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How to Care for Your Wooden Walking Stick

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Whether you use your walking stick or cane as a fashion accessory or mobility aid, it's important to keep it in top shape. After you've used it for a long time, wooden canes may show signs of wear and tear if not properly cared for, which can hurt the aesthetics as well as the stability of your stick. That doesn't have to be reason to worry though, as there are plenty of simple ways you can keep your stick healthy and looking fresh.

At WalkingSticks.co.uk, we're the top authority around on all things walking sticks, so we've decided to help you with with your cane maintenance by compiling a handy guide. Here, we'll lay out a few of our top tips for keeping your stick in top shape, ensuring your cane will remain attractive and ready to go when you need it to be. Whether your wood of choice is Beech, Ash, Chestnut or anything else, we've got you covered.

Walking stick care guide polish clean dry cane

Clean it Off

This may seem painfully obvious, but after you've been out with your stick and it gets dirty, make sure you clean it off. Mud and grime on your stick can accumulate over time, boring its way into your beautiful wood and slowly tearing at the grain fibres. A quick rub-down with a damp cloth will do the trick, keeping your stick looking sharp and free from any contaminants.

Keep it Dry

While a bit of rain or wetness on your stick isn't going to hurt in the short term, it's important to dry off your stick after you're done with it to keep the wood healthy. If left untouched, the wetness can seep into your wood, hurting the integrity of the core and reducing the wood's overall tensile strength. Dry the stick well, and it'll stay at full strength, ready to get roughed up again on your next outing.

Store it with Care

While there's no need to put too much thought into where you store your stick, the wrong resting place can really hurt your cane's lifetime. Make sure to not store your stick in a place that will experience undue heat or sunlight, such as beside a stove or against a radiator. The heat in these areas can make for drastic and reoccurring temperature changes, leading to cracks or general instability within the structure of your wooden stick.

Give it a Polish

This step isn't entirely necessary for every stick, but for those looking to keep a deep and rich wood colour, it can really make even the oldest sticks stand out in the crowd. If your stick has a light varnish finish, a neutral-coloured shoe polish can keep it looking its best. For darker wooden sticks, a similar colour of dark shoe polish will work a treat. Remember not to overdo it though, as it really doesn't take much polish to get the job done. 

Keep it Healthy

As you build up a healthy number of excursions with your stick, regular wear and tear may result in a few nicks and scratches along the way. Try to pay attention to any loose piece of wood that develop, as it's better to remove these bits than let them get any worse. Alternatively, you can try to glue these bits back on, as a little shoe polish over the injured area can leave it looking good as new.

The Golden Ferrule

If you aren't familiar with ferrules and their purpose and you're looking to up your walking stick game; you should be. Ferrules are crucial at the protect the bottom of your stick, which is especially important for wooden sticks that are prone to splitting or impact damage. The right ferrule can protect your stick, make it more comfortable to walk with and keep it looking great for as long as you need it to.

If your ferrule starts to wear down, replace it immediately, as it is perhaps the most important tool you can have in your arsenal to care for your stick. If you're looking for a new ferrule, check out our Ferrule Category for all the options you'll need. 

Try it for Yourself

Now that you know what you need to do to keep your walking stick in ship-shape, it's up to you to remember the basics and keep them up. If you follow these simple guidelines, your stick will thank you, and you'll be able to show off your stylish stick for years to come. Alternatively, if you feel it may be a bit too late for your current stick, we have plenty of attractive Wooden Walking Sticks on offer to give you a fresh start.

Do you have a question, or something to add? Let us know in the comments section below, or find us on Twitter and Facebook!