How to prevent wooden spoons from cracking

How to clean and store wooden spoons properly.

I definitely did not (read as: I definitely did) pull out a cracked and mouldy wooden spoon from my kitchen drawer this morning.

Luckily, we have no issues with damp in our house so naively (it now seems) I’d chuck damp crockery, utensils and pans into the kitchen drawers without a second thought.

Until today, I’d never had any problems with mould before, but this got me thinking – how do I prevent my wooden spoons from cracking and going mouldy?

How to prevent wooden spoons from cracking and going mouldy
photo: Antony Trivet

How to care for wooden spoons

First off (and where I was going completely wrong), you should never soak your wooden spoons or wash them in the dishwasher.

This allows the wooden spoons to soak up water, be stripped of their natural oils and expand – then they split quicker than an emotionally unavailable ex.

Instead, wash them by hand with hot water, a mild dish soap and a bristled brush. Make sure you prop them up after and leave them to dry out properly before storing them away.

To further prevent your wooden spoon from cracking, you can use a mineral oil or beeswax to condition the wood every couple of months or so if they’re looking dry.

How to prevent wooden spoons from cracking and going mouldy
photo: Ala

Does boiling water clean wooden spoons?

Leaving a wooden spoon in boiling water for five minutes can clean the spoon, however, it shouldn’t be left to soak – this will cause the wood to crack.

How often should you replace wooden cooking spoons?

Wooden spoons should be replaced every five years, but if you begin to see lots of discolouration, soft spots and cracks then replace it sooner.

Do you need to seal wooden spoons?

You shouldn’t need to seal wooden spoons with anything before using them.

How to prevent wooden spoons from cracking and going mouldy - how to oil them and clean them
photo: Joanna Kosinska

Why do wooden spoons split and crack?

Wooden spoons split and crack when the wood becomes very dry or it’s expanded after being in water for a long time.

If your wooden spoon has been well used and it’s about five years old then it’s normal for it to begin to split and crack – you should consider getting a replacement. However, if it’s splitting prematurely then you may be caring for it incorrectly.

How to store wooden spoons:

Keep your wooden spoons in well-ventilated and clean place. Make sure they’re completely dry before putting them away.

Why do wooden spoons go mouldy?

Either, your wooden spoon wasn’t cleaned properly, it was allowed to sit in water for a long time or it was put away before it was dry.

How to remove mould from wooden spoons

A solution of one part bleach and 20 parts water can disinfect your wooden spoon after it’s gone mouldy – make sure the spoon hasn’t gone soft from the mould, otherwise it will need to be disposed of.

How to keep wooden spoons:

Below are some of my favourite utensil storage pots – perfect for keeping wooden spoons in:

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How to prevent wooden spoons from cracking. Checkerboard utensil and wooden spoon pot holder

Blue check utensil holder – Urban Outfitters £22

Quirky utensil and wooden spoon storage jar and holder

Tiger utensil pot – Liberty £32.30

How to prevent wooden spoons from cracking

Kitchen utensil holder, light blue – H&M £17.99

Cath Kidston Utensil and Wooden Spoon Jar

GBBO showstopper utensil jar – Cath Kidston £17

Basic white cheap utensil and wooden spoon holder

Enamel utensil holder, cream – John Lewis £8

bamboo utensil and wooden spoon holder

Tensil openwork bamboo utensil holder – La Redoute £18

How to prevent wooden spoons from cracking. Heart shaped wooden spoon holder.

Hinch heart bamboo utensil holder – Tesco £10

Read more: quirky lampshades for table lamps.

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