Wednesday January 17, 2018

Wood Care

All of my bowls and cutting boards on this site are coated with food safe finishes. What is a food safe finish? Good question, a lot has been written on the subject. If you want to do your own research on the subject by all means please do so or I can save you a little time. I have listed a couple of links that go in depth into the subject. What it boils down to is this, any finish out there nowadays, "once cured", will be food safe. The key being "once cured" or in another words "completely dried". There are better finishes than others however. What you would not want as a finish is one that creates a built up layered finish that will flake off while using or cleaning it. That is why I would not use, say a polyurethane. Polyurethane sits on top of the wood object and through use, could potentially come off as small pieces or flakes. It will not kill you or even make you sick, but it is not very appetizing. Also once all the finish has come off, the wood is no longer protected. The traditional wood finish for wood products that come in contact with food is food grade mineral oil and either bees wax or paraffin wax. The oil fills the wood pores, and the wax gives the surface a semi water resistant finish. Some nut oils could be used, such as, walnut or flax seed, but some people that have allergies could be sensitive to this type of finish.

On the vast majority of my turnings and all of the cutting boards I have used a product called "Butcher Block Conditioner" made by a company called Howard Products and/or "Butcher Block oil and finish" made by Watco ltd. Both of these products meet or exceed government standards for direct and indirect food contact.

I am not promoting or trying to sell any particular product , it is a personal preference of mine. I like the results they has given me after trying a couple other products of similar types. If I have used a different finish on a piece it will be listed in the product description. Be assured any of the other finishes that I have used are also safe.


  • DO NOT soak in water
  • DO NOT put in dishwater
  • DO NOT put in a microwave or oven
  • DO NOT leave in direct sunlight
  • DO NOT use abrasive cleansers or scrub brushes
  • DO NOT use vegetable oil or animal fats to re-season bowls or cutting boards
To clean the wood surface, use a wet dish cloth in warm sudsy water until clean and rinse. Dry the bowl or board immediately with paper towels or a cloth towel and set aside for a few minutes to let it completely dry.

Your new wooden bowl and/or cutting board has been "seasoned". What this means is that I applied several coats, at least 4 coats, of butcher block oil and conditioner and it is ready to be used. The oil penetrates into the wood rather than just sitting on top of the wood and the waxes protect the surface..

When the bowl or board appears to have lost it's original sheen and looks like it is starting to dry out then it is time to apply a coat or two of your choice of either salad bowl or butcher block oil. You may want to recoat your new bowl or board after the first few times you use it. Remember, DO NOT use any type animal fats or vegetable oils to re-season the bowl or cutting boards, they will go rancid!

For more interesting information check out Plastic and Wooden Cutting Boards and The Wood Whisperer


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