International Styles

How to Care for Wood Products

Care of Woodenware

In caring for woodenware articles it is important to clean them immediately after they have been used for cooking operations. A chopping bowl is not only easier to clean if attended to as soon as one is through using it, but it is not so liable to absorb odors from the food contained. The following suggestions may be helpful in telling customers how to care for unfinished wood, varnished wood, and painted wood.

In cleaning unfinished wood:

To remove grease, the commonest stain, wet with cold water to prevent spreading, and scrub with strong washing soda.

To bleach when it has become darkened, apply a solution of oxalic acid (a teaspoonful to a cup of hot water) to entire surface with a brush. Let dry, and scrub as usual.

To wash, go over surface with wet cloth, scrub with soap or fine sand soap, always with the grain, not across it or in circular motion. Rinse with clear warm water and wipe dry. Use as little water as possible; if much is used the wood becomes darker and water-soaked.

In cleaning varnished wood: dust, then clean with a soft cloth and oil. Polish with a dry cloth. Silk and chamois are good for finely finished woods.

In cleaning painted wood: use warm water and soap suds, applied with a cloth. Then rub over with a cloth wrung out of clear water, then with a dry cloth. If the surface is not dried it will be streaked. Spots which do not yield may be scoured with whiting. Never apply soap directly to paint.

Tubs or buckets which have become very dry are not water-tight and should have water put into them for some hours before using.

Woodenware will absorb odors and fats which will be conveyed to other foods. For this reason special wooden spoons should be kept for use with salads and not be used for cakes, custards, etc. Wooden buckets or containers, not being air-tight, are not suitable for cereals, which become filled with weevils unless kept in air-tight containers.

In general, woodenware for use in connection with food is limited to articles which can be made of nothing else. Usually they are articles which would be too heavy if made of any of the metals except aluminum, which would be prohibitive because of its cost.

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