Just about any large soft cloth can be turned into multiple dust rags, but many people make a serious mistake when it comes to dusting and caring for wood furnishings. They use furniture polish that contains waxes that build up very quickly. Instead of shinning the wood, the heavy polish ends up dulling the finish. A soft dry microfiber cloth is a more suitable choice, but even better options exist. Reusable scented cloths are easy to make, and nothing will go to waste. They are moist, and as long as the wood is properly sealed, the ingredients will not damage the wood.
I was instructed to never use furniture polish when caring for my wooden furnishings. My former mother-in-law was an antiques dealer, and she had a specific method that she used when caring for her vintage pieces. She taught me how to make reusable scented dust rags, and I do not use anything else. I never have to remove polish build up or buy chemical sprays in cans that will ultimately end up in the trash. They smell phenomenal, and they work beautifully to dust and shine my finished wood.
To make reusable lemon-scented dust rags you will need 4 soft cotton cloths. Terry cloths or white microfiber is ideal. Also required is two cups of white vinegar, two cups of distilled or filtered tap water, two teaspoons of natural citrus oil or olive oil, two lemon peels and a container with a tight fitting lid. I prefer citrus oil over olive oil, but both are acceptable. Also, I keep my cleaning cloths in a glass vessel in my utility room. They are an interesting part of the decorating scheme, and they are ready to use when needed.
Begin by combining all of the liquid ingredients in a large bowl. Soak the clean rags in the mixture until they are fully saturated. Thoroughly ring them out until not another drop can be squeezed from the cloths. Next, loosely layer them in a clear storage container in between pieces of fresh lemon peel. Keep a tight fitting lid on the container until they are ready to use. I keep mine in a clear glass container, and I made it a part of my decorating scheme. It is a great conversation piece.
Do not throw away the liquid that you used to saturate your reusable dust rags. Keep it in another container with a tight fitting lid, and use it to soak clean cloths that will be used again for moist cleaning and dusting. The room will smell clean and incredibly fresh, and the furniture will look phenomenal.
Source: Mary Lengacher, Professional Antiques Dealer