Help me dip all my spoons, the non-toxic way.
January 24, 2013 5:34 PM   Subscribe

Trying to find a permanent, food-safe way to mark all my cutlery and cooking utensils (that won't wear off after repeated washes).

Trying to prevent losing more measuring cups and spoons in my cooking class.

My idea is to find a food safe paint and just dip the ends of everything in the paint, making it easy to tell that they are mine.

Other people will be using the cookware, so it needs to be food -safe by the strictest possible standards. don't want to poison anyone...!

I have found few ostensibly food safe spray-paints elsewhere on the Internet, but hoping someone here may know of a reliable one or perhaps knows a trick from culinary school.

I don't care about the colour, and it doesn't have to be paint necessarily. Just a permanent, food-safe way of marking cutlery... Could just be a gel dot or something small...
posted by OlivesAndTurkishCoffee to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My brother put electrical tape in 2 colors on the handles of his knives when he was in chef school. It works really well, but eventually you have to replace the tape.

He used two colors because other students were using colored electrical tape, too, so he had to make it obviously different from theirs.
posted by small_ruminant at 5:36 PM on January 24, 2013 [7 favorites]

Etching? Out your initials on them with one and you should be good.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:40 PM on January 24, 2013 [4 favorites]

How about Sharpie?
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 5:44 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sharpie washes off really quickly on something like that. Electrical tape is great and will go through the dishwasher for quite a while before it comes off. Just make sure all the edges are not loose.
posted by dawkins_7 at 5:56 PM on January 24, 2013

Sharpie Industrial
posted by ryanrs at 5:57 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm thinking Plasti-Dip, 'cause it's awesome.

Plasti DipĀ® does not contain any heavy metals, and when completely dry, is considered harmless. However, it is not recommended that it be used on items that may be chewed or inserted into the mouth as it may present a choking hazard.

I take that to mean that you won't want to dip the spoon end, but the handle should be fine.
posted by redsparkler at 5:58 PM on January 24, 2013 [6 favorites]

For keys, i often id them with distinctive drill holes. Might work for metal stuff. No need to drill all the way through. Use a tiny bit and place a small mark in a non essential surface. You just need an ID mark. Use the same mark technique on all.
posted by FauxScot at 6:04 PM on January 24, 2013

The usual line cook way of doing this is etching.
posted by elizardbits at 6:13 PM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

Teacher's trick: count them out, count them in. Nobody leaves until everything is returned.

As for marking, I like the idea of electrical tape in a weird color.
posted by bonheur at 7:12 PM on January 24, 2013

You want an engraving pen.
posted by gyusan at 7:24 PM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

I think it's about $60 to get the supplies (and gold) to gold-plate metal objects via electroplating.
posted by anonymisc at 7:58 PM on January 24, 2013

Drill a small hole in the handle. Or maybe two.
posted by Sphinx at 8:59 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Nail polish.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:07 PM on January 24, 2013 [4 favorites]

Yeah, a lot of the Jewish families I know use nail polish on the handles of one set of silverware to distinguish kosher from non-kosher.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:16 PM on January 24, 2013

They'll steal the marking when they steal the measuring cup so I don't see how that solves anything. So I'll second the military/aviation style tool control system.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:18 PM on January 24, 2013

Seconding etching and nail polish, from my own experience. Sometimes things disappear anyway, but usually out of rudeness or inconsideration than bad intentions. Missing items would often turn up a few days later.
posted by whatzit at 11:26 PM on January 24, 2013

Seconding a lot of people, when my wife went to patisserie school, the order of the day was unique duct tape for the handle, and her initials engraved in the metal.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:42 AM on January 25, 2013

Another vote for the engraving pen, I use one to help segregate lab equipment and tools. You will need some practice if you care about the result coming out pretty.
posted by Dr Dracator at 5:20 AM on January 25, 2013

Tool dips like plasti-dip work extremely well in my experience. Tape, printable lables and markers are much less permanent solutions, and are eventually removed by handling or washing. We use it for this purpose in a chemisty lab/machine shop setting.
posted by bonehead at 6:34 AM on January 25, 2013

A chemical-resistant lab marker could also do the trick - they're more permanent than "permanent" markers.

I use nail polish on my keys (to distinguish front door key from back door key) and it wears off after a while. But then my keys probably get bumped around more than my average fork.
posted by mskyle at 6:46 AM on January 25, 2013

Plasti-dip would be esthetically pleasing. I have a roll of blaze orange electrical tape and use it to flag the remotes, my phone, and other items that tend to visually disappear. If you buy a unique color of tape, it will prove useful. Same with an engraving pen; inexpensive, and once you own one, you'll find additional uses, like tagging your bike, laptop, etc. Food safety - handles should not be in the food anyway, but plast-dip or engraving are better in that regard. (says I, who has a pot with an electrical-taped handle)
posted by theora55 at 7:15 AM on January 25, 2013

Electrical tape goes through the dishwasher many many times. I've had better luck with a small square placed somewhere out-of-the-way (like the back of the wide part of the handle) than doing a wrap of tape. I put them on my serving utensils when I was hosting a potluck 3 years ago, and they're still there after many trips through the dishwasher. I used yellow tape and wrote my name on the tape in sharpie, and my name is faded out on the ones I wash most.
posted by aimedwander at 7:17 AM on January 25, 2013

Why not just get a bunch of 'cheap and nasty' ones and accept that they will go missing?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:00 PM on January 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


'sugru is the exciting new self-setting rubber that can be formed by hand. It moulds like play-dough, bonds to almost anything and turns into a strong, flexible silicone rubber overnight.'

They say 'Once cured, sugru is inert, but people can be allergic to anything, so we have to tell you to be careful. sugru isn't certified as food safe yet, but we're working on it. For now, please resist the urge to eat it.' But if it's just on the handles, this shouldn't be an issue.
posted by you must supply a verb at 3:11 AM on January 26, 2013

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