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tutusue
December 18th, 2008, 11:12 AM
Makaha Beach is awash in wonderful driftwood right now so I've been picking up some pieces with the hope of using them whenever I can remodel my Makaha condo. The smaller pieces have dried out. A larger piece is still a bit waterlogged.

Considering that these pieces were floating in brown water I feel I should do something to 'disinfect' them but I don't want to ruin their color or grain.

All suggestions in the care and preservation of driftwood are gladly accepted! TIA...

BTW...interesting to see that the driftwood is in several piles along the beach and is being burned. Kinda hard to burn waterlogged wood! :rolleyes:

Peshkwe
December 18th, 2008, 12:04 PM
Sunlight is probably the best disinfectant. Maybe lay them out in the sun and use a spray bottle with a bleach and water mixture and give them an even wetting, then flip them every so often till the sun dries them on the surface.

You'll probably have to figure out a rack or someplace to lean them so air circulates and finishes the drying process....then you can get all creative like this person:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1090255/Pictured-The-stunning-life-like-horse-sculptures-entirely-driftwood-washed-beach.html#

Amati
December 18th, 2008, 12:09 PM
Considering that these pieces were floating in brown water I feel I should do something to 'disinfect' them but I don't want to ruin their color or grain.

You might try soaking them in a bleach solution, maybe in your bathtub. Since the wood is already wet, it should penetrate into the inner layers quickly. Online will probably have the water/bleach mix for disinfecting. Yes, you might loose the color, but my guess is that when the wood has dried, much of the color will be gone anyway. Wet wood always looks more colorful than dry. Just like rocks.

I agree with you, it is probably not safe to use the wood without treating it somehow.

Composite 2992
December 18th, 2008, 12:51 PM
According to the CDC, one tablespoon of household bleach to 4 cups of water is a good disinfectant.

Bleach interacts with organic material so you'll want to brush off anything that's loose, then spray it with the diluted bleach.

Simple drying also helps kill off lots of microbes. Most will perish when the wood gets dry. Not all bacteria are killed off by drying. Some will form spores (anthrax is a good example).

Note that a similar process is used to preserve fish when done in conjunction with salt. The concentrated salt has some disinfectant properties and also helps hasten the drying process.

tutusue
December 18th, 2008, 01:04 PM
Sunlight is probably the best disinfectant.[...]
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1090255/Pictured-The-stunning-life-like-horse-sculptures-entirely-driftwood-washed-beach.html#
OMG...those sculptures are absolutely amazing. They almost look like they belong in that body exhibition near Ala Moana Center!!!

And herein lies the down side of living in a condo with no lanai...there's no place to leave anything outside. I agree, sunlight would do the trick but, alas, not possible!

[...]Online will probably have the water/bleach mix for disinfecting. Yes, you might loose the color, but my guess is that when the wood has dried, much of the color will be gone anyway. Wet wood always looks more colorful than dry. Just like rocks.[...]
Good point, Amati. It's the grey, weathered look of driftwood that I like!

Another thing I need to consider is termites! I should probably try to seal the wood once it's dry. Then I'll put the pieces in storage with all the other goodies I've collected for this long, overdue remodel that has been postponed yet again due to the economy! <sigh>

Thanx, both of you, for your suggestions.

Peshkwe
December 18th, 2008, 02:02 PM
How big are the pieces you want in your condo?

Do you have a set of windows that get a lot of sun? Get a plastic storage tub lid, throw some borax in it and set the wood on it after you've sprayed it down with the bleach solution. Let the sun beat on it and flip it over a few times till it's fully dried.

The borax will kill any little critters living in the wood so they don't crawl out and take up housekeeping in your place....at least it works for critters living in road kill.

If you want to keep it out for the day maybe use some 60lb test fishing line and hang the pieces on a wall on your balcony, or off the back of the railing (umm...your side of the railing), taking it in at night or during storms.


{edit} -> If it's going into storage, let it air dry as much as possible then put it in a plastic bag filled with borax. The borax will draw out the moisture and kill any buggies.

tutusue
December 18th, 2008, 03:30 PM
According to the CDC, one tablespoon of household bleach to 4 cups of water is a good disinfectant.

Bleach interacts with organic material so you'll want to brush off anything that's loose, then spray it with the diluted bleach.
That's the exact dilution I used. I put the wood in the shower and rinsed each piece using the handheld shower head and cold water before spraying each piece with the diluted bleach.

[...]Some will form spores (anthrax is a good example).[...]
:eek:
Thanks so much for the info.

How big are the pieces you want in your condo?
Up to whatever I can hold with one hand! I have a wounded wing right now so the biggest piece is almost 3' long and about 5" in diameter...and waterlogged! Great piece, tho'. The rest are various, smaller sizes. I hope to pick up some more tomorrow.

Do you have a set of windows that get a lot of sun? Get a plastic storage tub lid, throw some borax in it and set the wood on it after you've sprayed it down with the bleach solution. Let the sun beat on it and flip it over a few times till it's fully dried.
There's some late afternoon sun coming into the living room right now, altho' it's filtered by a screen, so I have the pieces on some plastic on the floor. It'll take awhile for the big piece to dry. In 400 sq. ft., I have to make sure I watch where I walk!

[...]If you want to keep it out for the day maybe use some 60lb test fishing line and hang the pieces on a wall on your balcony, or off the back of the railing (umm...your side of the railing), taking it in at night or during storms.
No balcony/lanai, unfortunately, plus the house rules forbid personal possessions outside of a unit. Since I fought so hard for close to a year to help get this condo complex back on track, I'd best obey the rules! ;)

{edit} -> If it's going into storage, let it air dry as much as possible then put it in a plastic bag filled with borax. The borax will draw out the moisture and kill any buggies.
Thanks for the borax/storage suggestion. I'll do that!

