How to Clean Dirty Wooden Spoons so They Look Like New

by Tasteofthekitchen

Wooden spoons are a kitchen staple and for good reason: they can tolerate high temperatures, made of a natural material, and do not react with acidic foods, unlike materials such as copper and aluminum. As an added perk, wooden spoons won’t scratch your nonstick pots and pans.

It’s no wonder these essential utensils need a little TLC to stay in tip-top shape. Learn more about how to clean dirty wooden spoons.

How Often to Clean Your Wooden Spoons

Wooden spoons can absorb all kinds of grease and odors, so it’s important to stay consistent with your cleaning routine if you want these utensils to last. Make sure you rinse off food residue immediately after each use. Occasional, daily cleaning with mild soap and warm water will prevent build-up and protect your spoons from cracks, stains, and more. You can use a gentle non-abrasive sponge for any defiant gunk or grime.

For a deep clean, soak your wooden spoons in a 50/50 mix of water and hydrogen peroxide or distilled white vinegar. Be sure to give them at least 15 minutes to sit, before you rinse the spoons thoroughly and leave them to air dry. We recommend this method once a month.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools


  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Bowl or tall Tupperware



  • Mild soap
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
  • Food-safe mineral oil (optional)


How to Clean Dirty Wooden Spoons

How to Clean Your Wooden Spoons Daily

  1. Wash Wooden Spoons With a Mild Soap

    Wooden spoons are certainly practical, but they’re also prone to cracks and stains. This said, it’s important to hand-wash your wooden spoons with a mild soap, warm water, and a non-abrasive sponge after each use.

  2. Rinse and Air Dry

    After you’ve removed any leftover gunk from your wooden spoons, rinse away the soap until the water runs clear. Pat your spoons dry with a microfiber cloth, then leave them on a drying mat to air dry completely before your next use.

How to Clean Your Wooden Spoons Monthly

1.Prepare a Vinegar-Water Soak

You may have seen the boiling water method for cleaning wooden spoons on TikTok. While this is certainly effective for sanitizing your spoons and removing build-up, it can also damage your wooden spoons and limit their lifespan. As an alternative, mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and warm water in a bowl or tall Tupperware.

2.Let Your Wooden Spoons Soak

Once you’ve prepared your mixture, pop in your wooden spoons and give them a few swirls. Let the spoons sit in the mixture for about 20 minutes. You should notice the water color change as the vinegar penetrates tough stains and build-up. However, if the soak doesn’t seem effective, the next step should help!

3.Sprinkle in Baking Soda

If your wooden spoons are particularly dirty, sprinkle a couple of spoonfuls of baking soda into your vinegar-water mix. You’ll notice bubbles begin to form as the baking soda activates with the vinegar. Give your spoons another swish around the container before leaving them to sit for another 10 minutes.

4.Wash With Soap, Rinse, and Air Dry

Once the soak has worked its magic, follow your daily cleaning regimen to finish the job. Use your mild soap and non-abrasive sponge to get rid of any leftover vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Rinse away the suds with warm water, pat the spoon dry, then leave it on your drying mat to finish drying completely.

Tips to Keep Your Wooden Spoons Clean Longer

  • Never let your wooden spoons sit with residue for long periods of time. If you are finished using the wooden spoon but aren’t able to clean it immediately, leave it soaking in some warm water. Don’t leave the spoon dirty for longer than 30 minutes.
  • To protect your wooden spoons from future wear and tear, rub them with a little mineral oil from time to time. Be sure the oil is food-safe and allow it to dry completely before using your wooden spoon for cooking.
  • Avoid putting a wooden spoon in the dishwasher. The high heat and harsh chemicals can raise the wood grain, roughen the spoon’s texture, discolor it, and dry it out.

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