Wooden spoons are a wonderful addition to any kitchen. They are a perfect non-toxic option for cookware, and they have a beautiful aesthetic. I have a few favorite wooden kitchen utensils that have been with me through thick and thin (literally). However, over time, wooden spoons and utensils can accumulate food residues, stains, and odors. Gross! But don’t worry, because you can revive your wooden spoons with a few pantry staples – natural ingredients like lemon, vinegar, and baking soda. I’ll show you the simple, effective process of giving your wooden spoons a deep clean and helping them to last for many years.
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Why Should I Use Wooden Spoons?
There are several benefits to using wooden utensils in the kitchen. Here are a few:
- Wooden spoons are made from non-toxic materials. There are no plastics or harmful chemicals.
- Won’t scratch cookware like metal spoons
- Timeless kitchen tools: They will last for years if taken care of properly
- You can buy used / vintage spoons and clean them up
- Character! There are many different shapes and sizes and they look beautiful in any kitchen.
The Importance of Cleaning Wooden Spoons Regularly
Wooden utensils, while sturdy and resilient, are very porous, meaning they can absorb flavors and odors from the food they come in contact with. Regular cleaning not only helps maintain their appearance but also ensures that they remain hygienic and safe for use. They also tend to get dull over time.
Supplies You Need to Clean Wooden Spoons
The cleaning process for wooden spoons is easy! To begin, collect all the supplies you will need. I love to use natural cleaning products.
To clean your wooden spoons, you will need:
- Lemons: Lemons are natural disinfectants and can help eliminate odors.
- White Vinegar: Known for its antibacterial properties, white vinegar is excellent for cutting through grease and grime.
- Baking Soda: This versatile ingredient is an abrasive cleaner that helps remove stubborn stains and residues.
- Dish Soap: Choose a mild, non-toxic dish soap to supplement your cleaning routine.
- Warm Water: You’ll need warm water to create cleaning solutions and rinse the spoons.
How to Clean Wooden Spoons
Lemon and Salt Scrub
Start by cutting a lemon in half and sprinkling a generous amount of salt over one of the halves. The acid in the lemon juice, combined with the abrasiveness of the salt, creates a powerful yet gentle scrubbing mixture. Hold the lemon half in one hand and the wooden spoon in the other, and scrub the surface of the spoon. This helps break down any residue and eliminates lingering odors.
Baking Soda Paste
This step is optional, but if your wooden spoons have stubborn food stains, baking soda can help. In a small bowl, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to form a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stained areas of your wooden spoon and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. The baking soda will work its magic by lifting the stains and absorbing odors. After the wait time, scrub the spoon with a soft brush or an old toothbrush to remove the paste and reveal a cleaner surface.
Disinfecting with White Vinegar
For the next step, use white vinegar to disinfect your wooden spoons. Fill a bowl with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Submerge the spoons in the solution and let them soak for at least 15-20 minutes. White vinegar’s antibacterial properties will help eliminate germs and odors. After soaking, rinse the spoons thoroughly with warm water to remove any vinegar residue.
Wash with Mild Soap
Wash your wooden spoons with a mild, natural dish soap. Use a soft sponge or cloth to lather up the soap and gently scrub the spoons. This step helps remove any remaining lemon, vinegar or baking soda. Rinse the spoons thoroughly under warm water to ensure no soap residue is left behind.
Dry Your Wooden Spoons Really Well
Once your wooden spoons are clean, you want to make sure they are really dry. Pat them dry with a clean dish towel (paper towel works too), and set them somewhere warm and dry. Avoid air-drying them in a dish rack, as prolonged exposure to moisture can lead to cracks and warping over time. I like to set my spoons and utensils out on the counter on a clean cloth or drying mat, and then put them away once they are completely dry.
Oil Wooden Spoons as Needed
To maintain the quality of your wooden spoons, it’s a good idea to oil them regularly. You can find food-safe natural oils that are made from coconut oil, olive oil, or linseed oil. Using a high quality wood oil on your wooden spoons can really prevent cracking, nourish the wood, and keep them looking really nice for a long time. It also adds a protective layer. Sometimes beeswax is used to seal a wooden cutting board, but don’t use beeswax on your wooden spoons because the high temperature when cooking can melt the wax into your food.
How to Maintain Wooden Spoons
In order to keep your wooden spoons in great shape, you should always clean them right away after use with hot soapy water. A scrub brush or the scratchy side of your sponge will work just fine for this. Deep clean them regularly (vinegar/lemon/baking soda) to remove any unseen food particles, and oil them as needed.
Can You Wash Wooden Spoons in The Dishwasher?
You should avoid washing your wooden tools in the dishwasher. Wooden utensils and dishwashers don’t mix well. The harsh detergents and high heat can damage the wood and lead to cracking. Stick to hand washing for the best results!
Can I Clean My Wooden Spoons With Boiling Water?
You may have heard of the boiling method to clean your wooden kitchen items. Boiling clean water can be used to clean your wooden spoons, but it won’t disinfect and deodorize as well as soaking them in the vinegar solution and baking soda. Vinegar and baking soda really penetrate deep into the pores of the wood.
How Often Should I Clean My Wooden Spoons?
The answer depends on how often you use your wooden spoons. If you use them daily, you should clean them more often, probably monthly. If you don’t use them very often, you can get away with cleaning every few months. Cleaning and oiling them consistently will keep them in tip-top shape.
Are you using wooden spoons? If you aren’t, I hope you try out this kitchen staple! Wooden spoons are an excellent cooking utensil that has proven to stand the test of time. With proper care, you can keep your wooden spoons looking great for years!