Daily Care for Hinoki Wood



Introduction to Hinoki

Hinoki (檜) is a species of cypress native to central Japan. Often referred to as Japanese cypress, the wood has an organic lemon-scented aroma. The light pink-brown wood has a strong and straight grain, which is ideal for making large shrine structures as well as daily objects such as rice masu. Naturally resistant to mold, the wood is especially suitable for wet environments including bathrooms and onsens.

How to Treat and Care for Hinoki

While hinoki is highly mold resistant and suitable for damp environments, it should not be left to soak in water or be exposed to extreme temperatures.  It is advisable to hand wash and thoroughly dry hinoki wood items after each use. When properly cared for, hinoki will last for many years to come. 

As hinoki is a natural material, it is subject to mild expansion and contraction with the filling and emptying of water. If the ring around the hinoki bath bowl becomes loose, dip the bowl in water to ensure that the wood breathes and expands. 

How to Clean Stains

The wood may stain if it is in constant contact with cold water or if the bathroom is not ventilated. The stain can be easily removed by pouring plenty of warm water on the area until it is absorbed by the wood, and wiping down with a cloth sprayed with alcohol for disinfection. Allow the wood to dry completely before use. 

How to Clean Mold 

Although hinoki wood is highly mold resistant, it is a natural material that is susceptible to damage without proper care and treatment.

For mold or larger stains, it is important to treat it as soon as possible. Let the wood dry completely before using very fine sand paper to remove the mold, following the direction of the grain.

To remove mold that has not been cleaned immediately and left to grow, pour a small amount of bleach on a piece of cloth or rag and rub with gentle force. Once the mold spot disappears, wipe away the area with a clean towel. Then rinse thoroughly under running water to remove any excess bleach. Allow the wood to dry completely before use. While this treatment does not damage the wood at first, it should not be repeated more than three times per year.