Cleaning Wooden Spoons

by Wendy VanHatten

With holiday baking, many of us reach for wooden spoons. After all, they won’t scratch pots and pans or affect the flavor of our food, and they don’t conduct heat so there’s no risk for burning or melting. If treated well, they can last for years in your kitchen.

But we want to make sure they’re clean. It’s important to clean your wooden spoons by hand, and not in your dishwasher. You probably wouldn’t see issues with your spoons right away, but they won’t last nearly as long because the dry cycle dehydrates the wood. The key is to clean the wooden cookware properly, and season with oil to keep them fresh.

If you’re like me, there are some stains that just happen. This is especially true if you cook with bright ingredients, like turmeric , raspberries, red wine, or tomatoes.

In that case, try these steps:

Step 1: Salt 

First, use very hot soapy water  to rinse away any bacteria that may be on the wooden item. This is especially important if the utensil touched any kind of raw meat or fish. Once rinsed, pour a good amount of course salt over the top and rub a cut lemon over the surface until the salt has dissolved. The lemon should help remove any smell, and the combination will lift the stain. Once complete, rinse with cool water and set in the sun to dry. Check out the stain and the smell. If it didn’t work, try baking soda.

Step 2: Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda over the top of the item and drizzle on lemon juice. Use a clean cloth to scrub the stained area, and then simply rinse and set in the sun to dry.

Step 3: Vinegar

Strange smells or lots of issues? Soak  spoons in equal parts white vinegar and room temperature water overnight. Then, wash, and let dry in sunlight.

Step 4: Sandpaper 

If all else fails, sandpaper  will remove a layer to reveal fresh wood and scrape away the stains. This method will also help get rid of any loose ends from use, and keep your wooden items smooth and clean. Be sure to season your utensils again after sandpapering. I wouldn’t use this on any special, hand-crafted, or heirloom spoons.