Care and Maintenance
Like all things that grow, wooden products need love and attention. One can't simply buy a bowl and expect it to last forever without any attention. And each species will react differently to conditions (sunlight, humidity, etc.), so some will need more care than others. Below, we're including some recommended care instructions for your Flat Panda wooden craft.
This section is for most wood products, whether you get them at Flat Panda or elsewhere.
- Unless it's an exterior product (table, andirondack chairs, etc), try to avoid leaving the item in direct sunlight for extended periods. UV light has been known to change the color of most wood species; some more than others. Ever seen a new wood fence get raised with a beautiful red cedar color, then you drive by it a year later and it's all a weathered gray? That's due to the light from the sun.
- This is especially true with any products containing Cedar or Purple Heart! You may want this change in color, which is fine. Cedar will turn grey with UV rays, while Purple Heart will turn from a purple to a browl over time.
- Never put any product in the dishwasher or submerge it in water! A good crafter will protect the wood from humidity and moisture, but very few finishes will totally withstand being soaked. Only finishes designed for boats are really good enough (and that raises the cost CONSIDERABLY).
- If you've upkept the oil treatment (see below), a quick wipe with a damp (not wet) cloth should be plenty. Air dry.
- Depending on use, a quick once-over with a mineral oil or salad bowl finish (pretty much the same thing) every 1-3 years. Just douse a paper towel with the oil, wipe it on the product thick, then wipe off the excess about 20 minutes later. If you want to keep a more glossy finish, get the Salad Bowl Finish. Otherwise, just get regular mineral oil. They are both usually available from your big box store.
- For cutting boards, do not use a finish that hardens with a film, such as shellac or polyurethane. These finishes will chip off while cutting, and get into your food. You probably won't die, but do you really want to eat polyurethane?
We have a lot of yarn bowls, and these rarely require any more maintenance than what we've listed above. Just keep them sand and dust-free, oil them every few years, and don't eat out of them.
Other bowls may or may not be food-safe; each individual product will explicitly state as much. But, in no case, is a bowl safe for hot liquids (at least not until we find a suitable interior finish).
Platters, Cutting Boards, Serving Trays
Mineral oil and/or Salad Bowl Finish are good options. We suggest applying this finish annually, if not more frequently.
Never put a wooden platter, tray or cutting board in the dish washer or submerge it in water! It probably won't be hurt by a few rain drops due to the oil finishes we apply, but that won't stand up to the beating a total submergence would bring.
Cutting boards and serving trays may crack over time; it's the nature of wood as it dries. We try to use kiln-dried wood to prevent this, but it's not always possible. If this occurs, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can come to a workable solution. Oftentimes, we can cut a new line along the crack and re-glue the pieces together. This results in about 1/8" loss of material.