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Well, it’s been a bit of a rush this week as I’ve been trying to tie up all loose ends before going on holiday. I think I got most of it done! The brilliant Chestnut team will look after things in my absence, so everything carries on as normal. Will they even notice I’ve gone?
Fear not, your regular ‘it’s Friday’ email will keep coming, as I know many of you rely on this to tell you when the weekend is looming. Apparently, some of you even find the content helpful as well!

Someone asked about an old tin of WoodWax 22 they were still working their way through. They reckon it was about ten years old! Methinks they need to do more polishing! Anyway, the wax hadn’t dried out to a solid lump, which is a testament to how well they had looked after it, but they weren’t getting the same shine they were used to. Does it have a shelf life?

The answer is ‘not really’. There’s nothing in the wax that can go off, as such, but what I suspect what has happened is that it might be getting firmer as it gets older, due to the natural evaporation of the solvent. This means that when the wax is applied to the wood, it won’t spread as easily, resulting in an unwanted build-up. With a fresher tin of wax, any build-up is easily removed because the wax is soft, but older wax will be more stubborn. That thicker coat won’t buff up as well as a thin coat.
There’s a simple solution to this, which is to use something slightly abrasive (Orange or White NyWeb are perfect) to apply the wax. The coarseness will help spread the wax thinner, and should help achieve the required shine.

This question started me thinking that it might be a good idea to talk about our other products, and their shelf life and storage.

Most of our products seem to go on forever; ten years, as above, is rather exceptional, though. We can only guarantee them for a year, because of being able to guarantee the packaging, but it’s rare for them to ‘go off’ and stop working. I’d expect at least 3–4 years for most of them. Some of them, such as Cellulose Sanding Sealer, might require the addition of some thinners to replace any lost due to natural evaporation, but that’s about it.

The thicker oils (Finishing Oil and Hard Wax Oil) can oxidise in a part-used can. This is because they are reacting with the air trapped in the tin, and they will get thicker over time and eventually set to a gel that can’t be recovered. We use inhibitors in the product to reduce this, but the best solution to avoid this (other than using it quicker!) is our Air Purge Spray. A quick squirt of this will remove the air and stop the oxidisation.

Aerosols, of which we have a few in our range, can lose pressure over time. Most seem to go on forever, I’ve got some very old cans here that we can’t sell due to their age, but we use on various things, and they’re still going strong. But it can happen, so in the main it’s something we recommend against bulk buying 2-3 year’s stock of, just in case.

And finally, on this topic, we’ve had reports of some of our Rainbow Waxes developing mould on them. This can sometimes happen with water-based products; one of the main ways to reduce the risk of this is to be extra careful how you store it. It should be kept in a cool, dry place, definitely out of direct sunlight, and with the lid tightly screwed on. Another tip is to not use a bare finger to apply the wax, a cloth, brush or even a glove is better. You can even go as far as to scoop a small amount of wax onto a clean surface and use it from there, which limits contact even further.

Well, I hope you have a good weekend. I’ll be recovering from an overnight flight, but hopefully I’ll be back on your computer again next week, in mind if not in body!

Have a good week