Caring for Wooden Kitchen Utensils

I have a lot of wooden utensils and items in my kitchen.  I’ve collected in recent years in an effort to get rid of all the plastic utensils that I used to use.  I’ve updated them with wood and stainless steel.

The thing about using wooden items is that they require some lovin’ every once in a while to keep them in good condition.  If not they’ll crack, dry out and be useless.  Not to mention a little uglier than when you bought them.

How do I know this?  I found out the hard way.  It honestly never occurred to me to have to oil them.  So it came as a sad surprise when one of my bamboo spoons cracked (it’s still useable!).

I did some calling/googling around, and found out exactly how to care for my wooden kitchen items and I thought I’d share what I learned with you.

Oiling Wooden Kitchen Utensils/Items:

1. Go visit your local hardware store and purchase “butcher block oil.”  Mine was 473 mL. which ran me approximately $13.95 before taxes.  It’s important that you use this oil and not just any oil.  Most other oils (such as vegetable oil) will go rancid on your item and actually rot it.  Butcher block oil is meant for preserving wooden items that are used in the kitchen and come into contact with food.  It’s perfectly safe!
2. When you plan to do this make sure you have ample time.  I chose to do it on my day off so I could do it all at once.
3. Set up a space where you won’t have to move your wooden utensils for at least 3 days.  Yup, 3 days (72 hours).
To set up your space you’ll need an old towel (or large cloth, depending on how many products you’re oiling); a couple of dry, clean rags; something to prop up your items; your wooden items; and the oil.
4. Shake the can of oil and then open it up.  Dip in your rag and lightly wipe the oil onto one side of each of your items.  You shouldn’t be soaking the item – just a light coat.

5. After you’ve coated one side of everything, gently flip them and coat the other side.  Prop them up and leave them to dry for 6 hours.

6. After 6 hours follow steps 5 and 6 again.  Put away your oil and leave the items for a full 72 hours so that they can dry.
7. After 72 hours has elapsed rinse off each item in water (no soap!!) and they’re now ready to use!

Re-oil your items every 1-2 months depending on how much use they get.

*One thing that you will likely find annoying is getting the oil off of your hands.  Either wear gloves, or do what I did: wash your hands a few times with soap and warm water, and then after drying them use a clean cloth and rub it all over your hands.  The cloth will rub off the oil.  Other than that it just takes a few hours.

Category: Household Tips, Kitchen Tips


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