with warm water and polish dry.
Lemon Juice and Cream of Tartar. Make a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Apply, leave on for about 5 minutes, rinse with warm water, and dry with a soft cloth.
Onions. Clean brass using water in which onions have been boiled.
Vinegar. Wipe chrome with a soft cloth dipped in undiluted white or cider vinegar.
Baby Oil. Apply baby oil with a soft cloth to polish chrome trim on faucets, kitchen appliances, vehicles, etc.
Aluminum Foil. Rub chrome with aluminum foil, shiny side out.
Newspaper. Rub chrome fixtures with newspaper after the fixtures have been wet. (Wear gloves to avoid getting newsprint on your hands and other surfaces!)
Vinegar and Salt. Boil badly tarnished copper for several hours in a pot of water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup white vinegar. Wash with hot soapy water rinse and dry. For routine cleaning, pour vinegar over the metal surface, sprinkle salt over the vinegar and rub in the mixture. Rinse with warm water and polish dry.
Lemon and Salt or Baking Soda. Make a paste of lemon juice and salt. Apply with a soft cloth, rinse, and dry. Or, use a slice of lemon sprinkled with baking soda. Rub with the lemon slice, rinse, and dry.
Ketchup. Apply ketchup, leave on for about 15 minutes, wipe dry.
Sour Milk. Soak copper bottom pans in a flat dish or bowl of sour milk for about 1 hour. Rinse and dry.
Soapy Water. Wash gold in luke-warm soapy water and dry with a cotton cloth. Polish with a chamois cloth.
Toothpaste. Clean with toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
Silver: Polishing silver while wearing rubber gloves promotes tarnish. Instead, wear plastic or cotton gloves while polishing silver items.
Baking Soda. Apply a paste of baking soda and water, or sprinkle baking soda on a damp cloth. Rub, rinse, and polish with a soft, dry cloth.
Sour Milk or Buttermilk. Place silver in a pan and cover with sour milk or buttermilk. Let stand overnight. Rinse with cold water and polish with a soft, dry cloth.
Aluminum Foil and Rock Salt. Fill a glass jar 1/2 full of aluminum foil strips. Add 1 tablespoon rock salt and enough water to fill the jar. Dip silver items into the jar and leave for about 2 minutes. Rinse well and dry.
Aluminum Foil, Baking Soda, and Salt. Place aluminum foil in the bottom of a pan. Add 2-3 inches of water, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Add silver pieces and boil 2-3 minutes, making sure the water covers the silver items. Remove silver from water, rinse, dry, and buff with a soft, clean cloth. This is an excellent method for cleaning patterns and crevices in silver pieces.
Toothpaste. Coat silver with toothpaste. Run under warm water, work the toothpaste into a foam, and rinse off. Polish with a soft, dry cloth.
Vinegar and Baking Soda. Soak silver in a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda for about 2 hours. Polish dry with a soft, dry cloth.
Olive Oil. Rub olive oil into stainless steel sinks to remove streaks.
Vinegar. Moisten a cloth with undiluted white vinegar or cider vinegar. Wipe stainless steel items to clean and polish.
Club Soda. To remove streaks or heat stains form stainless steel, rub with club soda.