Stinky Nuts
July 9, 2006 10:57 AM   Subscribe

How to treat a coconut cup?

I'm trying to make a coconut cup for a friend. So far, I've discovered that this process works well:

1) Saw off the end that was hanging from the tree.
2) Boil the rest for around 30 minutes and the meat comes off easily with a thin layer of wood (much easier than scraping).

Now I'm left with a coconut cup that holds water, but smells horrible and needs to be treated. What would be the best way to do this?

I've found salad bowl finishing products on the web, as well as people who recommend just treating with olive or mineral oil. However, these are all for salad bowls made from non stinky woods and intended to mainly just hold solids. Which of these methods would be the best? Which (if any) will get rid of this awful smell? Any other suggestions?
posted by dsword to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
Smells in wood are difficult as they have often...well, sunk into the pourous object, is how it seems in the situations I've dealt with. Sadly the best bet is to air that item out for a long time in a well ventilated area. You could try getting some of that silica powder used to dry flowers and see if that would absorb some of the scent along with it. If it wasn't going to be used as a cup to drink out of I'd have other suggestions - but all would involve something that might make the wood have a bad taste.
posted by batgrlHG at 12:18 PM on July 9, 2006

What about making a thick paste of baking soda and scrubbing the inside of the cup with it? You could maybe let it sit for a bit and then rinse it out.

You could also try things used to get stink out of refrigerators, like putting it in a bag with activated charcoal for a while or swabbing it with vanilla extract, but I think the extract would help more with smell than flavor.
posted by Addlepated at 12:24 PM on July 9, 2006

If you can get the smell out mineral oil is what you want to treat it with. Mineral oil is non toxic, non film forming, and won't go rancid. The last is it's advantage over olive oil.

Some people use Walnut oil but there is a possibility of an allergic reaction with walnut oil.

I've made a couple of coconut bikini tops but I didn't boil the shell just used mechanical means to remove the meat. Took me only a few minutes per half. So you may want to start again if you aren't successful descenting.

For the archives: use your beater edged tools for cutting/drilling the coconut. The shell is rediculously hard, like cutting a 3/16 solid piece of formica.
posted by Mitheral at 3:55 PM on July 9, 2006

Obviously you want to make one yourself, but if you give up on that, you could spend $11 on this purse made from a real coconut and break it into two cups.

Or you could buy a ceramic rendition of the coconut cup. We've received several when we purchased insanely overpriced drinks at Trader Vic's.
posted by GaelFC at 5:22 PM on July 9, 2006

Response by poster: For the archives as well, I think I might take another crack at scraping. Having given the coconut time to dry after boiling, it's developed leaking cracks, as I feared it would. Back to the drawing board. Hopefully I can get one done by the end of summer. Otherwise my friend won't be able to sip fruity drinks from it in his hammock. I wonder if letting the thing ripen a bit more on its own would help.
posted by dsword at 10:32 PM on July 9, 2006

I did this once at an ashram in Indonesia. I seem to recall it involved a lot of scraping. I don't think there was boiling involved. The end product was orderless. I still have it somewhere. I wish I remembered more details.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 4:25 AM on July 10, 2006

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