Wood Utensil Care
Wooden utensils are essential when it comes to kitchen tools. They are eco-friendly, scratch resistant, and will last a lifetime if properly taken care of. Since we offer an array of utensils and cutting boards in our shop (https://www.thehandycupboard.com/collections/handmade-cookware), here is some information on how to care for the wooden utensils and boards so you can use them for as long as possible.
- Once you are done cooking/using the spoon, wash asap. Do not soak.
- Please do NOT use your dishwasher. If you use the dishwasher, it will degrade the wood after about the 3rd wash; the wood chips/flakes off making the texture not smooth, the color of the wood changes slightly each time, and the wood burnings will fade over time!
- Wash with warm water and dish soap with a soft dish sponge.
- Once you are done washing, set the spoon on a drying rack and let it dry completely before putting it away in storage. Or you can dry it off with a towel then air dry some. If you put the spoon away in a covered area while it is still wet, it can change the color of the wood. I haven’t ever had an issue with mold, but I’ve been told it happens if you store it wet for long periods of time.
I highly recommend using food graded mineral oil in order to get the most use out of your spoons. If you do not want to use the oil or any other type of food graded finish/wax, just know that over time the wood will continue to change colors, the texture of it will change, and the wood burnings will fade especially the details in the burnings. I haven’t had the thicker burned areas ever go away, just the lighter areas. The oil definitely increases the longevity of the spoon/burning life. And to increase the longevity of the utensil and wood burning even more, add Howard Butcher Block Conditioner after the mineral oil has dried.
- To apply finish:
- Make sure the spoon is clean and completely dry. I usually wait about 24 hours after cleaning for it to dry.
- Put mineral oil on the spoon covering all parts of it. Make sure you do it on a surface you don’t mind getting oil on.
- Wipe excess oil off utensil in the direction of the grain with a clean cloth.
- Set on a rack or somewhere that lets the spoon dry. I sometimes use any left over boxes as a drying place (put the spoon on top of the box so only the ends are touching) so if any oil drops you can easily clean by throwing the box away. Or keep it as a designated utensil dryer.
- Wait 20 minutes then wipe off any excess oil with a clean cloth in direction of the grain.
- Wait 24 hours before using your utensil again. For better sustainability of the utensil and wood burning, apply Howard's Butcher Block Conditioner after the oil has dried. Then wait another 24 hours before using. The Conditioner isn't as paramount as the oil for overall utensil care, but it does help with keeping the wood burning better.
The oil I use is called “Howard Cutting Board Oil” that you can get on my website: https://www.thehandycupboard.com/products/food-graded-mineral-oil (I have 2 oz sample bottles and regular 12 oz bottles. The sample bottle lasts one spoon about 6-10 applications)
The number of times you should apply oil depends on how often you use and clean the utensils. I usually apply after about the 7th or 8th wash just to keep it looking like new. You don’t have to count the use times; you can apply every few months or when there are cues like when the texture of the wood looks dried out.
For cutting board care, follow the same directions as utensil care. The only difference is you should apply the conditioner/wax after the oil has dried when it comes time to re-finish the board. I also recommend refinishing the board after about the 6th use or so, or before any prominent knife cuts start appearing. The conditioner helps prevent the knife cuts in the wood.
If you have any questions about utensil or cutting board care please don't hesitate to ask. You can email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact us on social media for any questions.