Wood you believe it? This wooden spoon cleaning hack only requires 3 ingredients

Image shows a wooden chopping board and some wooden utensils next to a lemon and some bicarbonate of soda.
(Image credit: Mina Frost.)

If you do any cooking at all, chances are you'll own some wooden spoons, spatulas, or at least chopping boards. Wood is a great material for cooking utensils as it's durable but easy on knives, and less slippery than plastic or metal. The only disadvantage I found was how inconvenient it can be to clean – until I stumbled upon a miracle wooden spoon cleaning hack.

It's widely recommended to avoid putting wood in the dishwasher, as it swells when exposed to humidity and high temperatures for prolonged periods of time. While it won't instantly ruin your utensils, putting them in one of the best dishwashers will nonetheless highly reduce their lifespan. 

However, I felt like my cooking tools were never completely squeaky clean after I hand washed them, especially if I'd cooked with oil or butter. It turns out I was right – after soaking some clean (or at least, I thought so) wooden spoons in hot water for 30 minutes, I was horrified by the amount of grime that came off of them. 

I turned to the internet for advice, and came across a miracle -ingredient cleaning hack to thoroughly clean wooden utensils by essentially giving them a full spa treatment. Read on to find out how.

Miracle wooden spoon cleaning hack

For this miracle cleaning hack, you'll only need a handful of pantry staples:
A lemon
Bicarbonate of soda
Olive oil
Boiling water

1. Sanitize your utensils in boiling water

As I mentioned above, I started by pouring boiling water in a large pot and placing my wooden spoons and spatulas in it for half an hour. While I thought these were clean, I was shocked to find how much grease and grime had come off them after being left in the pot. Boiling your utensils is a non-toxic way of getting rid of a first layer of debris and sanitizing your wooden utensils.

2. Give them a lemon and bicarbonate of soda scrub

It's rare that the answer to a cleaning problem doesn't involve bicarbonate of soda and lemon - this one is no exception. 

After you've taken your wooden utensils out of their hot water bath, sprinkle them with bicarbonate of soda, cut a lemon in half, and scrub your spoons, boards and spatulas with it. Because of the acidity in the lemon, the bicarb of soda will start foaming gently (similarly to when it's mixed with vinegar). 

This step gets rid of ingrained food residues in the wood fibers, giving the utensils the deep clean they need. 

3. Buff them with olive oil

Once you're done scrubbing, give your utensils a rinse in cold water until all the lemon and bicarbonate of soda has been wiped off. Dry them off on a rack (we love this one, just $39.99 from Amazon) or with a tea towel.

When they're fully dry, spread a bit of olive oil on a paper towel, and buff your wooden spoons and spatulas with it. This will give them a nice shine and bring them back to life by "moisturizing" the wood.  

Once that's done, hey presto! Your utensils will be good as new.

Mina Frost
Former Deputy Editor

Mina is the former Deputy Editor at Top Ten Reviews. She worked with section editors to create accurate, detailed, and in-depth reviews to populate our buying guides. She has degrees in Linguistics and Investigative Reporting and is also a freelance writer and editor. When she's not testing kit and agonizing over commas, Mina can be found reading, running, eating good food, and drinking wine.