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  • Wellness

    How to Clean Wooden Spoons & Cooking Utensils

    Utensil Set - Still Life

    In the heart of every home kitchen, wooden cooking utensils hold a special place, blending tradition with the touch of nature's own design.

    At Caraway, we understand that the choice of tools in your culinary arsenal is more than just about functionality — it’s about bringing a piece of the natural world into your daily rituals, ensuring every stir and flip is a step toward healthier cooking.

    With an unwavering commitment to sustainability and safety, we’ve crafted our utensils to be as kind to the environment as they are to your cookware, embodying our ethos of thoughtful, practical, and eco-friendly kitchen essentials.

    Why Choose Wooden Cooking Utensils?

    Wooden cooking utensils are a statement of quality, sustainability, and health.

    Here’s why they stand out as the preferred option for discerning home cooks:

    Durability and Longevity

    Unlike plastic that can melt or metal that may warp, high-quality wooden utensils maintain their form and function over years of use. They are robust and able to withstand the rigors of daily cooking without showing premature wear.

    Utensil Set - Lifestyle with Fry Pan

    Natural and Non-toxic

    Wood is a naturally occurring material, free from the chemicals and toxins found in some synthetic utensils. Our selection proudly features FSC-certified birch wood, ensuring you’re choosing products from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits.

    Gentle on Cookware

    Wooden spoons and spatulas are incredibly gentle on surfaces, making them the perfect companion for your non-stick ceramic cookware. They prevent scratches, preserving the lifespan and non-stick quality of your pans and pots.


    Wooden utensils are biodegradable and sustainable, minimizing your carbon footprint. Our cooking utensils, which feature FSC-certified birch wood, German stainless steel blades, and BPA-free handles, highlight our dedication to eco-friendly kitchen essentials, aligning with your values of protecting the planet.

    Why Is It Important To Keep Your Wooden Utensils Clean?

    Maintaining the cleanliness of your wooden utensils is a matter of health and longevity for both the tools and your cooking environment. Wooden utensils are cherished for their natural beauty and eco-friendly nature. Without proper care, they can become a haven for bacteria and odors, compromising their integrity and the safety of your food.

    Here’s why keeping them clean should be a priority in every kitchen:

    • Preventing Bacterial Growth: Wood is porous, so it can absorb and retain moisture, providing an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Regular and thorough cleaning eliminates food particles and moisture that bacteria thrive on, ensuring your utensils remain hygienic. Our wooden utensils are pre-treated with food-safe mineral oil & wax to create a safe barrier.
    • Preserving the Wood's Integrity: Proper cleaning methods help maintain the wood's condition, preventing cracking, warping, or splitting. This extends the life of your utensils and ensures they remain safe and effective for cooking.
    • Maintaining Flavor Integrity: Old food residue and bacteria can transfer unwanted flavors to your dishes. Keeping your wooden utensils clean ensures that the only tastes in your food are the ones you intended.
    • Supporting Sustainable Practices: By taking good care of your wooden utensils, you're also upholding the principles of sustainability. Well-maintained utensils need not be replaced frequently, reducing waste and promoting a cycle of responsible usage and minimal environmental impact.

    Steps To Clean Wooden Spoons and Cooking Utensils

    Now that you know the significance of cleanliness for your wooden kitchen essentials, it's time to dive deep into proper care techniques to ensure they stay pristine and safe for your culinary adventures.

    Let's explore effective strategies to clean and maintain your cherished wooden spoons and cooking utensils.

    Step 1: Rinse Immediately After Use

    Immediately after use, rinse your wooden utensils under warm running water to remove any food particles. Avoid soaking them, as prolonged exposure to water can cause the wood to swell and crack.

    Step 2: Clean With Mild Soap

    Apply a small amount of mild dish soap to a soft sponge or brush. Gently scrub the utensil to clean it without scratching the wood's surface. This step helps ensure any bacteria or remaining food residue is removed.

    Step 3: Rinse Thoroughly

    Rinse the utensil thoroughly under warm water to remove any soap residue. It's important that no soapy film is left on the wood, as it can affect the taste of your food and the integrity of the utensil.

