Wooden bowls fall into two categories; kitchen bowls – those bowls that are used for food items, like salad bowls, nut bowls, etc. and bowls that are for decoration only. The difference in these two types of bowls, in regards to care, is the finish that each has. Bowls that are used for foodstuffs and subject to liquids and washing are usually finished with a mineral oil and/or beeswax finish. Not only is this type of finish food-safe, it is also very easy to maintain. Whereas, a decorative bowl, because it is not going to be washed has a finish more suitable for decorative purposes, for example, a high gloss shine. A regular dusting should keep decorative bowls looking beautiful. If, for some reason they need to be clean, wipe gently with a damp cloth only.
Wooden kitchen bowls should to be cleaned and sanitized after use. Regular maintenance will keep your bowl looking nice and last for a long time. This is not a big process. It can easily be incorporated into your daily chores.
To care for your wooden kitchen bowl remember that it is made of wood and wood does not like to get wet. It doesn’t like to get too dry either. A conundrum, we know. 🙂
Always hand wash your wooden kitchen bowl, never put it, or any other wooden items, in a dishwasher. Use warm soapy water and a mild soap, rinse, and dry thoroughly.
Never, ever soak your bowl in water or leave it in the sink where water may splash into it and stand.
When your wooden kitchen bowl appears to have a faded or has a dull finish, it is time to season it. Purchase mineral oil at the pharmacy or grocery store. This oil is inexpensive and will not go rancid as other cooking oils will. The bowl should be dried out thoroughly first.
Pour a liberal amount of oil onto a clean, dry cloth or paper towel and rub in evenly. Let it dry for an hour and then wipe up any excess oil with another dry cloth.
A beeswax and mineral oil combination, like our Treebalm Wooden Ware Care, is even better because it not only moisturizes your board and lasts longer, it also gives a beautiful smooth sheen when buffed.
Occasionally you will need to sanitize your wooden kitchen bowl. This is easily done after washing using vinegar. Mix 1 part white vinegar with 5 parts water. Wet the bowl with the solution and let it sit for several minutes. Rinse with warm water and air dry. Season it when dry.
If your wooden kitchen bowl begins to feel rough to the touch, the grain of the wood has likely raised and needs to be sanded. Grab some 400 to 600 grit sandpaper and rub the damaged area lightly until smoothed out. Wash out the bowl and dry as usual. A brown-paper bag will even work in place of the sandpaper if you do not have any handy. Don’t forget to season it after sanding.
Here are a few tips:
DO rub with oil on a regular basis. We recommend either beeswax or food grade mineral oil or a combination of both. Food grade mineral oil is tasteless and odorless. It does not get sticky and does not become rancid with time. You can get food grade mineral oil at a pharmacy.
DO regularly wipe wooden kitchen bowls with white vinegar to keep it disinfected.
DO occasionally rub wooden kitchen bowls with coarse salt, lemon, or baking soda to remove heavy odors. Let the substance stand on the bowl for 2 to 3 minutes, then wipe off the treated surface. Give it a quick rinse and allow it to dry.
DO wash by hand only
DO rub a wedge of lemon on the wood to help keep it free from bacteria and other germs
Do not soak in water.
Do not put in dishwasher.
Do not put in microwave or oven.
Do not leave in direct sunlight.
Do not bring from hot to cold or cold to hot
With regular maintenance and care your wooden bowls will look better and last longer, giving many years of enjoyable service.