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  #1  
Old 11/10/08, 11:57 AM
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How to clean a wooden bowl

I found an antique wooden bowl in a box of junk my friend was throwing out. It's in great shape-no nicks or chips out of the edging. It's an odd, oval shape that is gorgeous. Very plain and simple. What can I use to clean it that is food safe? What do I polish it up with? I want to leave it on my kitchen table for a bread basket, fruit bowl, etc. It's so lovely, but very dirty. Is Murphy's food safe?

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Old 11/10/08, 02:21 PM
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If it were mine.. and i wish it were.. I would not "wash" it, persay. I would take fine, fine, fine, fine sandpaper or steel wool and give it a gentle going over to remove dust and grime. Go with the grain of the wood.
Then I would rub it over and over and over and over with a mix of warmed beeswax and a good light oil. The traditional wood finish is turpentine and beeswax, but for food grade I would just go with a light oil like lemon and the wax.
The wood is probably old and dry and needs to be "fed". You just can't rub too much into it. It is a very nice thing to sit and do while you watch tv.

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Old 11/10/08, 02:30 PM
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I would use a fine-grained sandpaper to gently clean it up. For oil, why not try olive oil?

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Old 11/10/08, 03:17 PM
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I use wooden ware all the time. I use the no-scratch scrubbies on my wooden ware on tough spots, but mostly just use a sponge and normal dish washing liquid. I let the bowl dry well and give it a good rubdown of mineral oil. If the bowl loses it's oil and gets too dry, it will crack. Mineral oil is food safe. If you want to give the bowl a protective coating on the areas that have food contact, then rub the inner part of the bowl well with walnut oil. That is food safe and recommended by folks that make eating ware from wood. (woodturners). Keeping your bowl clean and lightly oiled will make the bowl last many years and you'll get alot of use from it.
Ohio Rusty ><>

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Old 11/11/08, 07:04 AM
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Thank you, Rusty! I washed it out last night with dish soap and a sponge. It looks great, but still needs oiling. I can grab mineral oil at the pharmacy and rub some in. Wonder where I would look for walnut oil? I'd love wooden plates and bowls in my kitchen. Hmmmm. Ebay, here I come!

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  #6  
Old 11/12/08, 04:23 PM
 
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Congratulations on your wonderful find..... I am fortunate to have the wooden bowl my mother used to make bread in. For years and years growing up, I remember her leaving the remaining flour in the bowl, putting it in a brown grocery bag and storing it in the Hoosier cabinet.

When I got the bowl, it was definitely dry. I used Boose's "Mystery Oil" on it - main component is foodsafe linseed oil. It took several applications before the wood stopped soaking it in immediately. Now I have a beautiful family heirloom on my table!

Enjoy your new treasure!
Net

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Old 11/18/08, 11:14 AM
 
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One thing to watch for if you use the walnut oil is that some people are deathly allergic to tree nuts and even eating something that came into contact with a walnut oil treated bowl can cause a reaction. I would be one of those people... <sigh>

Olive oil or other veg oils can eventually go rancid. I think the mineral oil or linseed oil would be your best bet. Mineral oil would be odorless and tasteless, so wouldn't alter the taste of whatever you put in the bowl afterward.

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Old 11/19/08, 06:48 AM
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Thanks for the heads up. I had actually gotten to thinking about that after DS's friend told me she was allergic to peanuts. I didn't want to cause an allergic reaction by having something like that out. So, I'm getting linseed oil at the home center this week. And I'm grabbing some beeswax. I'm going to oil it, then buff some beeswax onto it for a nice warm glow. Then it's going to sit in the center of my table, full of apples and walnuts. Yummy!

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Old 11/21/08, 11:41 PM
 
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Oh, that should be beautiful! Post a pic?

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