2 Steps To Refresh Your Cedar
Lots of people, and maybe you too, want to keep their closets smelling and feeling fresh and moth-free. So they trot out and buy themselves planks of cedar in various iterations–cedar block hangers, cedar hangers, cedar balls, cedar drawer dividers, cedar shoe inserts–it’s really quite impressive how many ways they’re figured out for you to incorporate cedar into your life.
Speaking of: life. It happens, and time passes, and pretty soon your effervescent cedar is just a stale chunk of wood. Moth-repellent-less. Smell-less. Doing absolutely nothing for nobody.
That’s generally the condition in which I find my clients’ cedar paraphernalia–dead on the vine if cedar blocks grew on vines. They’ve been completely forgotten about because really, who has time to think about tending to the state of their cedar blocks? (Clarification: this is hardly a reprimanding.)
But let’s say some lady comes along and goes, “Hey, look; your cedar blocks are dead.”
And you go, “Oh, huh, I guess they are.”
“You want to bring them back to life?” She asks.
“Can I do that?” You ask.
Ya-huh, you can.
1. Sand that puppy softly
Using a fine piece of sandpaper, sand each side of the cedar implement. You don’t want to go pretending you’re on This Old House, you just want to sand away the top layer. This will rid the cedar of the blocked, dust-coated layer that’s preventing its natural oils from coming forth. After you’ve sanded, you should be able to pick up that cedar smell again.
Wipe the cedar block with a damp cloth and allow to air dry for a minute or two.
Let’s say the cedar just ain’t aroma-ing like you want it to. Then, my friend, move on to step 2…
Step 2. Add the flavoring
You can use either a cedar spray or a natural cedar oil to give the cedar block more of a punch. Cedar oil is usually the more natural route since many cedar sprays have added perfumes. C’est la vie.
If you’re using a cedar spray, [follow the directions on the bottle] give your cedar a generous spraying. Then allow to sit out and dry.
If you’re using a cedar oil, use a cloth to rub the oil into your cedar block. If things get overly slick, you can use a clean cloth or paper towel just to buff away any excess. Allow the cedar to dry and the oil to soak in thoroughly.
Since what I know of the general population is laziness, please do go ahead and skip the sanding step and head straight to Go, step 2, if having to sand is going to prevent you from doing the task at all. I won’t tell Martha, promise.
Step 3: Return to basecamp
Scoot those smelly parts back into the nooks and crannies of your closets and then give yourself a pat on the back; you’re a regular Bob Vila. Or whoever.
Image credits: photography by Amelia Alpaugh for Refinery 29
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