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When we buy a wooden cup or cutting board, it's mainly for its beauty, strength and durability. But how do you keep it all together over the long term and care for the wood?
Tung oil is one of the 100% natural solutions for maintaining your wooden tableware, and I'll explain it to you right after.
Tung oil, also known as Chinese wood oil, is an oil extracted from the seeds of two trees native to southern China. It has been used for centuries in China for medicinal purposes, as well as for wood care.
To make tung oil, the seeds found in the tree's fruit (a nut) must first be collected. The seeds are then cleaned and dried to remove any moisture. After pressing to remove all the oil, it is filtered to remove impurities.
Tung oil's major characteristic is its resistance to water, which is why it has been used for years as a varnish on wooden boat hulls.
Tung oil forms a protective barrier on the wood, preventing it from coming into contact with liquid or moisture. This prevents the wood from warping or cracking.
Tung oil penetrates wood fibers to nourish them deep down. Thanks to this oil, wood is stronger and shinier. Tung oil also forms a protective layer on the wood's surface, making it more resistant to scratches and temperature variations.
Tung oil, with its smooth surface, will protect wood from food stains and liquids such as coffee and wine. The oil will also protect the wood from UV rays, preventing it from fading or deteriorating under the effect of light or sunlight.
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To wash your wooden tableware, use lukewarm water and mild soap. Rinse and dry your wooden product thoroughly.
Be careful, allow to dry for several hours and make sure your product is not damp before applying the oil.
To wash your wooden dishes, use a natural, non-chemical soap. You can use a natural soap with almond milk and honey, for example.
To apply tung oil to your wooden crockery, use a clean, soft, lint-free cloth (this means that your cloth won't shed bits as you use it). You can also use a brush or a clean foam sponge. Apply the oil in thin layers to allow it to dry thoroughly.
When choosing tung oil, look for an edible oil. Tung oil in liquid form is not edible and can cause poisoning. Tung oil must be completely dry before you use your wooden tableware, because once it's dry, tung oil is harmless to your health.
Photo before applying tung oil ⬇️
Now you need to let the wood absorb the tung oil so that it permeates the deep fibers. Then remove the excess oil and leave to dry. If, after the first coat, you can see that the wood is still dry, apply a second coat.
Drying time: approx. one week, complete drying in 1 month.
The drying time for tung oil is very long, and you must respect this time for safety reasons. Tung oil is not edible in liquid form, but only when dry.
Photo after tung oil application ⬇️
Protection against moisture
Tung oil protects wood from contact with water and moisture. Very practical for maintaining a cup or spoon!
Tung oil is made from nuts. Some people may therefore be allergic.
Nourishing for wood
Tung oil penetrates deep into wood to moisturize, nourish and shine.
Tung oil has a distinctive odor that may bother some people. The odor disappears after complete drying.
Stain and scratch resistance
Tung oil strengthens the wood's surface, making it more resistant to stains and scratches.
Tung oil is more expensive than some other wood-protecting oils and waxes, such as beeswax.
Tung oil offers a soft, natural finish that brings out the natural beauty and nuances of wood.
Like linseed oil, tung oil is easily ignited. Used cloths should therefore be stored with care.
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