Organize & Clean

How To Clean and Care for Wooden Utensils

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Elena Moiseeva)

Wood utensils date back to ancient Egypt and are still one of the most common tools found in the kitchen today. Wood is a great material to cook with for a variety of reasons, and with the right care wood utensils and cutting boards can last decades.

After many years of new materials such as silicone dominating the kitchen tool market, wood is making a comeback thanks to its timeless functionality. Wooden spoons won’t scratch your pots and pans and wood won’t leach chemicals or chemically react with hot food.

As someone who loves to throw everything in the dishwasher and wants to sanitize everything in the kitchen, I struggle with how to clean wooden tools. Here is a list of the best practices for handling your wood utensils after use.

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • DON’T put wood utensils or cutting boards into the dishwasher. The intense steam and extended time in hot water will make the wood crack.
  • DO wash the utensils in hot soapy water fairly quickly after use.
  • DON’T let the utensils sit in water to soak for extended periods of time.
  • DO pat the utensils dry with a cloth and let air dry.
  • DO rub with a slice of lemon and let air dry if any strong flavors have seeped into the wood
  • DO apply a mineral oil to the wood every once in a while to prevent the wood from drying out and cracking.