Treen Care

Caring for your treen piece is pretty easy. Basically, you’ll need to oil the wood in it on an occasional basis. I use food-safe mineral oil when I’m finishing the work on the lathe, along with bee’s and paraffin wax. These give a very serviceable finish with a matte luster that’s easy to maintain. You can use pretty much any oil you like, except olive oil which can become rancid and have an unpleasant smell. Any poly-unsaturated type oil that won’t solidify in your fridge is fine but a short list would be peanut, walnut, canola or mineral oil. All of these are food-safe and ideal for any treen items designed for use with food.

DO’s & DON’Ts

DO oil your treen occasionally. There’s an old adage regarding the type of finishes I use which goes along the lines of “once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, and once a year for the rest of it’s life”. This may sound daunting, but it’s really not that difficult, and that regimented of a routine is not required. If you’ve bought a pen, oil it occasionally when you first get it, and after a while the natural oils from your hand will take care of it. If you notice the wood looking dry and dull on any piece at any time, a bit of oil applied with a soft cloth will bring its luster right back.

DO wax your treen if you want a higher shine. Any any good floor wax like Johnson’s will work just fine. I’ve also recommended Butcher’s paste wax for folks I’ve built furniture for and they find it both efficient and reliable.

DON’T ever wash your treen in a washing machine as the high heat & steam will damage it. Although my brother might testify to his pen’s ability to survive trips through the laundry, it’s really not a good idea. To wash a designed-for-food piece, hand wash and dry it with a soft cloth, and apply oil afterward to preserve the wood finish.

DON’T ever use any cleaning detergent or agent that contains formulas that are not recommended for use on wood products, and never scour your treen with any abrasive pad or cleaning material that has abrading actions. Doing either will ruin the finish on your treen.

If you have any questions about the care and maintenance of your treen, please drop me a line here.

Enjoy your treen!

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