Let’s talk about how to care for wooden utensils. Today’s modern kitchen should always have an arsenal of wooden utensils for a handful of different reasons. They’re not only beautiful and extremely versatile, but cheap and very durable. Wooden utensils are great for mixing the batter, stirring a sauce, and scraping burnt pieces off of a pan. In case you missed this post, How to Stock Your Pantry for Under $100
Unlike plastic, they won’t melt, and you also won’t burn your hands using them as you do with metal utensils when they’re exposed to high heat. I even dare to mention that they’re great at getting your point across as well.
I use an 11-Inch Danish Whisk almost every single day. The 11-inch size fits inside my wide-mouth quart jars to stir whatever I need to stir.
How to Care for Wooden Utensils
If you don’t know how to properly care for your wooden utensils, you’ll have a harder time keeping them looking vibrant and smooth. They also won’t have the protection they need to keep them from splitting or cracking, forcing you to toss them out.
How to Properly Clean Wooden Utensils
There are a few mistakes that people often make when it comes to wooden utensils, and these can have a dramatic effect on how long they last. Simply washing or drying them in an incorrect manner over a period of time can be the devastating difference-maker.
As it turns out, properly caring for your wooden utensils is extremely easy to do when you know what you’re doing. Cleaning your wooden kitchen utensils properly can greatly extend their life. Simply follow these three easy steps to keep your wooden utensils looking snazzy.
Once you’re finished using a particular wooden utensil, go ahead and rinse it off immediately in warm water. Be sure that you don’t soak it.
Wash Them By Hand (Always)
Putting your wooden utensils in the dishwasher is one of the biggest mistakes that you can possibly make. They’re not meant to soak in extremely hot water for such a long wash cycle. The heat drying cycle we often use is also damaging to the wood. These issues can result in gray and fuzzy utensils over time, greatly shortening their life span.
Your utensils will certainly lose their attractive appeal. So always wash your wooden utensils by hand, and avoid the dishwasher at all costs.
Use a Milder Dish Soap with Hot Water
While using hot water and mild dish soap, you have the option of scrubbing your wooden utensils with a washcloth or a soft bristled brush.
Set Them Up to Dry
Go ahead and towel dry your wooden utensils once you’ve rinsed away all the suds. When wood has become wet, there’s the possibility that it could expand and contract if it doesn’t dry properly, which you certainly don’t want.
By propping up your wooden utensils, it will allow the airflow to help evenly dry them so damage to the wood is less likely to happen.
Apply a Coat of Oil to Your Wooden Utensils
One of the best ways to keep your wooden utensils looking nice is to add a coat of oil to them every once in a while. Some suggest about once every 6 months.
This also helps to create a protective barrier, which helps to prevent cracks, splitting, and fading. One last thing that it does, is that it creates a resistance to absorbing odors and stains.
Use the Right Oil
Of course, you don’t want to use just any oil to coat your wooden utensils. This can be harmful to you and your family, or at the very least, add an offensive smell to your food. Avoid using varnishes, polyurethanes, and also food-based oils such as vegetable or olive oil. These could cause your utensils to go rancid over time, and your food to taste not so good.
Choose oils like beeswax, because it won’t be harmful to you to eat, and it still adds a nice shine to your wooden utensils. Just keep in mind that beeswax softens under hot temperatures, so if you’re mixing a chili or soup with it, that oil protection will come right off.
Some people also use petroleum-based oils (mineral oil) on their utensils. You may be skeptical about this, but it’s actually safe when it comes to your food. It’s odorless, won’t leave a sticky residue, while adding protection, resulting in a longer life for your wooden utensils.
I have several wood cutting boards so I use the same John Boos Mystery Oil on my Danish Whisks and all my wooden spoons.
How to Oil Your Wooden Utensils
Just like washing wooden utensils, applying oil to them the correct way is also extremely simple. Just add a small amount of oil directly on the utensil’s surface and then wipe it with a clean rag until the entire utensil is covered. Then allow it to sit for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Some people prefer to let them soak overnight, which is fine too. Finally, take a different clean rag and use it to buff the wood and to remove any oil residue. You should be happy with the final result.
When you have a tough stain on a particular utensil, apply roughly a teaspoon of baking soda onto it. Then squeeze lemon juice over the surface in order to make a paste.
Sometimes adding coarse salt to the mixture will help with abrasion. Take a cloth and work the paste into the wood, in the direction of the grains. Then rinse well with water. You can repeat a few times, if you need to.
Sometimes you may notice a slight odor that’s coming from your wooden utensils. To remove odors, you’ll need to fill a bowl with equal parts of hot water and vinegar mixed together.
Place the wooden utensil in the solution and allow it to sit for nearly a half-hour. Go ahead and rinse it off and use a towel to dry it immediately.
If the smell of vinegar is a bit much for you, some prefer to add a teaspoon of lemon juice to solve this problem. Like I said earlier, it’s not good to allow wooden utensils to soak in water, but this method is okay to treat odors and keep mold away.
If you take proper care of your wooden utensils, there’s really no reason that they shouldn’t last you many years, if not a lifetime. I’ve heard stories of one generation passing their wooden utensils down to the next generation, which showed the amount of care that they gave them.
What are some other tips and ways to care for wooden utensils that you may know about that weren’t discussed above? I’d love to hear from you. What tips can you add for how to care for wooden utensils? May God Bless this world, Linda.
Copyright Images: Wooden Kitchen Utensils AdobeStock_204010755 By Shawn Hempel