Wood from mango trees--the very same that produce the much loved tropical fruit--is commonly used in the production of ornamental pieces for the home, such as vases, bowls, plates, even candlesticks. Because mango is a tropical wood, it is accustomed to heat and humidity. If you live in a hot, dry environment, and one that remains dry in winter, you will need to protect your mango pieces from drying and cracking with a natural, oil-based product.
Homemade Lemon Oil
Gather lemon juice, olive oil, a small bowl and a soft cloth. Mix 2 tsp. of lemon juice with 2 tsp. of olive oil in a small bowl. Take a clean, soft cloth and dip it in the oil mixture. Wring the cloth to help the oil spread and penetrate the cloth. Holding the mango piece in one hand and the cloth in the other, wipe the piece with the cloth in broad strokes. Apply as many coats as the wood will absorb; if it appears to be drinking up the oil, that means it is especially dry, so keep wiping.
Protecting Mango Plates and Bowls
All Things Asian, a website selling decorative mango wood pieces, recommends walnut oil or olive oil for protection of plates and bowls. All natural beeswax, when rubbed into the surface of plates and bowls, gives them an attractive sheen that shows off their natural color and grain. Purchase beeswax at a health food store and rub it into the wood with a soft cloth.
If your product is painted instead of stained, you can use a product like Pledge to keep it in good condition.
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