Wood can be protected with beeswax. Do not over-wax furniture; The National Trust only uses it once or twice a year.
Excess wax can be removed with vinegar and water, or washing-up liquid on a damp cloth.
Although you can buy good quality polishes for furniture and other wooden items, you can make your own. Make a small quantity first, using the recipe proportions; when you have a recipe you like, make a larger quantity.
Take equal portions of linseed oil, beeswax and turpentine. Warm the beeswax and mix with the other ingredients. Store the polish in a wide glass jar.
Melt the waxes in a double boiler. Remove from the heat and stir in the spirit.
Apply the polish with a clean cloth and rub in small circles. Turn the cloth as it becomes dirty. Allow the polish to dry, and then buff with a clean cloth. If you want more than one coat, wait two days between re-applying.
Melt the wax and oil together over a low heat and store in a sealed bottle.