We've been witnessing a slow transformation in our kitchen thanks to one of our favorite green products, OSMO Liquid Wax Cleaner.
One by one, our old 1970's era pecan cabinets are looking like new again. This is not a quick wipe-on, wipe-off solution; it involves some scrubbing. We've been using a white artificial steel wool pad we picked up at the hardware store. (Real steel can leave microscopic splinters behind that react with some varieties of wood to produce streaking.)
But the results, as you can see, are worth the sore arm. Tired cabinets look downright good again. One catch: Liquid Wax Cleaner is only for wood finished with oil, wax, or varnish. It will not help restore polyurethane finishes.
OSMO Liquid Wax Cleaner is not an all-natural product -- the solvent, which is what does such a good job at removing grime, is a "medical-grade" petroleum distillate PDF; we worked with windows and doors open and a fan running, which is the same thing you'd do if you were using a natural solvent like orange oil. The waxes, however, are all natural carnauba and candillila.
1 liter -- more than enough for our large kitchen -- of OSMO Liquid Wax Cleaner costs $32 at ecohaus (formerly Environmental Home Center.) Your local green retailer may have it in stock or be able to order it for you.