How To Bleach Driftwood

Driftwood is such a great accent. By itself, this material has become a great medium for art projects, especially in the realm of furniture design and landscaping. Driftwood has also been quite popular for its potential in aquarium design. It offers fish in the tank an artificial yet natural looking hiding place where they could lay their eggs or even hide from the glare of aquarium lights.

Driftwood taken from a nearby lake can be quite a risky new introduction to a household aquarium. The lakes and rivers may be the source of many infections and bacteria that may be incompatible with the current conditions of a household aquarium. Much care must be observed in making sure that the willingness to increase the aesthetic value of an aquarium does not compromise the safety of your finned friends.

Here’s how you bleach driftwood, may it be for furniture or your aquarium:

  1. Most driftwood would have a fairly dark color. This is because the wood has been exposed to a lot of water and in general, being soaked and waterlogged creates this very corky look on wood. Once it dries however, it lightens up in a dirty brown kind of hue.
  2. To bleach the wood, you would need a large tub or a vat. The size of this vessel would be dependent on how big the piece of driftwood that needs bleaching is.
  3. To start the process of bleaching, add five parts of clean water to the vessel. Mix in a part of bleach. You may use laundry bleach for this purpose. To clarify, a 1:5 ratio of bleach to water means that if you put 5 liters of water, you should put one liter of bleach.
  4. The amount of water or bleach should be determined by the amount needed to soak the driftwood and fully submerge it in the solution.
  5. If the driftwood floats, you can tie it with a piece of string attached to a weighted anchor to keep the wood down.
  6. The bleaching process does not only make the wood have a lighter hue, it also allows you to kill the unwanted germs and bacteria from the nooks and crannies inside and on the surface of the driftwood.
  7. Soak the piece of wood for about a week. Change the water everyday since the deal material (germs etc) and the unwanted substances often end up in the water.
  8. To make sure that no residual bleach is left inside the wood, soak the piece of wood for about a week in clean water before using it in an aquarium display. Give the wood a nice rinse under running water or a hose to make sure that it’s clean enough for a tank.

To make sure that you do things right in this project, you really have to buckle down and take your time. There is no rushing bleaching drift wood. If there’s staining in the water, just let your water pump and filtration system take care of that problem.


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