We put the driftwood pieces that we sell through a light driftwood treatment process. We do not finish the driftwood pieces that we sell (with varnish, wood oil, or wood stain) but we do put the pieces through the following driftwood treatment process:
IMPORTANT UPDATE MARCH 2018 We no longer wash or lightly disinfect our driftwood pieces (unless it seems absolutely necessary). Washing or disinfecting is up to you after you have received the pieces. We are, however, leaving this page of information here for you our readers so that you have a better idea of how to wash and disinfect your driftwood pieces yourself, if you so wish to – note that depending on what you’re going to be using the pieces for, or where you are going to be using them, and on how clean they already are, you may not need to or want to wash and disinfect the pieces at all.
REMEMBER, though, that often driftwood pieces may not even need any cleaning and disinfecting at all – the ocean may have done much of that for you or us already!
We shake the sand and salt off a bit when we pick up and collect the driftwood pieces at the beach, or hit smaller pieces against larger pieces to shake off the sand and salt.
After sorting the pieces into different driftwood sizes in the garden at home, we need to prepare the pieces for photos and for customers – we brush off the pieces with a paint brush or wire brush, then rinse the pieces in cold water.
Next up in our driftwood treatment process is to get the pieces a little cleaner and we do this by wriggling them around in cold but soapy water – water with a bit of dish washing liquid added to it, or with a bit of laundry detergent added to it. Then we rinse the pieces again.
The next step in our driftwood treatment process is to lightly disinfect the pieces to help kill off any tiny living organisms on or in the pieces, and we will use a bit of bleach in cold water for this (about 5 to 10% bleach to 90 or 95% water), or a bit of chlorine in cold water. Please see our WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS which include warnings about using chlorine with hot water (don’t do it!) We leave the driftwood pieces to soak in the disinfecting solution for a while, and then we rinse the pieces again.
We pack the driftwood pieces in a well-ventilated spot, outdoors, to dry naturally in the sun for a few days. The much smaller pieces we may leave out for only a day or two (if it’s really sunny and hot) but the larger pieces we sometimes leave out for 3 to 5 days or more.
After photographing the driftwood pieces lots and after packing the lots away, labeled, we’re done, but we do look to see if they need any more brushing off when they’re ordered, before we pack them ready for posting.
For customers who make special requests for a second bleaching because they’d like their driftwood pieces paler in colour, we’ll usually use chlorine instead of bleach, as the chlorine and cold water disinfecting solution seems to make the pieces paler in colour than the bleach and cold water disinfecting solution does. And the pieces will again be rinsed and left out to dry naturally in the sun.
That’s our driftwood treatment process. Customers may choose to put the pieces through a further treatment process after the pieces have arrived at them. A further treatment process may be to bleach or disinfect the pieces more, boil the pieces in hot water with some salt added to the water, or to leave the pieces out in the sun for a few more days. Customers may also wish to varnish, stain or oil their driftwood pieces.
© Copyright Teresa Schultz and Tony Flanigan 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018