Wood Bowls Finish with Vinegar Toxicity

by Dianne Crowned
(Berlin, Germany)

Hi Guys !

I recently got some bowls made of Samanea saman Wood. I think they are made in China, I want to use these as salad bowls, I like to put Balsamico in my salads & I'm afraid the vinegar/balsamico will destroy the finish and suddenly I will be eating salad with a cocktail of chemicals mixed with Balsamico.

How safe is eating vinegar or any other acid food on Wooden Bowls?

Those are my bowls

Arbutus Ron here:

Unless you know what the current finish is, it is hard to know what will happen. If it is unfinished wood then just add walnut oil or mineral oil for a food safe wood finish. The vinegar will be fine then. Just add oil often.

If there is a toxic finish on the bowls then sand them down by hand starting with a rough 100 grit and then move up to 220 and 400 grits. Then add the oil.

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Jul 30, 2015

by: Arbutus Ron

Sorry Dianne, just saw this.

Sanding should restore the wood so I'd give it a try.

Jul 08, 2014
Sanding will remove the finish
by: Arbutus Ron

Sanding should do the trick to remove the old toxic finish.

Sandpaper has a number system: the lower the number say 40 grit, the rougher the paper.

That may be too coarse a grit though. You could try with 100 grit or 150 (finer yet) to remove the old finish but it may take longer than starting with the 100 or even 80 grit. Once removed you then work your way up to smoother and finer grits all the way to 600 if you want.

Hope this helps!

Jul 08, 2014
Another question
by: Dianne Crowned

Hi Arbutus Ron !! I didn't realize that you answered, thank you so much !!

I find your website super informative.
I have another question.
I'm not sure if the finish is a sealer, paint, or enamel, but in the case of sealer, do you think i'm able to remove the sealer with the sanding methode?

My wood is Monkeypod,

Common Name(s): Monkeypod, Monkey Pod, Raintree
Scientific Name: Samanea saman (syn. Albizia saman, Pithecellobium saman).

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