Wood-Care & Knowledge

Thank you for your interest and purchase! Below we have outlined some quick and general do’s and don’ts to follow with your new items, as well as some specific information about each product type. At the very end, for the curious, we have a brief about why these things matter—because they do!


Do’s 
•    Love and appreciate your items.
•    Use as often as you like--with a little TLC they will last for two lifetimes.
•    Dry immediately after wet cuts, wash with warm water and mild soap as needed. Oil after every wash or as needed.
•    Scrub and flush with water to clear out food remnants only when needed. 
•    Pat dry with a washable towel. 
•    Allow to dry completely while upright on one edge or in a rack where air can flow freely to all sides as much as possible.
•    For dry cuts (like bread) just brush clean. 
•    Feed and hydrate your board often using our proprietary finish or any other butcher block finish. Ideally every 3 months, or whenever thoroughly washed.
•    We offer organic and vegan options, both of which are petroleum free. 
•    Mineral oil, while food safe, is petroleum based. Household oils, such as canola or coconut oil will spoil; cooking oils are not safe for maintenance. 
•    Apply oil and wax generously at least once a month or once dry from any intense cleaning, and follow the instructions on your preferred product.
•    Use good judgement, be safe, and always be mindful of proper food and hygiene safety.
•    Use for serving/preparing/eating meals as often as you desire. Be sure to bring out for company and impress your family and friends!


Don’ts
•    Do not aggressively cut or stab the surfaces.
•    Do not microwave or use as a trivet.
•    Do not leave outdoors or exposed to strong natural light.
•    Do not place in a dishwasher or soak in water. 
•    Do not allow fluids to pool in or on wood.
•    Do not place flat after washing to dry. 
•    Do not use for food storage.
•    Do not allow food waste to dry out on the board. Bacteria growth on earthenware products can be dangerous; proper washing and maintenance will prevent mildew and bacteria contamination.
•    Do not store near sources of heat


Cutting Boards, Bowls, Charcuterie, and other food contact products:
Its tough to keep your home and especially your kitchen clean. It’s a point of contention in many homes, and a constant subject of study. The FDA and similar are constantly changing their opinion of wood vs plastic vs other, and which is safest for home use. In our homes, for over 20 years, the answer has been wood. The key to keeping the boards clean, healthy, and damage free is to follow some pretty basic kitchen health and safety guidelines. Of course, please always educate yourself on proper food handling (and update us if we make any mistakes!).

Avoid leaving your wood products near the stove, in the car, outdoors, or in direct sunlight. The increase and decrease in heat, moisture, or UV exposure can damage the wood. This is why cutting boards near the sink, refrigerator, and stove tend to have the most damage in older homes. Wood will always age, and
change in time. Accepting this and allowing it to develop character and beauty along the way is the best course of action. Always use a sharp knife to make cuts, and be mindful with forks. Dull knives
require more force to slice and chop, and that force terminates when the blade hits the wood.
A fork that is forcefully dug into the wood will leave scars and scratches. These actions will cause
dents and damage to the wood fibers where a well sharpened knife or proper fork etiquette will glide
through cuts and leave the least damage to your wood board surface.

For dry goods, like bread, a quick dusting after every use and it’s ready for the next use. For moist food stuffs that will not be cooked, such as fruit, cheese, vegetables, etc. we recommend ideally using a separate bowl or board from the one you are using for meats and other products you intend to cook. Honestly, that’s a lot to expect of any home kitchen, so we recommend doing all of your dry foods first, then your cuts for foods that will not be cooked (don’t forget your garnishes!), then your food to cook. After any wet cuts or foods, dry off the wood immediately. If you feel you need to wash it, avoid excessive scrubbing, and remember to reoil after. Do not ever soak, or allow the board to soak up liquids. If serving veggies or fruits, drain off all excess fluids prior to serving. To dry, use a towel and get off as much water as possible and use a drying rack or secure upright to air dry the rest. Allowing one side to dry faster than the other will cause warping,
so do not dry flat or with small pools of fluid. Store flat and away from sources of heat to avoid damage.
Definitely do not ever set a hot pot, pan, glass, or other hot objects down on the wood.
Exposing the wood to flames, electricity, fuel, or excessive friction is a fire hazard. 


For products not related to food:
We make a variety of games, pens, pencils, toys, clocks, gadgets, and other household items that may never come in contact with food. Naturally, these items follow a lot of the same rules as our food products. Heat, cooling, moisture, humidity, sweat, liquids, and UV can all damage wood. If your wood is loved and cared for, each piece will last for ages! If you notice the sheen and luster begins to fade, understand that wood does age and adds character to each piece.

If you notice your wood is exposed to liquids, dry it off immediately. If you see oils and dirts building up, a quick wash with water and mild soap will remove dirt and grime—but always re-oil after cleaning. If you forgot your bento tray in the car, or you left the chess board on the back patio, or any other item was left some place it probably shouldn’t have; expect to see a change to the color of the wood, and give it a good re-oiling right away. Avoid letting moisture pool on or around your wood products, and store dry and flat as often as possible. If you notice the finish fading, re-oil or allow a natural patina to develop. Either are great options. For high traffic items, such as pens or pencils, feel free to wipe them down with oil whenever you feel. Just allow them to dry for a day or two before use. For decorative items, such as clocks, a routine gentle dusting helps to avoid the necessity of re-oiling as often. Remember that the more you use your wood products, the more often you should be providing quality care to them. Contact us for further concerns or questions.

 

Wood Knowledge
Wood is a natural product and once was living tissue. As such, it responds to the environment. This means that the wood itself is sensitive to heat, moisture, UV, and more. Treat wood with care, and be particular about letting it remain as stable as possible. All of our products are made from aged and dried wood that is acclimated to Southern California (pretty dry and hot!). As a result, our woods will “move” as in deform, warp, crack, or otherwise change shape when exposed to different climates. Knowing this, we take care to store our wood in mild climates to replicate standard indoor living across the states, and we put a great deal of extra effort into our designs to best accommodate wood movement without damage to the final product.

We trust that everyone understands that wood is not plastic, and does not behave like plastic. So please take into account that the benefits of wood over plastic do come with some easily avoidable drawbacks as well!
All of Hallowed Woods creations are finished using a proprietary blend of oils, minerals, and waxes to ensure a safe and healthy finish. Our finish was thoughtfully drafted to offer a deep penetrating and hardening, protective layer to the wood as well as remaining food-grade, hygienic, and safe. Generations of research, science, and new techniques were tested vigorously as we weighed the pro’s and con’s of every variation we tested until we found the best possible finish we could create. We do not use any petroleum products, preservatives, dyes or other dangerous chemicals. Just wood, glue, oil, wax, metal hardware, and a lot of elbow grease! Our formulation of oils and finish are also organic, and considered hypoallergenic. We even offer a vegan option that’s just as excellent as our primary variety. Wood is often regarded as naturally antiseptic, as are all of the components in our standard and vegan finish. Our finish has natural anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti inflammatory, and water resistant properties to help ensure your beloved Hallowed Woods creations last as long as possible against any environment or household usage.