When you shop through links on our site, we may receive compensation. This educational content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice or consultation.

How to Clean Wooden Spoons: So They Don’t Crack or Split

Learn how to clean wooden spoons so they’ll stay beautiful for years.

Wooden spoons are a staple in the kitchen. Not only do wooden spoons look beautiful, but they don’t damage your cookware or heat up on the stove causing burns. However, if you’d like your beautiful wooden spoons to last for years, you will need to learn how to wash wooden spoons properly.

Key Takeaways

  • Rinse wooden spoons under running water to remove food particles.
  • Wash in warm soapy water and scrub with a sponge or nylon scrubbing pad.
  • Rinse the spoons again under warm running water to remove the soap.
  • Dry your spoons using a clean towel and leave them in the open to fully air dry before putting them away.

Can You Put Wooden Spoons In the Dishwasher?

Never put your wooden spoons in the dishwasher. The heat, detergent, and force of the water may cause your spoons and wooden utensils to warp, or develop cracks and splits in the wood. The best way to clean wooden spoons is to hand wash them.

Also, avoid soaking wooden utensils in a sink full of water. Soaking your spoons may crack or split them. Bacteria from your soapy dishwater can also enter into the cracks and splits in your wooden spoons.

How to Clean Wooden Spoons After Use

Cleaning wooden spoons as quickly as possible after you have used them is important. However, don’t toss them into a sink of soapy water to soak. This may damage your spoon or wooden spatula.

  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Beginner

What You’ll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Sponge or nylon scrubbing pad
  • Clean towel

1. Rinse

Rinse your spoons under running water to remove any food particles from them.

2. Wash

Hand wash the spoons using dish soap and warm water. If there’s food stuck on one then use a sponge or nylon scrubbing pad to scrub the food away.

3. Rinse Again

Finally, rinse them under warm, running water.

4. Dry

Dry your spoons using a clean towel and remove as much water as you possibly can. After drying, leave them out to air dry before putting them away in a drawer.

How to Deep Clean Wooden Spoons

A mixture of vinegar and baking soda can be used to deep clean your spoons and remove any odors lingering in the spoons.

  • Time: 15 minutes + dry time
  • Difficulty: Beginner

What You’ll Need

  • Large bowl
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Clean towel

1. Rinse Spoons

Rinse the spoons under running water to remove any food particles from them.

2. Make Solution

Add warm water to your large bowl. Pour ¼ cup of vinegar into the bowl and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Add a squirt of dish soap to the bowl and mix everything.

3. Clean Spoons

Place your spoons in the solution. Use a sponge to scrub your spoons clean. Make sure you use the abrasive side as well as the soft sponge side to thoroughly scrub your wooden spoons.

4. Dry

Dry the spoons with a clean towel and leave them in the open to thoroughly dry before putting the spoons away in a drawer.

How Do You Sanitize Wooden Spoons?

There are several hacks that you can use to sanitize wooden spoons.

With Hydrogen Peroxide

One hack is to use hydrogen peroxide. Place your freshly washed spoons in a shallow container or in the sink. Pour hydrogen peroxide over your spoons.

Rub the hydrogen peroxide into the wooden spoons using your fingers or a sponge. Wait for several minutes to give the hydrogen peroxide time to work its way into your spoons and kill all the bacteria.

Rinse the spoons in warm water when you’re finished.

With Bleach

If your spoons have been tucked away in storage for a long time or have mold, you may wish to soak your spoons in bleach water to sanitize them.

Make a 1 part bleach to 20 parts water solution in a basin. Put your wooden spoons into the bleach water and allow them to soak for several minutes.

Rinse the spoons with hot water and soak the spoons in bleach-free hot water for several minutes to remove any bleach left on the spoons.

Use a clean dish towel to dry your spoons and allow them to finish air-drying in the open.

With Boiling Water

To sanitize your wooden spoons with boiling water, boil a pot of water.

Place your spoons with the bowl side down in a jar. The handle should be sticking out of the jar.

Pour boiling water over the spoons, stir the water with the spoon, and allow the spoons to sit for 20 minutes.

Afterward, pour off the boiling water and towel dry your spoons.

How to Clean Stained Wooden Spoons

If you discover that your spoons are stirring a food item, such as berries, that has an intense color, wash your spoons as quickly as possible after you’re finished stirring. This will help to remove most of the stain before it sets.

