Wood Salad Bowl 2019 Care Guide

Posted by Karen Mayo Marsh on 4th May 2019

Wooden salad bowls are timeless additions to any beautifully set table; a warm and comforting vessel to present and display the finest of your culinary creations. From crisp green salads to warm breads, wooden bowls add more substance to your food - like the perfect frame for your favorite image. 

A hand-turned bowl individually crafted, hand-sanded, and hand-rubbed is a painstaking work of art whose quality is unmistakable. An heirloom piece that's part of your family tradition, your collection, or your gift to the next generation.

How do you care for such a piece to ensure it's quality will endure? It's actually quite simple. First, remember this rule: water is the natural "enemy" of wood.  A solid cherry, maple, honey locust, or red oak bowl is crafted from pure, natural hardwood and natural wood reacts to water. It absorbs it, swells when exposed to it for long periods of time, will change color, and will deteriorate in it. So how do you keep your bowl clean?

Always avoid sitting water; don't let your bowl sit in it and don't let water sit in your bowl. After each food presentation, simply hand wash the bowl in warm soapy water using a mild detergent. Then always hand dry it. Keep the bowl upside down to ensure no remaining water droplets will collect. Never use the dishwasher and always avoid direct heat (stovetop, oven, microwave). Keep out of direct sunlight (again, think about how Mother Nature affects wood; sunlight can dry it out and cause cracks). 

Keeping your bowl cool and dry will go a long way towards protecting it. It is also necessary to treat your bowls monthly, or whenever they feel a bit dry, with a bowl rub to maintain the wood's sheen. Avoid vegetable based oils, which can cause bacteria growth. Instead, pick a food-safe natural rub like our Wood Bowl and Board Preserver. A good rub will penetrate the  wood and leave a soft, protective luster. Simply apply generously with a clean cloth and let it stand for 15 minutes before removing any excess. 

All wood tones will darken over time, adding more character and depth. Many antique bowl collectors seek a patina as a sign of the bowl's age. 

Just getting started on your wood bowl collection? A great place to begin is our 3 piece Nested Salad Bowl that features 3 popular sizes in solid cherry: 8", 10", and 12".

For more information, see our Wooden Bowl Buying Guide and Wood Species Guide