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How to Clean and Maintain Your Wooden Bowls

Walnut Bowl made using traditional craft skills

Here are some tips on how to clean and maintain your wooden bowls.

Cleaning Wooden Bowls

  • Use a soft cloth or sponge to remove food or debris from the bowl.
  • Avoid using harsh detergents or abrasive sponges, as these can strip away the natural oils from the wood and leave behind scratches.
  • If the bowl is dirty, use warm water and mild dish soap to clean it gently. Then, rinse the bowl thoroughly and dry it with a soft cloth.
  • To remove stains or odours, you can try using a paste made from baking soda and water. First, rub the paste onto the affected area, then rinse and dry the bowl.
  • If the bowl has a hard-to-reach area, such as the inside of a large salad bowl, you can use a bottle brush or a toothbrush to scrub it clean.

Proper Care for Your Wooden Bowls

All the bowls I make are treated with a food-safe drying or polymerizing oil, such as walnut, tung, or linseed oil. When applied, the oil soaks into the wood, bringing out the grain and protecting the wood.

  • If the wood starts to look dull, coating it with a fresh layer of oil will improve your bowl’s appearance.
  • As previously mentioned, walnut, linseed, or Tung oil works well. Rub the oil into the wood using a lint-free cloth and leave the bowl to dry for a week before using it.
  • Avoid using olive oil or other non-drying oils, which can go rancid and leave an unpleasant smell behind.
  • Keep your wooden bowls away from heat sources and direct sunlight when storing them. This will help to prevent the wood from warping or cracking.
  • If you have a stack of wooden bowls, you can use small pieces of felt or cork to keep them from scratching each other.
  • Do not let your bowls soak in water for a long time. The wood can soak up moisture which may cause your bowl to crack.

Repairing Wooden Bowls

  • If your wooden bowl becomes damaged, it may be possible to repair it with little effort.
  • Small cracks or chips can often be filled with wood filler and sanded smooth.
  • If the bowl has developed deep cracks or is starting to split, it may be best to leave the repair to a professional.
  • To prevent further damage, handle your wooden bowls carefully and avoid using them for cutting or chopping.

In conclusion, it is easy to clean and maintain your wooden bowls. It requires a bit of extra effort, but keeping these beautiful and functional pieces in good condition is worth it. With some care, your wooden bowls can last for many years.

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