Food Safe Wood Finish Makes
You and Your Wood Happy!
Let me explain!
Your wood utensils need a food safe wood finish to protect and enhance the wood. And you and your family need to be sure that the wooden utensils you buy have a food safe finish and not a toxic one.
I often see wooden bowls and utensils from China or overseas with nice looking finishes on them but very often they use cheap chemicalized glossy finishes that will wear off with time and use. This is especially true when used for warm or hot items like stirring a soup or serving something from the oven.
Yikes, little doses of poison over time...not my idea of safe eating!
So be wary of glossy finishes on your wooden kitchen utensils. Most often they are not really food safe and little by little will come off with use.
A food safe finish will wear off as you use your item but will be safe for you. No problem if you use the right finish but a big problem otherwise.
Food Safe Wood Finishes:
Using a food safe wood finish allows you to add some cutting board oil from time to time to keep the wood protected and looking great.
Cutting board oil is the name often used to describe what you can put on your bread cutting boards and wood utensils.
But do not oil wooden chopping boards or blocks used for meat! It is best to have the natural wood which inhibits germs.
But all other wood utensils, bowls and boards need a food safe wood finish.
You see, wood just loves oil! It drinks it up happily. The oil protects the wood and makes the wood gleam enhancing its grain. "Happy Wood" I call it then!
• Walnut Oil Wood Finish
Walnut oil is the perfect food safe wood finish. It is a completely natural oil and a drying oil. That means it will dry after you apply it, unlike olive oil and many others (which I would not use as they can go rancid).
The walnut oil is absorbed into the wood and when dry is not sticky. The other advantage of walnut oil is that it has virtually no smell. It enriches the wood with every application.
So use walnut oil wood finish often and feel confident that you have a food safe item.
It is my first choice as a wood utensil and cutting board finish. While more expensive than mineral oil, I like its natural feel and clean look as it brightens up your wood!
You can buy walnut oil at most grocery stores or health food stores. It also makes a great salad oil. I like to keep it in the fridge so it is always fresh.
Walnut oil was used extensively in Europe as part of the French polish finish for furniture and other household items. Those Louis XIV antiques had walnut oil as their finish! A time tested safe wood finish.
100% pure walnut oil is perfect for use on wooden utensils, such as spreaders, salad hands, servers, bowls and spoons. It creates a non-toxic finish that resists water and alcohol. It also has a a very slight fresh sweet smell. And it will not give any aftertaste to food.
Nut oil may affect people with nut allergies,
even when used as a finish.
Walnut oil wood finish can be applied with a brush, cloth or steel wool, or, what I like, is to use my fingers. When done, I just rub the oil into my hands. Feels nice! The oil will dry overnight but you can use it whenever you want.
I always recommend customers to rub oil into their wood often. Frequently is way better than not enough. Your wood will perk up instantly when you add your food safe wood finish just like adding water to a stone to see how nice it looks.
• Mineral Oil Wood Finish
Another good food safe wood finish is mineral oil. It too has no smell and will dry after application. It is far cheaper than walnut oil but it is a petroleum by-product. It is food safe. I just prefer the all natural walnut oil for its superior features.
You can find the mineral oil in the stomach section of your pharmacy. (It is mostly used as a laxative.)
Whichever oil you choose, use it often, as your wood dries out with washing and use. So add oil to your wood cutting boards and wooden utensils as frequently as you can to keep them looking great.
Oiling your wooden kitchen utensils allows you to enjoy the beauty of the wood.
• Coconut Oil Wood Finish
Coconut oil (or coconut butter as it is sometimes called because it hardens at 72 degrees or less) is another good oil to use but it could go rancid in hot climates according to one user. It is better than olive oil which can go rancid as can other vegetable oils. And you don't want rancid oil on your wood cutting boards and wooden utensils.
You may have to warm the oil in hot water during colder days to soften it, and like walnut oil is best stored for long times in the fridge. But my preference would be walnut, mineral or tung oils instead.
• Beeswax Wood Finish
I love beeswax for its soft and so smooth texture when applied to wood.
It is usually mixed with mineral oil or walnut oil to give a tougher finish than plain oil. It sure does help make it water-resistant but not water-proof.
It also has a delicious sweet scent. That's why beeswax candles are the very best!
You'll have to chip a piece off a candle or buy beeswax pellets that you can warm up inside a cup in a pot of hot water.
Apply to your utensils and wood bowls, cutting boards and blocks (non meat boards) while warm. And rub the rest into your hands. Beeswax is used in many natural bodycare products.
Now you'll have a superb utensil and cutting board finish and a food safe wood finish at that!
I make my own mixture of walnut oil, beeswax and orange oil that I apply to my Ultra and Supreme Selections of my wood crafts for sale.
It adds a lovely feel to the already very smooth sanded pieces! One day I will make it and market it to the public. I just seem to have too many pieces of wood to make in the meantime. :-)
How To Care for Your Wooden Cooking Utensils & Bowls
and Wood Cutting Board Care
You can wash your wood items in warm soapy water and then rinse and dry. Do not put in a dishwasher as the heat will damage the wood.
Wood cutting board care sometimes requires you to sanitize the wood. You can rub with a bit of lemon and then rinse off, or wipe them with white vinegar. Vinegar is an excellent disinfectant, killing E. Coli bacteria, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus.
Cutting boards are best placed at an angle after washing so the water drains. Dry boards don't breed germs which like moist surfaces.
Every now and then you may need to get some sandpaper to refinish your wood items if it is rough or stained.
Sandpaper is graded from roughest to smoothest by number. So very rough is 40 grit, then 60, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, 220, 280, 300, 400, 600 and more.
You should start with around 80 or 100 grit unless you have a real serious flaw to remove. Then use progressively higher grits. You can usually skip a grade in between and go from 100 to 150 then 220.
I go all the way to 3000 grit ultra super smooth sandpaper on my Supreme Selection wood craft gifts.
After sanding, proceed to add your food safe wood finish in several coats ideally allowing time for it to dry in between.
Remember wood loves oil! Add often for Happy Wood!
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