Which Oil You Should Choose for the Lubrication and Maintenance of Wood Products Used in Kitchen
Any time we put our hands on a dry tree branch and a knife, as wood lovers we start to give it a shape depending on the nature of the material, time and imagination we have. We want to use the products we have created, or, if this is not possible, buy them. Still, love for wood remains. In this, a major challenge is to know how to make use of and protect wood products in a healthy way.
Wood needs protection. Wood resembles to a blotting paper in that it tends to suck in whatever you put onto or into it. A bowl made of wood on which no protective oil is applied absorbs the milk put into it and, over time, starts to have a strong smell. Hence the need to apply oil and reduce the absorption capacity of the wood. This way, we can put food in it or wash it.
We can apply oil or beeswax on wood. Whereas beeswax forms a layer on the surface, oil is absorbed into the wood. Most generally, wood oils can be classified into two major categories: Those which condense, and those which remain liquid. The former is considered better because it protects the wood and is resistant to water. The oils which always stay liquid, such as olive oil, may decompose over time and emit a bad odour whereas condensed oils keep wood products in their original state and does not decompose.
The most commonly used oils are linseed oil, walnut oil and tung oil. Linseed and walnut oils have been used as thinner since the Middle Ages. Tropical tung oil, on the other hand, is used in the production of commercial oils such as Denmark oil. White spirit is also used as a thinner and helps tung oil to be absorbed by the wood. However, simply warming up tung oil also ensures that it is completely absorbed in the wood without any need for adding chemicals.
If you plan to lubricate a bowl in the kitchen, I advise walnut oil for the job. You can use cold-pressed walnut oil, first, to harden your bowl, second, to add extra flavor to the salad made on it. You can immerse the oil in the bottle in a warm water for few minutes before applying it on the wood to ensure that the oil gets thinner. Then, using a piece of cloth, apply the oil on the bowl, wait till it is absorbed, and then, clean off any residue from the surface with a piece of clean cloth. However, if you allergic to walnut, you may reconsider applying walnut oil on your kitchen products made of wood.
Linseed oil, too, is one of the natural oils used extensively. It is produced through cold-pressing or boiling. Some chemicals are added to the boiled linseed oil during its production to ensure that, once applied, it dries up quite fast. Linseed oil is frequently used in woodwork, but it is not used in products that are exposed to food.
Cold-pressed linseed oil, on the other hand, can be applied to kitchen products without any worry. Their color is almost transparent. Once you apply it to your kitchen utensils, no further action is needed except waiting for it to completely dry up. There is no need for re-applying the oil and the oiled utensils can be washed. However, if you wish your wood utensils to be glossy as in the first day, you may now and then want to lubricate them lightly with walnut oil.
In conclusion, in order to use wood products safely for many years, we first need to lubricate them appropriately, and then ensure a good maintenance.
I wish you a healthy and beautiful day.