How to treat a drift wood
Driftwood is a great material to work with and can be used in many different ways. You can use it for fire pits, decorations for your garden, or even as an aquarium stand. However, just like any other piece of wood that you might find in nature, driftwood can be very dirty and full of insects and other creatures. That’s why we have put together this list of steps on how to properly clean your driftwood so that it doesn’t ruin the look or function of your project!
Collect the driftwood in a clean area.
The proper way to collect driftwood is wearing protective eye wear, gloves and closed toe shoes. The last thing you want to do is pick up a decaying piece of wood that has been in contact with bacteria or other organisms near water. If you are going on a long hike and need to pick up some driftwood, I recommend taking a pair of latex gloves with you so that the natural oils from your skin don’t degrade your new find.
Clean off any obvious dirt and debris.
Clean off any obvious dirt and debris with a soft brush or cloth.
Avoid using soap or detergent, as they may leave behind a residue that will damage the wood over time.
Do not use hot water or harsh chemicals to clean your driftwood; these can also cause damage over time (and they’re just not necessary).
Wash the driftwood.
You’ll want to start by washing the wood. The best way to do this is with a toothbrush, as it’s much gentler than scrubbing with a sponge or other hard material. If you don’t have access to a toothbrush, use one of those soft-bristled paint brushes that comes in most paint sets at your local hardware store. Once your driftwood has been scrubbed thoroughly, rinse it off using warm water from either your sink or hose (if you’re able to).
Now that the wood is clean, it’s time for the fun part: decorating!
Presoak the driftwood.
Place the driftwood in a large container with enough water to completely submerge it.
Cover the container tightly, but don’t seal it airtight. You want the wood to have access to oxygen as it soaks.
Let soak for at least 24 hours before proceeding with drying or painting steps
Boil the driftwood for about 15-20 minutes (depending on wood thickness).
Boil the driftwood for about 15-20 minutes (depending on wood thickness). Use a large pot with water, and make sure you have a thermometer to measure temperature. When the water starts boiling, add your driftwood and leave it in until it’s boiling again.
Leeching tannins out of the wood.
Tannins are natural chemicals that can stain your fish tank, so it’s important to leech them out of the wood before you place it in your aquarium. Tannins are a natural byproduct of the wood’s decomposition and release when wet (even submerged).
To leech tannins from driftwood, soak it in fresh water for 24 hours. After soaking, remove the driftwood from the water and allow it to dry completely before using.
Always use caution when picking up or handling driftwood or rocks. You never know what kind of creatures might be hiding in it, or under it!
Before adding driftwood to your aquarium, always use caution when picking up or handling driftwood or rocks. You never know what kind of creatures might be hiding in it, or under it!
Driftwood is a great addition to any aquarium because it is a natural habitat for many aquatic creatures. Driftwood can be found in many different places: on the ocean floor, rivers and lakes. If you live near an urban area, there will likely be some type of woody debris along the banks of streams or rivers where they meet bodies of water with higher salt content such as oceans.
So that’s how to treat your driftwood! We hope this article has been helpful for you and that you’ll be able to use it for years to come. There are so many ways to incorporate driftwood into your home decor and make it unique from the rest of the pieces in your collection. Good luck with your new piece of nature-inspired art!