I am refinishing a 50 year old salad bowl. It is carved out of
a solid piece of wood. The end grain runs along the length of it.
Where the finish wore off in the end grain area, the grain is filled with
olive oil. The salad bowl finish looks great, but will not dry over the
contaminated end grains.
I have soaked it in soapy water, and the oil comes off. I wait till it
and it seems like it is ready to apply the finish, but the old oils seep out
What can I use to clean this well enough to allow the finish to dry?
But fuller's earth can help absorb some (some cat litters - the grey
ones, and you need to powder it up yourself)
Some washing up detergents are helpful too. I use Ecover, which is
based on coconut oil.
Dunno 'bout salad bowls, but getting oil out of model airplane
structures is an ongoing chore for modelers who need to re-cover their
models. The oil comes from engine exhaust, and new covering will
_not_ bond unless the wood structure is oil free.
One solution is "K2R" spot-lifter, made by Spontex. I get it in the
household section at Kroger.
Spray the K2R on to get an even coating.
Let dry. And I mean _dry_. The coating will turn bone white when
dry. Brush the dried powder off.
Repeat until the oil is gone.
Works great on balsa, bass, and birch plywoods. Might be slower on
hard woods, though.
Note that K2R is not a food product, so you will definitely need to
clean all the powder off the salad bowl, preferably with denatured
alcohol, before refinishing.
the dash plumber at mindspring dot com
This would be my suggestion also - using a propane torch and rag. The flame
will make the oil bubble up - then swipe with rag. Timing is everything so
be careful not to overdo the heat and damage the wood.
Do what people who refinish old oily military rifles stock
do. Spray it with oven cleaner, let set for 10 minutes,
wash with hot water, and dry. You may need to repeat three
times. I've got old stocks don't show any oil surfacing
after several years that were once as oil soaked and dirt
filled as you could imagine.
In my experience, washing with soapy water, heating and
wiping, and covering in fullers earth or other oil absorbent
are either a pain in the butt or just don't work well. Good
Generally heat will help oil to leach out. I have used acetone and
just kept appl;ying it. Also soak it in Acetone and quickly put oil
dry on it to soak up oil.
On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 02:14:04 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"
Yep, I'm a big fan of the oven cleaner approach since it is fairly
fast and only takes two or three applications to work on an oil soaked
If you want to be a little less aggressive, for "finer" stocks I find
I can place the wood in a garbage bag full of dusted kitty litter and
place the whole thing on my dashboard for the summer. The heat forces
oil and the litter soaks it up. Takes time but wont bleach out the wood
the easy off...
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