Peshkwe
December 18th, 2008, 04:02 PM
For something that's really waterlogged you want to let it air dry as much as possible. Set it next to the air conditioning vent or where the vent will let the air blow on it, that'll help speed up drying some. If it seems dampish on the surface by the time you want to store it, it's probably still pretty wet at the core. You may need to let the drift wood sit bagged in borax for about two months, then swap out the saturated borax for some fresh so it'll draw out more moisture for another month or so.

I've had to let some things desiccate in borax for up to six months before they were usable....but that was stuff like bear paws and deer legs.

tutusue
December 18th, 2008, 05:23 PM
For something that's really waterlogged you want to let it air dry as much as possible. Set it next to the air conditioning vent or where the vent will let the air blow on it, that'll help speed up drying some.
Ummm...a/c vent? What a/c vent?! :rolleyes:

If it seems dampish on the surface by the time you want to store it, it's probably still pretty wet at the core. You may need to let the drift wood sit bagged in borax for about two months, then swap out the saturated borax for some fresh so it'll draw out more moisture for another month or so.
Time isn't a problem right now. Sucky economy=no remodel!

I've had to let some things desiccate in borax for up to six months before they were usable....but that was stuff like bear paws and deer legs.
:eek:

LikaNui
December 18th, 2008, 06:39 PM
I've had to let some things desiccate in borax for up to six months before they were usable....but that was stuff like bear paws and deer legs. Ooooooh! I think I know who Peshkwe is in real life.
Sarah Palin!!!
:p

Amati
December 18th, 2008, 10:22 PM
Another idea comes from an aquarium site:

heat to kill bacteria is all you need to get it ready for your tank.

either a good dishwasher with a sanitizing rinse (no soap) or a bake in the oven over 300 degrees until it's heated all the way through. this depends on the size of the piece and the density of the wood.

Composite 2992
December 18th, 2008, 11:09 PM
Regarding leptospirosis and saltwater:

"Where flooding is entirely due to saltwater there is little or no risk from leptospirosis as a direct consequence of the floodwater, as the bacterium cannot tolerate saltwater. There is however an increased association of rodents and humans, as the rodent population seeks shelter from rising water and food supplies."

http://www.leptospirosis.org/topic.php?t=24

It might be a problem in brackish water. But Makaha is mostly saltwater.

After treating the surface with diluted bleach, the danger (what little there might be) should be entirely mitigated.

And the risk of infection comes from contact with open wounds. So unless you're actually making contact with infected materials with abrasions, or gnawing on it on a daily basis, there should be very little problem with getting sick from this stuff.

Walking barefoot in the park on a normal day probably exposes people to a lot more parasites and pathogens than a pile of driftwood.

Hope you can do something nifty with all this stuff!

Peshkwe
December 19th, 2008, 01:16 AM
Ooooooh! I think I know who Peshkwe is in real life.
Sarah Palin!!!
:p



Oooooooh! I think I know who LikaNui is in real life....he's a masochist!!!

'Cause he's wanting a good hurting put on him!
*chases LN 'round the thread*

:p



I'm just one of those people that get stuff given to them with the request...."Can you make 'this' for me? You can have the other one if you can." I've still got full turkey tails for bustle making hanging in the basement rafters in bags and sprinkled with borax to keep feather mites from destroying them.

LikaNui
December 19th, 2008, 06:43 AM
Oooooooh! I think I know who LikaNui is in real life....he's a masochist!!! Not! I'm a full-fledged dyed-in-the-wool card-carrying SADIST, not a masochist.


'Cause he's wanting a good hurting put on him! Not! I've already been married.
Wait.
That does make me a masochist, yeah? :o


*chases LN 'round the thread* Be careful. I've been known to carry a big piece of driftwood, and I know how to use it.
And by the way, folks, we've got plenny huge piles of driftwood here on the windward side after that storm.

Peshkwe
December 19th, 2008, 08:45 AM
That does make me a masochist, yeah? :o




Ooooohhhhhhhhh....yeah!!!


Or at the very least, a switch. :D

tutusue
December 19th, 2008, 11:20 AM
[...]It might be a problem in brackish water. But Makaha is mostly saltwater.
[...]
Hope you can do something nifty with all this stuff!
Thanx, Composite. My guess is that the driftwood on Makaha Beach has been subjected to brackish water due to pretty intense storm run-off coming from Makaha Valley. Dead animals (http://maile45.blogspot.com/2008/12/debris-and-dead-animals-at-makaha-beach.html) in the water are attracting the sharks. There wasn't anyone in the water when I was there yesterday but a father and young son appeared to be headed in that direction. :eek: I took family to see that beach last Saturday, during the height of the storm. One surfer was exiting the water while another was headed in that direction. The run-off from the valley was evident in the ocean...brown, as far as the eye could see. Whatever were those surfers thinking?

Soooo...I'm staying clear of the ocean, even in front of my hale. And, I'm using gloves to pick up the driftwood. MRSA is a big problem along the Waianae Coast. My doc at WCCHC gave me a prescription for a sulfa cream with instructions to apply it to every, little nick! I even keep a small container of it in my purse. I'm pretty neurotic about MRSA as I've lost one friend to it and another friend almost died this past summer. That said, neither had been to the Waianae Coast.

It'll be fun to create ways to use the driftwood. Right now I'm thinking towel hooks, decorative shelves, support posts for a bathroom vanity, toilet paper holder <g>, and a handpainted sign...ya know,
BEACH -->!