Does your kitchen have wooden cutlery? The wooden cutlery is not only aesthetically pleasing but also safe to handle food and environmentally sustainable! On the other hand, dirty silverware can encourage the growth of bacteria and cause damage! Take note of the instructions provided below to ensure that your wooden cutlery is always hygienic!
Is Wooden Cutlery Hygienic?
Whether wooden cutlery is hygienic depends on several factors, including the type of wood, how it's treated and used and how well it’s maintained. Following is the breakdown of each factor.
What is Wooden Cutlery Made from?
Wooden cutlery can be made from different types of wood, here are some common types:
- Birchwood: popular choice for disposable cutlery. This type of wood is light weight, readily available and inexpensive.
- Bamboo: popular and sustainable choice. Bamboo is fast-growing, strong, durable.
- Maple: this type of wood has beautiful grain and durability making it a good choice for high-quality cutlery.
- Oak: Similar to maple, this type of wood often used for high-end cutlery due to its beautiful grain and longevity.
- Other types: Mahogany, cherry, and walnut are sometimes used for their unique aesthetics and strength.
Which type of wooden cutlery need clean?
Now, there are 2 main types of wooden cutlery:
- Disposable wooden cutlery: mainly made from birchwood and bamboo, these cutleries are intended to used for once. They are biodegradable and home-compostable, so there no need to clean them.
- Reusable wooden cutlery: it can be made from hardwood like maple, oak, … It’s commonly used in kitchen, or home. Reusable wooden cutlery are designed to use multiple times. Therefore, it requires often cleaning to keep it hygiene.
How Long Can You Use Wooden Utensils?
The longevity of wooden utensils depends on the type of wood. While disposable wooden cutlery is used just for once, reusable wooden cutler can last for over decades. However, whether the type of wood cutlery made, it needs to replace your wooden cutlery every five year or so. In addition, lifespan of wooden cutlery is affected by some factors, including:
- Care: Regular cleaning, drying, and occasional oiling can significantly extend the life of your wooden utensils.
- Use and care: Using them for stirring hot liquids, scraping metal pans, or handling acidic foods can lead to faster wear and tear.
- Storage: Keeping them in a dry, well-ventilated place can prevent warping and cracking.
How Do You Make Wooden Utensils Food Safe?
Wood has some natural anti-bacterial properties making it suitable to used as cutlery. However, proper care and maintenance are important. Thus, to make wooden utensils food safe, it’s need to care and clean it properly.
In the next, we will delve how to clean right wooden utensils and tips to keep them clean longer.
What Is the Best Way to Clean Wooden Kitchen Utensils
Is It Safe to Put Wooden Utensils in Dishwasher?
The high heat and excess moisture in dishwasher may work well with dishes and cookware. However, it’s not recommended to clean wooden items, including wooden utensils in dishwasher, for following reasons:
- Cracking and warping: The high heat and harsh detergents in dishwashers can cause the wood to crack, warp, or splinter. This can damage the utensil and make it unsafe to use.
- Drying issues: Wooden utensils may not dry completely in a dishwasher, especially if packed tightly. This can create a moist environment favorable for bacteria growth.
- Loss of finish: The dishwasher's harsh environment can strip away the protective oil or wax finish on the wood, making it more susceptible to damage and staining.
Does it Require Hand Wash for Wooden Kitchen Utensils?
Hand-washing is generally recommended way to clean wooden utensils. Handwashing offers several benefits to wooden utensils, including:
- Preserves the wood: The high heat and harsh detergents in dishwashers can cause cracks, warping, or splintering in the wood, compromising its hygiene and lifespan.
- Thorough cleaning: Handwashing allows you to focus on specific areas and remove stubborn food particles or stains more effectively.
- Maintains the finish: Harsh chemicals can strip away the protective oil or wax finish on the wood, making it vulnerable to damage and staining. Handwashing and occasional oiling help maintain its natural beauty and protective barrier.
- Longer lifespan: Handwashing helps prevent damage and wear, allowing your wooden utensils to last for years.
