|If you are a woodworker or consumer who has
a special interest in protecting wooden kitchen items, you
will find information and web pages below that will direct
you to "food-safe" finishing products and general care for
these items (See Below):
Use and care of wooden bowls.
Almost every wooden bowl, regardless of the finish applied,
would be safe for foods like nuts or popcorn. However,
Salad Bowls in particular, need to be finished with a
product that allows for easy, repeatable and safe care by
These four rules are common knowledge to most wood
turners and can be found on many websites. The
lettered items are my comments based upon knowledge gained
from 40 years working with wood.
- Do not soak WOODEN BOWLS or utensils in
- Do not put in dishwasher.
A. Knowing that
the speed at which wood absorbs water or
releases it (dries out), is the most important factor in
preventing wood from splitting, warping, or drying out.
Heat, cold, moisture, and direct sunlight all have a
damaging effect on wooden items. Wood will reach an
"equilibrium moisture content" determined by the relative
humidity of your geographic area as well as the inside of
your home. Sealing wood
properly will help control and even slow down moisture
entering and leaving that salad bowl or cutting board.
Ideally, with a proper balance of
heat-cold-moisture and care, you can pass that prized
salad bowl set down through many generations.
- Do not put in microwave or oven
B. Sometimes a turner
will put a "green" turned bowl into the microwave allowing
it to warp into an artistic shape.
If this is not your intent, DON'T
- Do not leave in direct sunlight
C. Heat and
sunlight will dry out a bowl prematurely. Store such
items in a dry area, away from the sun's harmful rays, and
at room temperature.
Food-safe finishes for wood
care for food-related wood products is this:
Wash in mild dish soap, rinse, and dry with a towel.
When that bowl appears to be "dried out" (sometimes the
color will appear faded), apply a coat or two of mineral
oil. Mineral oil is often used as a laxative and can
be found in your pharmacy or grocery store. Ricard
Raffan would say "(When new), oil the bowl every day for a
week, every week for a month, then every month thereafter."
Or something like that....
Avoid olive oil, vegetable oil or
other kitchen products that could be rancid. Walnut
oil and tung oil are sometimes recommended. These are
not always readily available and are often expensive.
If you want more information about
food-safe products, read on:
There are many "salad bowl" type
finishes available. I have referenced some of these
below and some websites for suppliers of such products.
Two of my favorite
websites that have many great products are:
Also check out the
resources page for a full list of
suppliers and hardware catalogs.
found some good information on the web site of
Copyright ©2005 Debra Lynn Dadd - all rights reserved.
A good bit of advice from Debra Lynn Dadd........
One the wood is protected, it needs
to be maintained to control bacteria:
- Scrub boards and bowls frequently with hot
* Sanitize with a one to five dilution of vinegar to
water. Flood the surface with the vinegar solution
and allow it to stand for several minutes, then rinse and
* Keep dry when not in use. Beware of moisture
collecting beneath boards left on the counter. Prop
one end up when not using your board.
* Oil boards once a week (bowls get additional oiling
every time you use them from the salad dressing.
- * Choose wood boards over plastic.
Research has shown that bacteria cannot be removed by
hand-washing from knife-scared plastic boards. On
wood boards the bacteria dies off within three minutes.
The theory is that the porous surface on the wood surface
of the wooden boards deprives the bacteria of water,
causing them to die.
* Use a separate board for cutting raw meat and poultry to
ensure there will be no cross-contamination with other
foods eaten raw, such as fruits and vegetables, and bread.
ENTIRE LIST OF FOOD SAFE FINISHES -
This is an extensive list of food-safe products. CLICK BELOW
Wood Finishes Guide; Copyright ©1999-2005
WoodBin. All rights reserved