Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DIY: Non Toxic Wood Oil

When you have as many chemical sensitivities as I do sometimes not even the less toxic stains, paints, or varnishes will do. Many of them still contain harmful VOC's unless otherwise stated on the bottle with a seal of approval. The great thing about no VOC is it won't be outgassing half the year like most products but just when it's first applied & drying. I wanted even better then that though, I wanted to create a wood oil that never outgassed a single hazardous chemical! So when I had a raw wood table that needed some protection I cooked up my very own secret formula that has now lasted 2 years with no change.

Here is what you will need:

*Soy Oil

*Sunflower or Olive Oil

*Kosher Salt

*Vinegar (I use ume vinegar, but I think apple cider would work good too)

Doesn't it sound too simple? I came up with this theory/formula knowing about treated wood being mainly salt and oil being a time tested preservative for centuries.
Take all the ingredients and put them in a pot big enough to hold the amount you need (depending on whether you are doing wood floors or a chair...). You will use more soy oil then the others at approximately 50 -70% more in your recipe. Then add a ton kosher salt... meaning if you poured 1.5 Liters of oil in your pot, then you will want to ad at least 1.5 cups of salt. Then add a cup of the vinegar and bring to a boil. You want this to boil for at least 20 minutes or longer (the longer the better it seems), and then add a little more salt when you see that the first batch has dissolved in the oil.
The easiest way to apply the wood oil is with a sponge which will be able to be squeezed out and creates less waste. The cool thing is it won't harm your skin, your brain, or your lungs & it won't be outgassing any smell except one you might want to eat! If you would like to add a scent to your wood oil try throwing in a branch of lavender or rosemary.

I really believe there is a way to make what we need in a less toxic, chemical free way - we just need some imagination & to stop buying into the marketing BS of big corporations.

1 comment:

Susie Collins said...

Thank you, Leslie! I have a coffee table that I've wanted to re-stain for years but didn't want to deal with chemicals. Can't wait to try your natural recipe!