HOW DO I PRESERVE THE FINISH ON MY LA COLLINA ITEM?
The short answer: please read "General Care"; for a a bit more, it might help to understand the choices we make when we create our products. Wood and dishwashers do not get along; please do not subject any of our products to a dishwasher. Warm water and dish soap and then a quick towel dry is the best way to maintain your special item. Restore periodically with our "Cera della Nonna" (see below).
We use several different finishes for different products.
For our Bowls, we apply several coats of Walnut Oil. Heat-treated to remove the proteins which may cause allergic reactions, Walnut oil polymerizes over time – it dries inside the wood rather than sit on the surface.
Our cheese paddles, live-edge and end grain serving boards are treated with a 50/50 blend of pure Tung oil* and a natural citrus solvent. We never use a vegetable oil (olive, coconut, et al.) on wood since these oils may darken the wood surface over time, go moldy or turn rancid. While they may provide a nice lustre for a short period, and they will offer some short-term protective barrier against moisture, they never really dry. Food grade mineral oil does not spoil like vegetable-based oil, but it also doesn’t really dry. Tung oil, on the other hand, is a drying oil (like walnut and soy oils). Cutting it with natural citrus solvent permits the Tung oil to penetrate deeper into the wood surface. We apply as much as the wood will absorb, giving it at least one week to dry with sanding between coats. This finish enhances the beauty of the wood while building up a very effective moisture barrier.
We apply eight coats of this finish to our edge grain boards (lighter coats are needed since the edge grain of the wood does not absorb the finish as effectively) and four coats to the end grain cutting surfaces (where the wood fibers act like straws, wicking the finish deep into the surface of the wood).
All of our turned products (ice cream scoops, pens, cheese knives, salt and pepper shakers and mills) are finished with a friction polish after having been sanded with 1500 grit. The friction polish is applied to the wood while it is still on the lathe. The heat/friction permits the finish to penetrate into the wood surface.
All of our wood products receive a final, light coat of our “Cera della Nonna” (grandma’s recipe). Wipe on; buff off. This is a great blend to restore a finish that has worn off as a result of normal hand washing with mild detergent. We use 100% organic Brazilian Carnauba wax, beeswax from our own hives, citrus oils and food-grade mineral oil in this recipe.
*Beware of “Tung Oil Finishes” that you may find in your local hardware or big box store. Many of these contain some Tung oil, but also contain other additives and petroleum distillates. They may require less care and time to cure, but read the label to determine if they are safe enough for your needs.