Wooden kitchenware can last a long time, but it needs to be properly cared for.
If you treat it like your metal and plastic kitchenware, it will break down and lose its value quickly.
Some of your wooden kitchen tools might be damaged already, with the cutting board showing early signs of splitting and your wooden spoons looking rough around the edges.
These utensils and tools might not look as sharp and as new as they once did, but you can preserve them well and protect newer wooden items from deteriorating in the same way. We want to share with you some wooden kitchenware cleaning tips.
Avoid Common Cleaning Mistakes
If you take really good care of your wooden utensils, you can keep them around for generations. They can outlast you by a longshot, and proper care starts from the very first day.
Make sure that you wash them by hand rather than putting them through an automatic dishwasher. This makes a big difference, and it is the number one thing that people do wrong with their wooden kitchen tools.
This is true of wooden bowls, spoons, placemats, and any other kitchen items made of wood. Washing by hand is the key to proper care. Just doing this one thing will go a long way toward giving you your money’s worth from them.
The dishwasher will destroy your wooden utensils faster than anything, specifically because of the high temperatures and the lengthy time your wooden spoons and other items would spend inside the dishwasher. That’s not good for them at all, and the wood will absorb too much water this way.
Another cleaning method to avoid with your wooden utensils is soaking them in water, especially hot water. This causes the same problems as using the dishwasher to clean them. Do not leave your wooden items in a sink full of water to break down the food particles that are stuck to them. It is better to hold them under cool, running water to loosen the food on them so that they are easier to clean. This minimizes how much water they absorb.
If you feel too timid to wash the wooden tools yourself, afraid that you might damage them by doing something wrong, then you can have professional maid services do this kind of task for you. Logan with Chicago Imagine Maids says They can clean your home, taking care of the sweeping, mopping, and other household chores, including washing your dishes. They will know what the best method is to clean every kind of utensil and item in your kitchen.
Best Cleaning Methods
So, how exactly do you clean your wooden utensils? You can use a very simple method of working with mild dish soap and some warm water. Make sure the water is not very hot or that could damage the wood. Don’t keep wooden items under hot running water for very long either. That can break down protective oils in the wood.
When cleaning the wooden utensils by hand, use a bristle brush or a cloth. Do not use a metal scrubbing pad, like steel wool. This will scrape and scratch the wood and cause it to look unsightly very quickly.
After the wooden utensils are clean, just let them dry naturally. Set them up in a dish drainer so they will dry off quickly. Make sure they are propped up and allow water to flow off them easily. You can also do some of the drying by hand to speed up the process.
By letting the wood dry as fast as possible, you are protecting it from the damage caused by expansion and contractions. The wood changes its for when it absorbs water and then dries out, and that puts stress on the wood and weakens it over time.
Protect Your Wood with Oil
If you want to preserve your wooden tools and keep them from absorbing excess water, you can coat them with wood oil. This makes a barrier around the wood that is somewhat flexible, allowing the wood to change its size, and expand and contract but not to soak up more water than is safe.
This also allows the wood to have a safe amount of moisture and prevents the wood from cracking, splitting, and losing its color in time. Your wood will stay vibrant and healthy with the right oil covering it.
To apply oil to wooden items, just pour some straight onto it. Then, wipe the oil across the surface of your wooden item. You can use a dry, clean cloth to do that. Let the oil stay there for about 20 minutes so that it absorbs into the wood. It’s okay to leave it there overnight, if you like. When you are ready, just take a second rag that is clean and free from oil and wipe the wooden utensil down thoroughly. Make sure you get all the excess oil off. That’s all there is to the oiling process, and this will benefit your wooden utensils over the long term, adding value and keeping you from having to replace them so soon.
The oil also helps keep away odors that could penetrate the wood and keeps off stains as well. Not every oil is good for your wood, so make sure you use the right kind. Vegetable oil in particular is unhealthy, keep the wood from drying like it should and trapping moisture in. That means your wood can become moist and rotten, and you will smell that when it happens.
Beeswax and other kinds of wood oils act as preservatives and barriers, giving your wood the protection it needs. Wood butters work as well, as do mineral oil and some other petroleum based oils. Make sure you use an oil that is food safe and wood safe for best results.
We hope these tips help you keep your wooden utensils and other wooden kitchen tools safe and protected. Applying these guidelines to your wooden items and caring for those tools properly will allow them to last for a long time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Senior Content Creator
Aleksandra Djurdjevic is a senior writer and editor, covering jewelry, accessories, and trends. She’s also works with services, home décor. She has previously worked as ESL teacher for English Tochka. Aleksandra graduated from the Comparative Literature department at the Faculty of Philosophy in Serbia. Aleksandra’s love for the environment, crafts and natural products over the years helps her continue to be a top expert at Wooden Earth.