Are Wooden Cook Spoons Food Safe, Sanitary?

Are wooden cook spoons food safe and sanitary? New Hampshire Bowl and Board's wood experts can answer all your wooden spoon care questions. Wood Spoons are safe for 100s of uses.

"I've had my wooden spoons forever and now I'm starting to worry that maybe they're crawling with bacteria. Should I replace them? And how can I care for my wooden spoons, cutting boards and other utensils?"

Wood is one of the oldest materials used to make kitchen tools, and for good reason.  Wood is naturally more antibacterial than any man-made material.  Recent studies have shown that plastics and derivatives can harbor bacterial despite protective measures.  Those scratches and dents in plastic harbor germs.

Wood is easy to clean and protect from germs. Most wooden spoons, utensils and cutting boards are treated with mineral oils, which helps create an inert, neutral surface that provides a shield.

To keep your wooden spoons and cutting boards in the best shape possible, follow these tips:

  • Hand-wash wooden utensils with hot water and mild dish soap. Although they could technically be cleaned in the dishwasher, it's not a good idea, because the high water temperatures can dry them out.
  • If your wooden spoons or cutting board start to look dry or fuzzy, periodically rub them with mineral oil or a longer lasting beeswax conditioner like our Bowl and Board Rub. Don't use food-based oil like vegetable or olive oil, since these can go rancid.
  • Wooden cutting boards and spoons can eventually split as they dry out or are exposed to extreme temperature changes. Dispose of split wooden tools, because food could get trapped in the cracks.
  • Stains or roughness can be rubbed away with a piece of fine sandpaper.

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