How often Does Wooden Cutlery Need Clean?
To keep wooden cutlery clean, it needs to wash them daily after use. Furthermore, you can practice deep clean monthly to keep it the most hygiene.
How to Clean Your Wooden Cutlery?
What Do You Need to Clean Wooden Kitchen Utensils?
Here are the tools you will need:
- Non-abrasive sponge
- Microfiber cloth
- A bowl
Here are the materials you need to prepare:
- Mild soap
- Distilled white vinegar
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
- Food-safe mineral oil (optional)
Following is the instruction for cleaning wooden utensils daily and monthly.
How to Clean Wooden Cutlery Daily
Step 1: Wash wooden utensils with a mild soap
- Hand-wash your wooden utensils with a mild soap. It’s better to use a non-toxic mild soap to reduce impacts of substances and extend lifespan of wooden cutlery.
- Use warm water and a non-abrasive sponge after each use.
Step 2: Rinse and air dry
- Rinse away the soap until the water runs clear.
- Pat your utensils dry with a microfiber cloth, then leave them on a drying mat to dry completely.
How to Clean Wooden Cutlery Monthly
For a better use, you can deep clean your wooden cutlery monthly. Here are step-by-step instruction to practice:
Step 1: Prepare a vinegar-water soak
- Mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and warm water in a bowl.
- If you don’t have vinegar or baking soda, you can just replace by hydrogen peroxide.
Step 2: Let your wooden utensils soak
- Once you’ve prepared your mixture, pop in your wooden cutlery and give them a few swirls.
- Let the cutlery in the mixture for about 20 minutes.
- The water color change as the vinegar penetrates tough stains and build-up.
Step 3: Sprinkle in baking soda
- If your cutlery is particularly dirty, sprinkle a couple of spoonsful of baking soda into the mixture.
- There will have bubbles begin form.
- Give your cutlery another swish around the bowl before leaving them to sit for more 10 minutes,
Step 4: Wash with soap, rinse and air dry
- After let the cutlery in the mixture, follow your daily cleaning routine to finish the wooden cutlery cleaning (use mild soap, and non-abrasive sponge to get rid of any leftovers vinegar or hydrogen peroxide)
- Rinse the suds with warm water, pat the utensils dry and leave it on drying mat to finish drying completely.
Practical Tips to Keep Your Wooden Cutlery Clean and Lasting Longer?
Here are some practical tips that help to keep wooden cutlery clean longer:
- Don't leave the spoon dirty for longer than 30 minutes. 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 let your utensils soak in water, as this can cause warping and cracking. Dry them thoroughly with a clean cloth after washing.
- Keep your utensils in a dry, well-ventilated place away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
- Don't use bleach, harsh detergents, or abrasive cleaners on your wooden utensils.
- Check your utensils for cracks, splinters, or discoloration. Discard any that show signs of damage, as they can harbor bacteria and become unsafe.
Frequent Asked Questions
Does boiling water clean wooden utensils?
While boiling water can kill bacteria, it's not the ideal way to clean wooden utensils. Boiling water can damage the wood, causing cracks, warping or leaching of tannins. In addition, Boiling doesn't remove food particles or stains effectively.
Why use a wooden spoon instead of a metal spoon?
Use a wooden spoon offers different benefis, for example: Gentler on cookware, heat-resistant, aesthetic, some prefer taste.
Is it bad to leave wooden spoons in water?
Yes, it’s bad to leave wooden spoons in water. Because it can lead to warping or cracking, bacteria growth or loss of finish on wooden spoons.
In conclusion, while disposable cutlery doesn’t require cleaning, reusable wooden cutlery that used in your kitchen need to clean after use and deep clean once a month. Follow the instruction above will help you to extend lifespan of wooden and keeping it always clean and safe to use.
At Kimecopak, we provide disposable wooden cutlery that is made form birchwood and bamboo. They are eco-friendly choice that help to saving time to clean, especially for big parties, outdoor events or gathering. For more information, please contact us at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Kimecoapak Facebook Fanpage.