    Step 4: Dry Immediately

    After rinsing, use a clean towel to pat the utensils dry gently. Then, stand them up or place them in a drying rack to allow air to circulate and completely dry the wood. Avoid drying them in direct sunlight or near heat sources, as this can warp or crack the wood.

    Step 5: Address Stains and Odors

    For stubborn stains or odors, sprinkle coarse salt over the wood's surface and use half a lemon to rub it in. The lemon's acidity and the salt's abrasiveness work together to remove stains and neutralize odors without harming the wood. Rinse and dry thoroughly afterward.

    Utensil Set - Lifestyle Wooden Tongs

    Essential Tips for Maintaining Wooden Cooking Utensils

    Ensuring the longevity and safety of your wooden cooking utensils involves more than just routine cleaning.

    Here are some indispensable tips to keep these essential tools in top-notch condition, allowing them to serve you faithfully in your culinary pursuits.

    Store Properly

    Store your wooden utensils in a dry, well-ventilated area to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to mold and mildew. A cooking utensil holder set away from the sink or any steam sources is ideal. Our cooking utensil set comes with everything you need to store your wooden utensils properly.

    Regular Inspection

    Periodically inspect your wooden utensils for any signs of damage, such as cracks or splinters. Damaged utensils can harbor bacteria and may pose a risk to your food and health.

    Avoid Extreme Temperatures

    Do not leave wooden utensils near or on hot surfaces, such as stovetops or inside ovens, as extreme temperatures can cause warping or cracking. Similarly, avoid freezing temperatures, which can make the wood brittle.

    Use for Appropriate Tasks

    Utilize your wooden utensils for tasks they are meant for. Avoid using them for prying or heavy-duty mixing, which can stress the wood and lead to premature wear.

    Natural Disinfection

    For a natural disinfection option, wipe your wooden utensils with white vinegar or a solution of hydrogen peroxide, then rinse with water and dry thoroughly. This can help eliminate any lingering bacteria without resorting to harsh chemicals.

    When Should I Replace My Wooden Cooking Utensils?

    Even with the best care and maintenance, there comes a time when your wooden cooking utensils may need to be retired from service. Recognizing when to replace them is key to maintaining a safe and efficient kitchen.

    Here are signs it’s time to let go:

    • Deep Cracks and Splits: When deep cracks or splits appear, it's more than just an aesthetic issue. These crevices can harbor bacteria and are difficult to clean thoroughly, posing a health risk.
    • Persistent Odors: If, despite all your cleaning efforts, your wooden utensils retain strong odors, this can indicate that they're holding onto more than just smells — they may also be retaining harmful bacteria.
    • Rough or Fuzzy Texture: A utensil that becomes rough or develops a fuzzy texture, even after oiling, is a sign that the wood fibers have been damaged beyond repair. This can lead to an uncomfortable grip and a less effective tool.
    • Visible Mold: Any sign of mold growth is a clear indicator that it’s time to replace your wooden utensil. Mold can pose serious health risks and should never be ignored.
    • Warping: Wooden utensils that have lost their original shape or have become warped should be retired, as they won’t perform as intended and can be difficult to handle safely.

    When you decide it’s time to replace your wooden utensils, consider repurposing them for non-food-related tasks or composting them if possible, keeping in line with sustainable practices. And look to Caraway for durable and beautiful wooden utensils for replacements.

    Utensil Set - Lifestyle on Countertop

    Give Wooden Utensils a Try

    At Caraway, we're passionate about offering kitchen essentials that enhance your cooking experience while aligning with eco-friendly and health-conscious values. Wooden utensils are a testament to this commitment, providing durability, safety, and aesthetic appeal to your culinary endeavors.

    By understanding how to care for, maintain, and recognize when it's time to replace these kitchen heroes, you contribute to a sustainable lifestyle that values quality and responsibility.

    Embrace these principles, and let Caraway be a part of your journey towards a more thoughtful and environmentally conscious kitchen.


    Wooden utensils in the kitchen | Hygiene Food Safety

    From the Woods: Incredible Wood | Penn State Extension 

    What to Clean and What Not to Clean With Lemon | Consumer Reports 

    Porous Definition & Meaning | Britannica Dictionary

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