How to properly oil a bamboo worktop

Bamboo wood is currently becoming increasingly popular as a building material, especially in the kitchen. Its light weight combined with strength and its warm character speak for themselves. But you have to do something for these advantages: regular care, especially through careful oiling, is essential with bamboo.

Why you have to oil bamboo

Bamboo is a grass from the sweet grass family and has been used as a building material in its East Asian homeland for a long time. With the tough strength and light weight of its woody stalks, bamboo can match or even outperform some hardwoods.

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Its open-pored structure also makes bamboo quite susceptible to moisture and dry damage. These express themselves roughly as follows:

  • Material tension
  • Ingress of bacteria and germs
  • Discoloration
  • Cracking
  • Swelling

A worktop is of course quite heavily stressed by daily use and constant contact with water, food, cleaning agents and mechanical influences. As a result, the natural surface protection wears off quickly. If a lot is wiped off and the surface does not dry sufficiently, the bamboo countertop can swell. In dry air and at high temperatures, it quickly becomes brittle and can crack or deform. Regular oiling makes the bamboo much more resistant to all these influences and gives it a longer lifespan.

A positive side effect of oiling is that the natural color pigments of the bamboo are activated and the grain is more attractive.

What is the best way to go about oiling bamboo?

Basically, the following rules must be observed when oiling a bamboo worktop:

  • Regularity, with average usage around once a month
  • Use simple, but high-quality, virgin cooking oil or special bamboo oil
  • Wipe hot before oiling
  • Use oil sparingly

It is advisable to oil a bamboo worktop about once a month. Cold-pressed edible or special bamboo oils are suitable for this because they do not clog the capillaries in the bamboo fibers.

Before oiling, give your countertop a hot wipe to open the pores. The plate must then dry completely. Apply the oil sparingly and with a soft cotton cloth. Work in the direction of the grain as much as possible and gently massage in the oil. Remove any residues after a short exposure time.