With so many Mid-Century serving pieces made of beautiful teak, walnut, maple and rosewood, I wanted to share a few tips to care for your vintage woodenware. Wood will dry out and crack over time if it’s not cared for properly, and we would hate for that to happen, wouldn’t you?
Caring for your Vintage Woodenware
To care for your precious woodenware pieces, the first rule is never soak your pieces in water. In fact, don’t immerse them in water at all. Don’t put wood of any kind in the dishwasher, and don’t let water spots pool anywhere on the piece. Water dries out the wood and will eventually lead to fading, blistering and cracking – just a damp wipe will do.
Removing Residue and Surface Build-up
If you need to remove residue from the surface or perhaps the unfortunate buildup of cooking oil (as shown in the bowls below), a small amount of coarse salt scrubbed gently over the area will clean and sanitize your piece. Be careful not to scrub too hard or you run the risk of scratching the finish and rubbing your own fingers a little raw.
Conditioning Woodenware to Age Gracefully
For ongoing care I recommend a few things to help the patina of your wooden pieces age gracefully.
Now you might have heard that rubbing a skim of cooking oil over the surface is a sure-fire way to keep the polish and shine in your woodenware, but I would not do this. Cooking oil will build up over time and become sticky to the touch, not to mention it has a shelf-life and will go rancid. The bowls above show how the residue has built up and how dust and grime cling to the surface.
Butcher Block Oil
Instead of cooking oil, I suggest using butcher block oil to keep your wooden pieces in great shape. Butcher block oil helps camouflage surface wear and minor scratches, and works overtime at enhancing the patina of each piece. The great thing about butcher block oil is it contains a natural antibacterial agent, and does not leave a residue build up over time.
Beeswax for Salad Bowls
Occasionally it doesn’t hurt to to condition your wooden treasures with a non-toxic product like Clapham’s Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish. This is an edible mineral oil and beeswax product, and is my favourite go-to. Once the wax is dried and buffed it leaves your piece nicely protected, and sets off the patina better than new! Just remember, a little wax goes a long way!
If you care for your vintage woodenware following the tips in this post, your prized treasures like this 1960s Baribo-craft salad bowl set will last for a lifetime! Believe it or not, the bowls above are part of this set. They were given the salt scrub cleaning, a lot of TLC butcher block oil conditioning, and then a final waxing with the Clapham’s beeswax for the protective finish!
Do you have any tips to share? How do you care for your vintage woodenware?
Thanks for stopping by!
Note, this is not a sponsored post. All opinions of product recommendations are my own.
Photographs © Audrey Would! Vintage Home