help--how to clean a frozen wooden rolling pin?

lizbeth-gardenerNovember 9, 2009

I have a wonderful old rolling pin that was my MIL, It has a dowel pin that runs thru it with a free moving piece around that on each end. One end moves freely, but the other I can barely move. Also would like to know how to get the gummy feeling off of the wood without damaging the wood and still be safe for food.


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I can't help with the jammed pin, but I do know you can buy food-grade mineral oil and it is safe for anything that touches food-butcherblock , wooden rolling pins, etc. just slather it on, wait 15 minutes, wipe with a clean dry rag.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 5:59PM
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Wood rolling pins need to be washed in soapy water to remove any gummy substance all over the roller. Then you can rub it down with mineral oil from the drug store if it helps. Do not use corn oil or other cooking oil, which will make it gummy again.

I suspect that you have a great old rolling pin with ball bearings to make the pin turn easily. If one end won't turn, maybe the little ball bearings have fallen out or been caked with something that prevents their rolling around in the bearing case. I don't know what the answer is for that, but maybe a dunk in hot soapy water will help them too if they are full of gunk. Do not soak any wood items in soapy water. Just put it there long enough to scrub it.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2009 at 6:39PM
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I have never heard of a rolling pin with ball bearings. That doesn't mean that there are none just that I have never heard of them.

Do you put your rolling pin in the sink and let it soak? Wood will swell and the varnish will become sticky because moisture gets under the varnish.

A rolling pin should just be wiped off, dried and stored away. I also clean out the grooves with a toothpick and a q-tip. You never put anything on it to have reason to soak it. Mine is almost 50 years old and has the original varnish and turns wonderfully.

Take some mineral oil and soak a piece of dental floss and run it between the pin and handle on the siezed side. You may have to do this several times. Use a new piece of dental floss each time and try turning the handle after each try. If you can get it loosened so the rod is loose push it to that side and run oil soaked q-tip on the rod, and move it back and forth so it gets oiled inside.

Try the oil on the pin but if it still remains sticky, you may have to sand off the varnish and oil it after each use for a while. If you don't want to use mineral oil you can use lard. In future, just wipe it off with a damp soapy cloth, rinse the cloth and wipe again, let dry and store. Never leave a rolling pin sitting in water

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 11:21AM
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If that doesn't work soak the whole seized end in mineral oil for a while

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 11:55AM
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Yup, Oilpainter, they are out there. Not a necessary addition, but they do sell them.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 8:31PM
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My rolling pin is ball bearing....

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 11:14PM
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WD-40 into the ball-bearings really helps.

Or spray teflon lubricant.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 9:38AM
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I would not recommend using WD-40 on something used for food.

I never heard of "Teflon Spray". Teflon is just a brand name used on many products. They make things like lube for bicycle chains and whatnot. Make sure you are using something intended for use around food.

After washing in warm water with a detergent that has grease cutting agents (something like Dawn Power Scrub) (don't use soap), sand the wood slightly and then oil it. Do not use any oil made from food or it will eventually turn rancid and stink, or oxidize and turn the roller gummy (which sounds like what has already happened to your roller). Use food grade mineral oil.

I never heard of a wooden rolling pin being varnished.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 11:22AM
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I would not hesitate to use WD-40 or a teflon lubricant on the just the bearings of a rolling pin.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 1:51PM
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Well dilly dally.

My rolling pin is old and is coated with something. It may not be varnish or it may just have been soaked in some kind of oil, but it does have a shiny, smooth, darker than just wood finish. That's the way it came, Oh so many years ago.

I never wash mine except to wipe with a soapy cloth and rinse with a clear water soaked cloth and leave it to air dry. It never gets too dirty anyway and does not need heavy cleaners

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 4:29PM
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Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply to my problem. I love this forum!! Someone always knows the answer and is willing to share.

My rolling pin does not have ball bearings although I have seen ones that do.

The dowel pin running thru the middle is stationary(doesn't move) and there is a moving piece around this dowel on each end that is supposed to turn. The one end moved freely, but the other end was very gummy and would hardly move at all and the rolling pin itself was gummy. It had been stored for about five years. There was hardly any room to get to the area as there is a carved knob on each end very close to the moving piece, so I took a small medical syringe and injected food grade mineral oil into the stuck end and worked with it off and on for a couple of days. It helped some, but still wouldn't move freely . So I did as you suggested, oilpainter, and immersed that end in a pint jar full of mineral oil. That did the trick and the oil also took the gummy feel off the pin itself. Thanks again!

Now tell me what I can do with the used mineral oil??

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 9:47PM
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Rub it on your wood cutting boards, wood bowls, wood cooking spoons, etc.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 9:30PM
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Thanks Sheila. That was certainly one of those "can't see the forest for the trees" questions!!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 12:19AM
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