Lifestyle with a wooden twist isn’t a finish line you cross once, it is an ever-going experience for many consumers with aesthetic preferences here in Singapore. From using your most rustic teak wooden plate set to welcome your guest to eating popcorn out of your favourite sama-sama bowl, such a lifestyle provides an air of rustic charm and makes sense of your own identity at home.
And while wooden boards can be precious, taking care of them requires more than just cleaning with water and dish soap. The standard suggestion is to follow a simple four-easy-step guideline that will make taking care of your wooden boards much more effective. One thing to note, you should set yourself to do this once a month, or every two months or so, depending on use.
Ready to start?
#1 – Buffing out rough spots with sandpaper
When you have tough stains/buildup or deep knife cuts, instead of waiting for more residue or unsightly marks to collect on your wooden treasure, you might want to quickly pick up some sandpaper from your local hardware store and buff it out. The standard sandpaper of choice is:
180-grit - Rough. Great for those deep cuts and deep stains.
280-grit - Mid rough.
500-grit - Smooth. Great for final polish.
Selecting the correct coarseness for the sanding work depends on the severity of the board, so it’s smart to adjust accordingly. Alternatively, you may start with a coarse sandpaper grit, and then switch to finer grits.
Then, apply more pressure as needed as you go along, following the grain of the wood. The treated area should look good after you remove a thin layer of buildup. You may then sand a little bit out from the bad spot to blend it in with the rest of the wooden boards or wooden kitchenware.
#2 – Deep cleaning with salt and lemon
If you’re curious about why lemon is such a powerful ingredient when it comes to deep cleaning your wooden boards, you’ve come to the right place. Lemon, like vinegar, is a terrific cleaning agent. The acid in lemons is antibacterial and antiseptic, and it acts as a natural bleach. The citrus smell, in addition, is refreshing and invigorating on your wooden pieces. Sometimes, oils in the rinds can also help to clean and shine too.
To start, cut the lemon in half and rub the juicy pulp over the surface of your wooden boards. You can apply salt to the surface before you start rubbing. This can tackle dull stains well beyond your kitchen crockery and utensils.
#3 – Disinfecting your wooden boards doesn’t hurt
Whether you plan to clean a few times a month or wait a bit longer, you’ll always get the best results with a few good sprays of vinegar. Yes, it doesn’t hurt to disinfect your wooden surfaces with white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) to rid of harmful bacteria that can cause disease. Apply a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar and pour them into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the entire surface and let the vinegar sit for 4-5 minutes.
This will be your saviour for all kinds of wood ranging from teak, beech, mahogany, oak, pine, walnut, and yew. You can rest assured that your wood won’t damage like when you use other disinfecting toxic products. This is because vinegar is a very weak form of acetic acid made from a combination of sugars and starches. Talk about going green.
#4 – Conditioning your wooden boards to age gracefully
Natural beeswax like the one from Kraton Home can condition your wooden boards to age gracefully. What makes this simple beeswax such a great wood conditioner is the fact that it’s designed to feed and nourish bare wood and protect your wooden treasure from fading caused by sunlight, dust and airborne pollutants, and even water damage.
Once your wooden crockery and utensils have dried completely, take a clean, dry cloth and apply some beeswax. Wait approximately 3-4 minutes before wiping your wooden pieces completely, inside and outside. You can also use other alternatives such as olive oil, coconut oil or mineral oil for that beautiful, rich finish.
Buff over with a clean cloth to restore the lustre and be prepared to satisfy your cultural appetite! And with everything that’s going on well at the moment, from a well-polished teak wood cake stand to the rich, lustrous bucket wooden bowl, there’s no reason to not do that.