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June 29, 2023 3 min read

Take a look at a recent interview we did for The Natural Parent Magazine...

When it comes to value versus cost, it’s important to not just save money, but to spend it wisely with the long-term in mind. There are plenty of plastic things that may seem to be a cheaper option upfront, but actually will end up costing more in the long run. We think it pays to spend more upfront for a better quality, longer-lasting product, that can be easily repaired rather than replaced. It's simply a matter of locating the right product, that is made of the right materials, that will provide the greatest long-term benefit. And beautifully, that also means it’s better for the planet.

There is no reason in today’s more informed consumer landscape that we can’t all be making better choices. And with just a little extra care, we can get the desired value out of our products. We asked Shayna at The Waste-Free Home for a few tips on how to get the most value out of your beautiful wooden objects. Here’s what she said.

“Over time, wood will age and develop a patina or perhaps even a crack or two. Oxidation may occur (dark spots), and some bristles may be worn down in places with scrubbing. These natural signs of aging are caused by water and use over time, but they do not affect performance. Remember that signs of age are natural. Think of them as the wood’s beautiful natural character - to be embraced not discarded.

Cleaning your brush.
Wood has natural antibacterial properties and doesn’t need to be cleaned often. Chemicals, like bleach, will interfere with the antibacterial properties of the wood. To clean and disinfect your wooden dish brush, add a little soap to a cup of vinegar and soak your brush in the liquid for about an hour. Rinse with hot water and lay in a warm dry place. 

Dry it out.
Between uses lay the brush on its bristles in a warm dry place to encourage the water to move away from the wood and down the bristles. A windowsill is often perfect. If it’s a lovely sunny day you can pop all of your wooden utensils outside for the sun to work a bit of drying and sanitising magic.

Use your brush for what it was intended. 
Different brushes have different bristles that are good for different types of cleaning. The Waste-free Home’s Black horsehair brushes are for the most delicate of items like fine porcelain or glassware. Our Tampico & Coconut fibre brushes are great for everyday washing up of dishes. And our pot scrubbers are a strong wee powerhouse perfect for scrubbing off baked on food from pots, pans and roasting trays. 

Handwash your wooden utensils well after every use.
Do not clean wooden spoons in the dishwasher. The detergent and the heat will cause the wood to warp and crack. It is easiest to clean wooden utensils if you do it immediately after use, before food has time to dry onto the wood. Scrub until all clean and then rinse under warm water. Pad them dry with a towel and leave them somewhere airy, like your dishrack, to dry fully.

Oiling and waxing.
Occasionally oiling your utensils with oil such as Duzz All Bees Wax or Tung oil is a good habit. For items that are not used for cooking – say wooden salad servers - rub them with a bit of beeswax to help keep them protected and looking good.

Only plunge into water when necessary.
Some utensils, like rolling pins, will just need a wipe with a damp cloth before leaving to dry. Use as little water as you can get away with.  

For a selection of long-lasting, quality, and beautiful wooden and natural products, and for more tips on living more consciously visit www.thewastefreehome.co.nz

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