Care

Most of the timbers we use are dry and require oil and care.

A wooden product, especially a high quality one, requires its owner to occasionally tend to its needs. All Sands Made products have been built to last, however, following a few simple care procedures will help extend each products life.

Why Care?

The timber of living trees and freshly cut logs contains a large amount of water that often constitutes over 50% of the wood's weight. Our products are all made from dried timber, which has had almost all moisture removed before we begin work. Even after being shaped into a final product, an untreated piece of timber will continue changing shape according to the temperature and humidity of its environment. Extreme environments can create unwanted distortions, cracks and defects in all wooden products. Wood is a constantly changing material and requires a stable environment and care to maintain its shape and strength.

Product Finishes

How you care for your product is largely determined by its surface treatment. The finish of a product is the final treatment we apply to a product that will best suit its intended use. We apply two types of surface treatments to our finished products: Organic coconut oil or Food Safe Polyurethane. Please check the "Finish" information on your products page under Products to find out which type of surface treatment has been applied to your product.

Products treated with Coconut Oil have been designed to breath. The coconut oil treatment allows the wood to breath, but not so fast that it will change shape too quickly and develop cracks. Products such as our Cheese Paddle range have been designed for serving food as well as for cutting on so they need to allow moisture to soak in and evaporate easily. Coconut oil provides the perfect surface treatment for this type of product.

Products treated with Food Safe Polyurethane are generally designed for harsh environments. For example this finish helps the Kitchen Turner and the Risotto Spoon withstand the hot water and caustic cleaners in a dishwasher. We also apply this finish to delicate or decorative products that may stain or damage easily if un-coated. These products will last for years very little upkeep.

Choosing Oil

We primarily use Spiral Foods Organic Coconut Oil.

Products finished with oil require re-oiling over time. Care should be taken when choosing an oil as many common kitchen oils such as olive oil and vegetable oil can go rancid once inside the board. Mineral oil is also a good non-oxidising board treatment however we've found coconut oil to be the best treatment for almost all our oiled products for the following reasons:

  • Doesn't go rancid
  • Food safe
  • Very good for wood fibres (and your hands)
  • Colourless
  • Odourless
  • Low allergenic properties
  • Perfect viscosity for application
  • Readily available and reasonably priced

We primarily use Spiral Foods Organic Coconut Oil that can be found at many Australian supermarkets and health food stores. Most health food stores will carry a cheaper unbranded coconut oil that will also do the job. Here are a few more oils we've worked with and can recommend:

Cleaning

Unless your product is marked as dishwasher safe on our website, please do not put your product in a dishwasher. The heat, moisture and chemicals are a bad combination for most wooden products. To clean a wooden board, we suggest cleaning with lemon and salt or a gentle detergent. Do not submerge your board for an extended period of time or the board may soak up excess water and swell. Allow your board to dry thoroughly on its edge in a well-ventilated area away from extreme cold or heat.

To remove stains or odours, add a generous amount of salt and lemon to the board then leave for 5 mins. Use a damp clean sponge or paper towel to rub the stained or discoloured areas. Scrape the salt and lemon off the board with a flat edged scraper then dry with a clean cloth, then allow it to air-dry overnight.

Applying Oil

Before you start, make sure your board is clean (see above). For liquid oils, simply apply a generous coating of your chosen oil to the product and rub with a cloth. Allow the product to sit in a well-ventilated area for 3-12 hours then wipe the excess oil off with a clean cloth. Coconut oil melts at 24°C so the application will be different depending on your climate. If your coconut oil is solid, try putting the oil in an oven at 80°C for 20 minutes then apply the warm oil to your product. Be sparing with the application of more viscous oils such as tung oil as applying a thick coating can sometimes leave a tacky finish.

All boards are thoroughly oiled before sale but still require oiling after use.

How Often?

All Sands Made products are thoroughly oiled prior to sale, however we recommend cleaning and oiling your product before use. After the first wash it's perfectly normal for the surface of the board to roughen, this roughness will smooth over time. Allow the board to dry then apply more oil as described above. We've found that re-oiling frequency depends largely on the climate, timber, and type of use the board experiences. However, here's a rough guide:

1 - 2 Months old Oil every second week
2 - 6 Months old Oil every month
6 - 24 Months old Oil every 3 months
24 Months onwards Oil every 4-6 months