I have a fondness for wood cooking utensils. Whenever we hit the thrift stores, I always do a quick jaunt through the kitchen section to see if I can spot any unusual or fun wood spoons, bowls, etc. Over the weekend, I went looking for some wooden spoons specifically for soap making. These weren’t anything special, just spoons I could use with lye but not mix in with the regular cooking supplies. As I was hunting, however; I did find a couple of new ones for the kitchen as well.
Because wood is porous and can contain all kinds of things I don’t necessarily want in my kitchen, I take care of it a bit differently when bringing home items from the thrift store:
I give everything a gentle sanding. I do this just to smooth out any rough edges and remove any stains that might be there. Use a fine to very fine grit sandpaper here, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to use the coarse stuff.
After sanding, everything gets a bath in hot soapy water. I use my homemade dish soap with the tea tree oil, just to make sure I get rid of any nasties. I let everything sit in the dish drainer until it’s good & dry.
- When dry, the utensils get oiled. I use a homemade wood spoon oil. I coat the utensils liberally with my wood spoon oil and spread everything out onto a clean, dry rag for the night. Also, the wood spoon oil softens the skin, so it’s a bit of an extra bonus.
- In the morning, everything gets a good buffing. I simply use a clean cotton rag and remove any remaining oil from the surface and buff the wood before storing.
Simple as that. I should have taken before & after photos for you to see the difference especially in the new-to-me items. The natural variations, the grain, the colors all pop more once the oil has been applied and while that might not make any difference in their usefulness, sometimes pretty is reason enough. The oil coating will also help your wooden items last longer, keep them from splitting, etc. I reapply the oil to spoons, bowls, etc. already in my collection about twice a year on average. I’ve also done the same process with my wood cutting boards, after giving them a good scrubbing with salt and lemon juice to remove any garlic / onion odors.