Knowing how to care for wood spoons the right way keeps these wonderful kitchen tools looking good and ensures they’re safe to use.
If you’ve noticed your wooden spoons have begun to look dull, have splits or cracks, or their edges are fraying, it’s time to learn how to care for them the right way.
Problems With Wood Spoons
Why Wood Spoons Crack
The process of cutting a spoon from a piece of wood leaves rough and sometimes sharp edges at the end of the wood’s grain. Manufacturers sand them down, of course, but every time the spoon gets wet — through use or washing — the ends start minutely fraying. These bits will eventually hold onto stains and odors.
Why Wood Spoons Split
Since frayed ends also allow moisture to penetrate the wood, the spoon will eventually start split and fall apart. That’s why putting them in the dishwasher is a no-no: the heat helps the moisture seep into the wood.
Are Wood Spoons Unsanitary?
If you know how to care for wood spoons, they’re safe to use. Letting them fray or crack, though, lets food seep into the wood. Over time, that leads to bacterial growth. You’ll notice your spoon looks stained and may even smell bad.
To keep your wood spoons safe to use and in good working condition, read on for the steps to clean and protect them.
How to Make Your Wood Spoons Last Forever
1. Wash Them By Hand Every Time
Don’t let wood spoons sit in water for more than a couple of minutes. To wash them, use hot soapy water, rinse them thoroughly, and dry them with a towel right away. Allowing wood spoons to air dry leaves them in contact with water too long. (Related: How to Clean Wood Cutting Boards.)
2. Sand Them Occasionally
If your spoons are rough or fuzzy, refurbish them with a 320 grit sandpaper or a steel wool pad. Rub along the wood’s grain to smooth the surface and then wash them.
3. Moisturize Them Routinely
A layer of oil rubbed into wood spoons helps to seal in moisture. It also acts as a barrier to stains and heat damage. Many people use food-grade mineral oil, but coconut oil works, too. Saturate the wood and let it sit overnight, then rub away the excess. Every couple of weeks is often enough. You’ll know it’s the time when the wood has lost its gleam.
Once you know how to care for wood spoons, you can make them last practically forever, plus they’ll be more sanitary and look better in the utensil holder on your counter.