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Baking Soda Treatment
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Thread: Baking Soda Treatment

  1. #1

    Baking Soda Treatment

    The topic of removing garlic smells came up in an earlier thread and there was an idea that a baking soda paste might do a good job at removing the smells. I decided to give it a go.

    Proceedures:

    The board is a Boardsmith 14x20 maple that I have had for a few years. It gets cleaned regularly but it still stunk like garlic so I think it was a good choice for the test.

    I used 3 cups of baking soda mixed with 1 cup of water. This formed a stiff paste that I was able to spread over the top of the board. I used a dough scraper to get an even coat.

    Next I let it sit for 11 hours over night during which time it formed into a thick crust. In the morning I broke apart the crust and scraped it into the garbage. Then I washed the board with soap and warm water. Lastly I dried it and oiled it with mineral oil.

    Observations:

    The smell is mostly gone. Probably 95%. I can still smell something faint if I put my nose a few inches away from the board but I am very satisfied with the odor removal.

    Other things I noticed was that the board was extremely dried out when I removed the baking soda and the joints of the blocks had become raised and were noticeable to the touch. Also the board seemed to darken or stain wherever the baking soda was applied. I don't know if the baking soda just pulled so much junk out of the wood that it just brought old stains to the surface or what but the surface looks different nonetheless. Personally I don't mind but my wife looked at me sideways and wanted to know what I had done to our cutting board. I just hope the re-oilling will smooth out the joints.


    I have pics but it says that I can't post attachments, so pics to follow.

    Regards,

    Sean

  2. #2
    Last edited by Smarcus; 03-02-2011 at 10:35 AM. Reason: trying to put in images.

  3. #3
    Senior Member

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    My maple board got lighter, but didn't get mottled like yours. Hope the oiling helps.

  4. #4
    Nice pics and tutorial, thanks.

    I occasionally scrub my board (cherry with juice groove) with a slurry of baking soda and water, rinse with warm water and repeat if necessary.
    Then dry with a paper towel and let it sit to air dry.
    All done fairly quickly, minimizing the length of water contact with the wood.

    Never had any issues with raised joints, grain, or swelling.

    Perhaps Dave will be by shortly to advise...

  5. #5
    Senior Member FryBoy's Avatar
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    No offense, but your board looks god-awful dirty! No wonder it smelled bad. Do you wash it between uses? If it were mine, I would consider a good sanding to remove the mottled surface.
    Doug Collins
    Hermosa Beach, California

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by FryBoy View Post
    No offense, but your board looks god-awful dirty! No wonder it smelled bad. Do you wash it between uses? If it were mine, I would consider a good sanding to remove the mottled surface.
    No offense taken but are you talking about the before or after photo? I always scrub the board after use with soap and warm water. The mottling was not present before the baking soda but came up during the baking soda treatment.

    Sean

  7. #7
    Senior Member FryBoy's Avatar
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    Sorry -- I thought the mottling was in all the photos -- may have clicked on the same link more than once. Even if that just the result of the baking soda, then I'd still suggest sanding down the surface. It doesn't look like something I'd want my food prepared on.
    Doug Collins
    Hermosa Beach, California

  8. #8
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    Geeze- Soda is a caustic! I would not leave it on a wood surface for any time at all, as it will start to break down the wood fibers. I'm surprised that the garlic smell is a problem. I chop and smash a lot of garlic on my boards and after cooking I give it a wash with soap and hot water and call it good.

  9. #9
    Still Plays With Blocks
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    Sean,

    If you will send the board back to me I will resurface it for you.

  10. #10
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    Now THAT is your best option!

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