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Product Care Information

Since inception, Bearfare has been committed to sourcing quality, responsibly harvested, materials and maintaining the highest standards of craftsmanship.  With proper protection and care, you can preserve your item for a lifetime.

Below are some recommendations for keeping your pieces looking and feeling their best.

 

SEASONING YOUR ITEM FOR THE FIRST TIME

Many of our products intentionally arrive unseasoned. A food safe oil sample specifically chosen for wood products is included to allow you the joy of bringing it to life for yourself. Refer to our Welcoming Your Product Home page for instructions on how to properly prepare your wood product for first time use.

 

BOARD CARE & MAINTAINING

As with most wood items, our boards require proper care and regular maintenance is needed to prevent warping, crackling, staining and odor absorption. Thankfully, caring for our boards is a fairly simple process, but one that has numerous benefits. An occasional re-application of a food-safe mineral oil will keep your wood from drying out, help to protect from harmful bacteria, and give the surface of the board a rejuvenating finish. On average, oiling two to three times per year will help to preserve your item for years to come.

Caring for Wood

  • Hand wash with hot, soapy water and let dry thoroughly.
  • Do not soak or submerge the board in water.
  • To sanitize, wash the board with a solution of one part vinegar to five parts water.
  • Remove odors by rubbing the board with kosher or table salt and half a lemon. Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes then wipe clean with a damp cloth. Remove excess moisture with a clean paper towel and stand the board on end to air dry.
  • Store in a dry area away from extreme temperatures.

    When to Season

    With time, your wood product will begin to dry and lose it's protective oil coating. If you see lighter and drier looking areas of wood, your product may need re-seasoning. Additionally, you can drip drops of water onto the board to see If it soaks into the board vs stays on the surface. If it absorbs, it's likely time for maintenance. Stains, colors and smells are definite signs the product needs to be disinfected thoroughly and re-seasoned.

    Oils to Season With

    We recommend using either mineral (available from Bearfare) or coconut oil to regularly hydrate your wood product. Never use canola and olive oil. These oils are high in unsaturated fats which oxidize quickly, develop free radicals and will go rancid fast.

    Re-Seasoning Wood

    Apply a coat of food-grade oil when board to all surfaces and let it absorb for five minutes. Reapply oil until there are no thin or extra-thirsty areas.

     

    GENERAL PROTECTION

    While wood durability and resilience varies by species, generally it can stand the test of time. That being said, the following can damage your items and should be avoided.

    Direct Heat

    Intense heat can have a chemical reaction with the item’s finish or top coat, which can result in white rings or spots. Prolonged exposure to extreme heat can dry out wood creating small cracks and even deep splits.

    Water and Humidity

    Wood is very sensitive to changes in humidity. As moisture level changes, the wood expands and contracts slightly. Extreme changes in moisture or prolonged exposure to water can cause the wood to distort on the surface, warp entirely, and lose integrity. Maintain consistent humidity levels and be sure to wipe off water contacting the wood immediately with a soft, clean, and dry cloth. 

    Direct Sunlight

    Although the patina and color of natural wood changes over time with exposure to air and sunlight, intense ultraviolet rays can damage a finish and cause wood to fade. Avoid placing items where they may be exposed to hours of strong, direct sunlight like outdoors or under a window. Periodically rotate items to ensure they mature consistently and throughout.

    Chemicals

    Strong solvents can harm a great finish. Avoid direct contact with nail polish remover, paint thinner, and colognes, perfumes, after-shave and mediations which contain alcohol. Alcohol found in wine, beer and spirits should be avoided and cleaned immediately after exposure. Never use products containing ammonia to clean your items.

    Sharp Objects

    It goes without saying, but avoid contact with sharp objects or scraping wood against a surface while moving. When moving, always lift and place objects vs sliding them to prevent them from getting scratched.

     

    CLEANING & WASHING

    Regular Cleaning

    Keep your items dusted regularly to avoid interaction with the finish. Clean by rubbing a dry, clean, and lint-free cloth in the direction of the grain. See the following section for polishing and restoration tips.

    Hand Washing

    When washing, first detach any metal hardware that is part of your item. Hand wash gently in warm, never hot, soapy water using a mild dishwashing detergent and rinse off. Cleaning products that contain alcohol, petroleum, or ammonia should be avoided. Do not let your item soak in water. Wipe up moisture promptly with a soft, clean, and dry cloth until the item is dry. 

    Dishwashing

    Never use a dishwasher to clean a wood item. This will undoubtedly weaken and predominantly damage the wood.

     

    WOOD RESTORATION

    With regular use and time all wood needs maintenance. Polishing your items will help smooth out scratches and keep them from drying out or losing their luster.

    Polishing

    Depending on climate humidity, we recommend polishing your items every six months or when the wood seems dry. Drier climates may require more frequent application. 

    We recommend using a penetrating oil to seal and bring out the natural grain and color of your wood-based items. This will provide a protective coating against most common substances and liquids. Your items will not be protected against harsh stains like coffee or wine, so use caution. 

    Linseed oil, walnut oil or mineral oil work great and can be found online or at your local grocery store. Do not use a finish polish, wax or silicone cleaner. These can build-up and leave a residue on the surface or attract dirt, which causes scratches, smudges, or streaks if used improperly.

    Apply in the direction of the grain using a dry, clean, soft, and lint-free cloth. For a smooth finish buff the excess polish with a separate cloth.

    Smoothing Surfaces

    Wood surfaces can become less smooth over time with regular use, time, and exposure to hot liquids. To restore a smooth finish, gently rub the item in the direction of the grain with fine sandpaper (400 grit or above) or fine steel wool. Reapply oil polish. See instructions under ‘Polishing’.