Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Olive Oil & Vinegar: Feng Shui Masters for Your Home!

Oil & Vinegar are Feng Shui Masters for Pre-Summer House Cleaning

feng shui
The Chinese art or practice of positioning objects, especially graves, buildings, and furniture, based on a belief in patterns of yin and yang and the flow of chi that have positive and negative effects.

-- The Free Dictionary

Surprise. Olive oil and vinegar are not just for cooking. This dynamic duo is used for a variety of household chores--and feng shui. When I was a kid, I remember we had a cleaning lady come into our home twice a month to do the heavy cleaning. She would use strong chemicals to clean the showers and oven. That was back in the 1960s. Today most of us prefer to use more natural stuff rather than subject our bodies, families, pets, and friends to lingering chemicals that have potential side effects.

Here are some things you can do with olive oil and vinegar and other natural things like lemon, water, and essential oils, straight from my book The Healing Powers of Olive Oil. And note, do rearrange objects and furniture for a good for you feng shui lift. To get started, add some things near your kitchen or dining room, such as: a fish aquarium with goldfish, candles, aromatherpy, and a bamboo plant. Not only will it make you feel better, when you cook this summer your dishes will turn out better. Here's to good vibes.


Living Room

• Polish Plants. Houseplants get dull and dusty. Try spraying with a solution of water and olive oil. Not only will you have dust-free leaves, but they will shine. Plus, if you live in a cold, dry climate and mist your plants, it is as good as talking to them.

• Dust It Dust-Free. Don’t like to dust? Try The Vinegar Institutes’s all-natural remedy. Mix olive oil and vinegar in a 1-to1 ratio and polish with a soft cloth. I tried it on my entertainment center (a hand-me down from my dad), and it is without dust, shines, and doesn’t have a chemical odor.

• Wipe Out Table Rings. I have a 30-year-old wooden living room table that I adore for sentimental reasons. I noticed a teacup ring on the lower shelf. I mixed a paste of 2 parts olive oil, 1 part lemon juice and applied it to the area using a circular motion, let it sit briefly, and wiped it off. The ring is now gone.

• Sparkle Up Blinds. If you want your veneer blinds to shine, I recommend olive oil. After you dust them, and wipe them with a wet cloth dipped in gentle, soapy water, rinse and dry. Then, apply a light coat of olive oil and polish for a brief time until they look like new.

• Clean Candleholders. Mix a solution of olive oil and mild dish soap. It takes off old wax and grime, and leaves brass, ceramic, and colored metal candleholders shining brightly.

Dining Room

• Buff Brass. Buff knickknacks with olive oil after cleaning them. I have a hand-me-down collection from my dad, who was also a nature lover. So, preserving his brass birds and reindeer means a lot to me. Olive oil keeps the brass from tarnishing so fast.

• Preserve Antiques. I have a glass dining room table from the fifties with classic wrought iron. Rubbing a bit of extra virgin olive oil onto the iron legs of the table and four chairs using a soft cloth provides a fantastic shine.


• Cutting Board Cleanup. A wooden cutting board in your kitchen is a must-have, and olive oil can help to preserve it. Wash it in soap and water. Dry. Then, once it is squeaky clean, wipe it with olive oil.

• No More Rust. Got a cast-iron frying pan? If so, chances are it’s a hand-me-down. So, you want to take care of it and keep it in tip-top condition. Each time you use it, wash it, and dry it, lightly apply olive oil to keep it rust-free and maintain its natural shine.

• Pamper Kitchen Helpers: Add a vibrant shine to kitchen helpers such as the blender, coffee maker, and stainless steel toaster. After you clean these items, simply spray them with a mist of 3 parts water to 1 part olive oil and buff eachone until they gleam.


• Wooden furniture in your bedroom? You certainly don’t want to smell chemicals from furniture polish with toxins. To keep your personal sanctuary dust-free and smelling fragrant, use a mixture of olive oil and fresh lemon juice for that bed (mine is 30 years old and I still cherish the wood), nightstands, framed mirror, and picture frames.


• Got a natural bathroom floor? After I wash my low-maintenance, neutral-colored slate floor, I mix a few drops of olive oil with fresh lemon juice and wiped the floor once again. Ah, the fragrance and shine was enough to make me vow to never use a floor wax.

• Polish Pretty Bathroom Treasures. To add a nice, lasting shine to ceramic figurines often found in a bathroom, use 3 parts olive oil, 1 part water. Buff until your treasures look bright and clean.

Family Room

• Wow Wood Paneling Scratches. I live in a house that was built in 1931. It has a lot of built-in cupboards, and it’s wood paneled throughout, including in the study/family room. I use a traditional furniture polish first, and then buff surface scratches with olive oil.

• Freshen Wood. To keep it looking its best, mix 1 ounce of olive oil with 2 ounces of white vinegar and 1 quart of warm water. Dampen a soft cloth with the solution and wipe the paneling. Then, wipe with a dry, soft cloth to remove yellowing from the surface.


  1. I actually came across a really nice website Spacify.com that has a huge variety of Bedroom Furniture Collection with really good prices

  2. Hi Jessica,
    Funny you say that. As I sit in bed with the boys (two Brittanys) just woke up...I look around me and my furniture are all sentimental pieces from long ago except one piece--Pier One...I like the rustic, Mediterranean look.

    Anyone try feng shui for the house? Please share.