CARBON STEEL: Most of my ironwork is made from mild steel, a low carbon alloy that does not have “stainless” properties. Unlike stainless steel, carbon steel must be maintained to prevent rust and increase the longevity of the object. This process is simple and takes only a short time. Pieces will rust if left out in the rain or soaking in the sink. It is best to avoid these situations if possible.
Non-food safe items (firepokers, hooks, handles, etc): These arrive with a light coat of wax on them. The oils from your hands will build up and create a protective coating over time. An occasional light coat of Johnsons Paste Wax or the wax of your choice followed by a gentle buffing with a cotton rag helps increase the protection. If rust has already formed then using a fine steel wool works well followed by the wax treatment. Some items, primarily those meant to live in a humid environment such as a bathroom, will arrive with a clear enamel to better protect them. This treatment lasts a long time, but eventually may need a second coat applied. I use “Rust-Oleum Crystal Clear Enamel” as per the instructions on the can.
Food Safe Items (spatulas, ladles, skewers, etc): These arrive with a light coat of food-safe beeswax and mineral oil. After each use it is best practice to wash by hand, immediately dry, and re-coat with a light coat of any food safe oil. I do not recommend putting any items in the dishwasher.
Copper Utensils: Copper utensils should not be used with highly acidic foods such as concentrated vinegar. As a general rule I do not keep the copper soaking in pots of food, especially acidic food such as tomatoes.