With Baking Soda and Lemon

Pour a small amount of baking soda, about a teaspoon, onto each of your stained spoons. Cut a fresh lemon in half and squeeze a small amount of lemon juice onto the baking soda. Mix the two together until you have a paste.

You can add some coarse salt to the paste to make it more effective if needed.

Then use a sponge, cloth, or your fingers to rub the paste into your spoon in the direction of the grain of the wood.

Rinse the spoon under warm water when you’re finished and towel dry.

Repeat if needed.

If you’re unable to remove the stains this does not mean you need to throw away your spoons. There are no bacteria trapped inside the stains so the stain doesn’t present a health risk.

How to Care For Wooden Spoons

Beyond handwashing your wooden spoons, there are a few other steps you can take to take care of your wooden spoons so they will last for years.

Inspect Spoons Regularly

Inspect your spoons regularly to make sure that your spoons remain in good shape. Look for any signs that the grain is becoming ‘fuzzy’ and needs to be sanded.

Also check for cracking, stains, warping, or signs that your spoons are becoming dry and need oiling.

Sand Away Rough Spots

If you find any rough spots on your spoons, you can sand them away using sandpaper or steel wool. A slightly worn area may only need light sanding with fine sandpaper or steel wool. Otherwise, you may need to begin with sandpaper with a grit of 100 or a coarser grade of steel wool.

Sand your spoon until it’s smooth. Then move to a finer grade of sandpaper or steel wool.

Eventually, work up to fine sandpaper of 220 grit or fine 000-grade steel wool. Your wooden spoon should feel smooth and glassy to the touch.

Rinse your spoon under warm running water and towel dry.

Apply food-grade mineral oil to your spoon.

Oil Your Spoons

It’s important to season your spoons regularly with oil so they don’t dry out.

Do this by applying a small amount of food-grade mineral oil to your spoons. Use a clean cloth to work the oil into your spoons. You should notice the spoons will become dark and get a sheen to them.

Wait 20 minutes as this will give the oil time to sink into your spoons.

Then use a clean cloth to buff and remove any excess oil from your spoons.

Make sure that you oil your spoons anytime they appear to be dry to help them last longer.

What Oil Do You Use on Wooden Spoons?

You can use several different oils on your wooden spoons however you must make sure the oil is a food-grade oil like this food-grade mineral oil. You can also consider using food-grade walnut, tung, or linseed oils.

It’s not recommended to use food-based oils such as coconut, olive, vegetable, or canola oil. These oils can turn rancid quickly.

When Should You Throw Away Wooden Spoons?

If the wood in your spoon is soft or dark, you will need to throw away your wooden spoons. You will also need to throw them away when the wood begins to crack.


Do Wooden Spoons Hold Bacteria?

Wooden spoons can hold bacteria because wood is porous. Everytime you stir food with a wooden spoon, you risk bacteria forming if the spoon is not cleaned properly.

Can Wooden Spoons Grow Mold?

Wooden spoons can grow mold if they are not cleaned properly or stored wet. Moisture soaks into the wood and mold spores start to grow.

How Do You Clean a Vintage Wooden Spoon?

The easiest way to clean a vintage wooden spoon is to place it in a bowl of oxigenated water and leave it for 30 minutes. Then, rinse it under warm water and thoroughly dry.

How Do You Get Blueberry Stains Out of a Wooden Spoon?

The best way to get blueberry stains out of a wooden spoon is to wash it in soapy water, and then apply a thick paste of baking soda and water and leave it overnight. If that doesn’t work, try hydrogen peroxide.

Why Do Wooden Spoons Split?

The most common reason why wooden spoons split is because they are exposed to extreme temperature changes. A spell in a dishwasher can cause a wooden utensil to dry out and split.

What Can I Do With Old Wooden Spoons?

There are several things you can do with old wooden spoons. They can become bird feeders, garden markers, and even children’s dolls. They can also become Christmas tree ornaments, coat hooks, and garden hooks.

Feedback: Was This Article Helpful?
Thank You For Your Feedback!
Thank You For Your Feedback!
What Did You Like?
What Went Wrong?
Headshot of Sara Dennis

About the Author

Sara Dennis

Sara Dennis is a coffee-loving freelance writer, homeschool blogger, and mom of six kids. In her free time, Sara loves reading books and researching more efficient and effective ways to keep a clean house, homeschool her children, and blog better while making a home for her large family.