How to Clean Wooden Spoons

Wooden Spoons for cooking
5 Min Reading

Wooden spoons do have some downfalls. They are susceptible to breaking, burning, crusting, and staining. Most of the issues are reversible. Here are some methods showing how to clean wooden spoons.

Wooden spoons have been used for years. There is a good reason the kitchen gadgets have survived the test of time. Wood has antibacterial properties, which allow it to fight off mold, bacteria, and infection. It keeps those properties when made into spoons.

Spoons made from wood are among the most basic and oldest cooking utensils. They are a must-have in a kitchen. There are many benefits of using wooden spoons over those made of plastic or metal.

They are durable and strong enough to scrape cooked-on food from a pot or stir stiff batter. The spoons stay cool to the touch and do not melt in boiling liquids. Wooden spoons are safe on nonstick surfaces; they will not scratch pots and pans. They are timeless cooking tools that will last longer if properly cared for.

Wash with Soap

Spoon Washing with soap


Hand-wash wooden spoons with mild dish soap and hot water. You can technically put them in a dishwasher, but it is not recommended. Putting wooden spoons in the dishwasher can ruin them.

The dishwasher’s excess moisture and high heat that work great on cookware and dishes will cause them to break, crack, or warp. If a wooden spoon frays, cracks, or splinters, it is time to get rid of it. Smells and bacteria get stuck in the cracks.

Wood items are best cleaned with simple hand washing using warm water and soap. Blot freshly washed spoons with a clean dishtowel. Let them air-dry before returning them to the place they are kept.

Treating Dry-Looking Wooden Spoons

Treating Dry Looking Wooden Spoons

If the spoons start to look dry or do not feel smooth, rub them with products like those shown here. Do not use olive or vegetable oil because they can become rancid.

Here are links to our recommended products:

  • Howard Cutting Board Oil
  • Boos Block Board Cream
  • LinSheen Raw Linseed Oil
  • Howard Wax-It-All Food Grade Wax
  • Caron & Doucet Cutting Board Oil


Composition of two shots of a clean and dirty wooden spoon for constrast concept

Foods with high pigmentation, such as berries or tomato sauce, will stain wooden spoons. They are still safe to use, and the stains eventually fade. If wooden spoons develop roughness or spotted stains, you can rub them with fine sandpaper.

If sandpaper is used, the spoons must be re-seasoned before you use them again. To re-season utensils, preheat the oven to 350° F. Using food-grade mineral oil, wipe the spoons and put them in the oven for two or three minutes.

It is an excellent idea to condition wooden spoons like this periodically to help them last longer. Rubbing them with mineral oil and wiping excess oil away helps keep them fresh.  

Combatting Odors

Garlic in a wooden spoon

Wooden spoons are going to absorb odors and flavors. Most smells will eventually fade, but it is pretty easy to remove them when the smells do not subside.

Scrub the surface with a water and baking soda paste or the cut side of half a lemon. Baking soda and lemon help neutralize the odor. You can also generously squeeze lemon juice, sprinkle baking soda on the spoons, and let them marinate for a while.

Wooden Spoon cleaning

Wash them with soap and water after marinating and let them thoroughly air-dry. You may want to keep separate wooden spoons for more flavorful foods to avoid transferring the flavor.

Removing Buildup

Buildup on wooden spoons occurs but is easy to fix. Soak crusty spoons in a solution of one part water to one part vinegar overnight. If the solution does not work, use a stainless steel or copper scrub for the stubborn crust.

Wooden spoon cleaning


Another method of cleaning wood spoons is using vinegar and carbonate. The steps are

  • Putting the wooden spoons in a large pot
  • Pouring a packet of baking soda into the pan
  • Adding two tablespoons of vinegar
  • Adding boiling water to cover everything in the pan and let it boil
  • Boiling for 15 minutes
  • Rinsing cleaned spoons with cold water and drying them

The dirt trapped in the spoon will mix with the water.

Popular TikTok Hack

Popular TikTok Hack

A TikTok video recommends soaking wooden spoons in boiling water for 20 minutes to two hours. It claims to degrease and sanitize the utensils. If the clear boiling water becomes a murky-colored mess, you know you were successful. The spoons must be reoiled after using this method to clean them. It is suggested to do this every month.

Coconut Oil and Beeswax

  • Melt some coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler or hot water bath.
  • Add a few drops of lemon and mix with the melted ingredients
  • Use a cloth to rub the mixture into the wooden spoons
  • Wait about ten minutes, then clean the utensils with warm water.

Coconut oil is very stable and has a lengthy shelf-life. The ‘best by’ date is usually within two to four years of production.

Sanitizing with Hydrogen Peroxide

Another way to sanitize spoons is to use a low concentration formula of hydrogen peroxide for approximately five minutes after washing. If you do not want to soak the utensils, you can rinse them quickly with the hydrogen peroxide or sprinkle hydrogen peroxide on the spoons and let them dry. They need to be rewashed before using.


Wooden Kitchen Utensils

Final Words

Although cleaning wooden spoons is not as simple s placing them in a dishwasher after use and running the cleaning cycle, they are essential cooking tools in a food preparation arsenal.

The best spoons are made of dense, high-quality wood, such as olive wood like those found at Forest Decor. Even with regular moisturizing and proper care, wooden spoons can crack and dry over time and should be replaced with a fresh set. Some lifestyle websites recommend the replacement of wooden spoons every five years.

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