Driftwood, or wood that has come ashore after floating in the sea or a lake, has distinctive wear patterns and a variety of shapes that make it a sought-after material for exterior and interior decor. Before using driftwood in your home, it is important to clean the wood properly to remove dust, dirt and debris. It is also important to remove any tannins, a natural compound present in the wood’s fibers, from the driftwood.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic sheeting
- Scrub brush
- Latex or work gloves
- Large bucket or tub
- Distilled water
- Towel or rag
- Burner or stove (optional)
Place a piece of plastic sheeting on a flat surface, table or ground; place the driftwood on the sheeting.
Scrub the driftwood thoroughly with a scrub brush to remove any dust, dirt and debris. Wear latex or work gloves to keep your hands clean. Turn the piece of driftwood over and continue scrubbing until the wood is clean.
Place the driftwood in a large bucket or tub; completely cover the wood with distilled water. Let the driftwood soak in the water.
Change the water whenever it becomes dark. Remove the driftwood and pour fresh distilled water over it. Drain the old, dark water and place the wood back in the large bucket or tub; fill it with more fresh, distilled water. Continue to let it soak for two weeks.
Remove the driftwood; pat it dry with a clean towel or rag before placing it in your home.
Tips & Warnings
- Pieces of driftwood in aquariums provide interesting natural decorations and places for fish to hide; the cleaning process is especially important for driftwood used in aquariums, because poorly cleaned driftwood will foul the water and kill the fish.
- It's best to do this process outdoors, particularly with large pieces of driftwood; simply drain the dark water into a storm drain or outside drain.
- Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
How to Make Driftwood Projects
The beauty of wood that has washed to the shore has a timeless quality. The wood has survived and been transformed by...
How to Prepare Driftwood to Use for Art
Driftwood, weathered and pale from years of exposure to salt water and sea air, washes up on the shores of beaches around...
How to Paint on Driftwood
Gnarled and misshapen pieces of wood wash up on the seashore or on river banks and have been worn to a smooth...
How to Find Driftwood for Decoration
You love the look of driftwood and think it would be a wonderful accent to your home. But you're wondering how you're...
How to Make Furniture Out of Driftwood
Driftwood furniture makes a lovely addition to your beach home, lake house or eclectic décor. You can make a variety of furniture...
How to make DRIFTWOOD into something unique
HOW TO DECORATE WITH DRIFTWOOD AND MAKE IT UNIQUE. Driftwood comes in all shapes and sizes. LONG BRANCHES AND SOLID HUNKS. There...
How to Make Driftwood Into Home Decor
Bring a bit of your beach escape back home in the form of driftwood. Driftwood comes in interesting shapes that have been...
How to Make a Driftwood Sculpture
That soft, smooth wood you see scattered along the coastline at the beach is driftwood, which is collected and used in a...
Ideas for Driftwood
Beachcombers can enjoy a piece of driftwood as art in itself. So hanging it on a wall by itself is not unusual....