I have been collecting wooden bowls and serving pieces form the thrift store like they are going out of style. The good thing is that they’re not! In fact, they are more popular than ever. I’ve found them for as little as $1 per piece, so wooden pieces are a nice way to add a little warmth to your table or to use as displays in other areas around your home.
Because I’ve never owned a wood bowl or platter before, I wasn’t quite sure how to care for them. Obviously, these pieces can’t play my game of Dishwasher Darwinism (i.e. it only survives in my house if it can be washed in the dishwasher), so I had to figure out something easy for my new loves. After a lot of research and product label reading, I figured out the easiest solution to keep the wood looking good. I put together a list of the tips that have worked for me.
How to Care for Wood Bowls and Serving Pieces
1. Clean your wooden pieces with warm water, a mild soap and a soft sponge. Don’t submerge your pieces in water, as it will cause them to crack and swell. Dry them with a dishtowel and then any other moisture dry out by allowing them to air dry overnight.
2. With a soft, lint-free cloth, rub a generous amount of food safe mineral oil on all sides of your wooden pieces. You can pick up the mineral oil at a grocery or drug store – it’s used as an intestinal lubricant. Ahem. There are other oils and products you can buy to oil your wood pieces, but mineral oil was the cheapest and easiest thing to find. My understanding is that the mineral oil won’t harden, go rancid or host microorganisms (yuck!).
3. Put your oiled pieces onto an old towel in a location where you can leave them alone. Allow the oil to soak into your wooden pieces for about 24 hours.
4. Using a clean soft, lint-free cloth, buff any residual oil off of your pieces. You’ll notice that they will have a slightly darker color and a beautiful shine.
5. After each food use (or when they need to be cleaned when used as decor items), wash them as detailed in Step 1. Don’t worry! You won’t need to oil the bowls after each use – only when you feel that they’ve lost their deeper color and shine.
I have big plans for these pieces in a top secret plan to incorporate them onto my dining table in a really fun way. Obviously, I’m avoiding the big project that looms over me, aren’t I?
Do you have any wooden pieces in your tablescape or used as decoration around your home? Please tell us how you care for them!