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Removing Mouldy Smell From Bread Bin

Asked by colleendraper. Answered on 12th March 2012

Full question

I have Nigella's bread bin. Unfortunately over the weekend I left bread in it which turned mouldy. This has been removed but the wooden lid has been left with a mouldy smell meaning I can no longer use the bread bin. Please advise.

Our answer

We would suggest that both the bread bin and the wooden lid are washed with a weak bleach solution. Use 60ml bleach to 5 litres warm water (1/4 cup bleach to 5 quarts water) and you can add a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid too. Wear dishwashing gloves to protect your hands and give the lid and bin a very good wash. Do not immerse the lid in the cleaning solution or leave it to soak as this will warp the wood.

Rinse the lid and bin with plenty of fresh water, then immediately dry with a clean cloth and leave both in a well-aired spot to completely dry (but out of direct sunlight). After this it would be a good idea to oil the wooden lid with a light food-grade mineral oil to restore some of the oils into the wood and to help prevent it from drying and cracking. The oil should also help to remove any residual smell. The mineral oil is usually sold for treating wooden chopping boards and is available in many departmant stores or DIY/hardware stores. Apply a small amount of the oil in a very thin layer with a soft cloth and let it soak into the wood for a couple of hours. Remove any excess oil with a clean cloth.

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