Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to pick up random things from the ground and bring them home? Sure, that warning was helpful to remember when we were kids, but nowadays we can use our own judgement about such things.
While we don’t bring dangerous things into our homes, who could resist picking up some driftwood? The beautiful wood that’s been worn down by the water isn’t just a random thing on the ground. There are so many ways to use the wood and turn it into something beautiful for your home.
And if you don’t live near a body of water, the rare chance to get out to a beach, creek, or lake, can be an opportunity for some free driftwood gathering.
But just because it doesn’t look dangerous doesn’t mean you aren’t bringing home some tiny creatures and yucky germs!
Jessie at Projectarian knows just how to clean off any driftwood you want to use for a project.
The first step is to clear off any dirt and sand that are in the nooks and crannies. Use a large brush first, to get all the loose stuff off. Follow it up with a stiff bristled brush, like an old toothbrush, and clear out the more stubborn dirt. Don’t forget to detail the little cracks and hard to reach areas!
A little bit of dish detergent will also help remove any gunk that can be hosed away. Some driftwood, however, will need a soft touch.
To sterilize the wood, put your driftwood into a bucket and fill with water. While some use 1 part bleach to 9 parts water, Jessie actually says that is too strong for the driftwood.
She uses Domestos which is only 3% bleach, but still gets the job done. Mix about 150mL in 20 liters of water.
Soak the driftwood for 24 hours. This will kill any germs or mites that hung onto the wood. It will bleach the wood a bit, giving it an even more beautiful color. You’ll see the brown leach out into the water.
Use bricks or stones to weigh down the driftwood if they float to the top.
After sanitizing, if you decide the bleached wood is a look you want, you can continue lightening the wood with a fresh bleach solution. Dry the driftwood in the sun and store it in a dry place.
See Jessie’s post here.