I have written several articles such as this one on how and why to make your own wooden spoons and utensils. It is a great hobby and introduction to woodworking. Like any woodworking project, a successful spoon creation does not end with the final passes of sandpaper over wood. To ensure that your hand crafted wooden utensils live the longest life possible, there is some very quick and easy maintenance involved. Below is a short list of tips that will extend the life of your wooden spoons, spatulas, rolling pins, and cutting boards many years as well as keep them beautiful and more sanitary.
- NEVER PUT A WOODEN UTENSIL IN THE DISHWASHER!!!!!
- Wash utensil in warm, soapy water.
- Never let it sit or soak in water.
- Pat dry with a towel after washing.
- Let it air dry completely after toweling.
- Apply a light coat of cooking oil or food safe mineral oil at least once a month.
The spoons that I sell are sealed with either food safe mineral oil or vegetable oil that can be purchased at any grocery store, but walnut oil is great for sealing wooden kitchenware as well. I avoid the walnut oil on spoons that I sell due to potential nut allergies of buyers. If nut allergies are an issue I would recommend using the food safe mineral oil or vegetable oil.
Though most wooden kitchen utensils are undoubtedly store bought and mass produced, these maintenance tips apply just the same. In fact, every store bought wooden utensil that I have purchased in the past few years has come unsealed from the store, leaving it completely unprotected from water damage and bacteria. Coating a wooden spoon with oil not only seals it off from water intrusion, it also acts as a barrier to food bacteria penetrating and thriving inside of the wood of the utensil.
Aside from water and bacteria protection, sealing wood with oil often improves the aesthetic appeal of wood. The video in this article demonstrates how oiling an unsealed spoon can really change the look of the spoon for the better. In the video a liberal amount of oil is used because it is the first time the wood has been sealed, but for a monthly resealing of utensils generally a tablespoon or so of oil is all that is required.
No trick photography or sucking in of the gut was used in the before and after pictures above, I promise.
Whether you buy a spoon from me, from your local kitchen shop, or make your own, these tips are certain to add years of useful life to any and all of your wooden kitchen utensils. It can even extend the life of your wooden tool handles as well. Below are links to a few products that I recommend to get the job done, the walnut oil is great when allergies are not a factor, and the mineral oil would definitely be my go-to product if they are. There is also a link to an article that will take you step by step through making your own wooden kitchenware works of art.
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