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  • How to Really Disinfect Those Wooden Spoons and Chopping Boards

    Here’s how you can make sure that your wooden kitchen tools are always clean and safe for daily use.
    by Kate Borbon .
How to Really Disinfect Those Wooden Spoons and Chopping Boards
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Wooden kitchen tools have long been a staple in many family homes, and for good reason. First, they are easy to use and do not scratch cookware, so if you utilize non-stick pans in your cooking, wooden utensils are your best choice.

    Cooking tools made of wood can also last a long time. According to Slate, wooden spatulas, ladles and the like are not quick to heat up even when used in extremely high temperatures. They also do not have the tendency to “leach chemicals or strange tastes into hot foods,” the way plastic cookware may sometimes do.

    Wooden chopping boards are also said to be safer, compared to ones made of plastic. Studies have found that plastic cutting boards are easier to leave small cuts and grooves into, which means that there is lots of room for various bacteria to nest. In comparison, wooden cutting boards are much tougher and therefore much more durable.

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    How to clean wooden spoons and chopping boards

    While wooden spoons and chopping boards are durable, the downside is they can be difficult to keep clean. According to The Kitchn, it is necessary to clean them after every use. The ideal is to wash them using hot or warm, soapy water. Make sure you don’t leave them soaking in the water since doing so can cause the cutting board to crack or warp. Pat them dry.

    To disinfect your wooden utensils, you can use 3% hydrogen peroxide, which is non-toxic. Pour it over the board or the spoons, then use a clean sponge to distribute it all over the surface of the tools. Let the hydrogen peroxide sit for a couple minutes to allow it time to kill all the germs. Finish off by wiping the tools with a sponge.

    If there are strong flavors or odors that have seeped into your wooden spoons, rub themwith a slice of lemon, then let them air dry.

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    If your wooden cutting board has any unpleasant odors, you can use a spritz of white vinegar or a squeeze of lemon to deodorize it. To disinefect your cutting board, Good Housekeeping recommends using a cloth to wipe it down with vinegar. You can soak it in vinegar for a few minutes. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry.

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    Another important thing to do to maintain the tip-top condition of your wooden cutting kitchen tools is to give them an oiling using food-grade mineral oil. Use a soft cloth to rub the oil into the wood. When done consistently at least once a month, the oil can help make sure that your wooden tools always looks polished and that they don’t dry out.

    When to toss out your wooden kitchen tools

    At some point, your wooden tools might become unfit for use. For wooden spoons, this time comes when you find that there is a crack (even a thin one) in the scooping part. Again, even small cracks in kitchen utensils can make way for bacteria and food particles to get wedged into the material.

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    Wooden chopping boards, on the other hand, may be easier to repair if you ever see any hairline cracks. According to Apartment Therapy, these cracks can be repaired at home using food-safe wood glue and sandpaper. Cracks that are over a millimeter thick can also be taken to a woodworker for repair.

    However, when you find a much wider crack in your cutting board (one that even a professional cannot fix), that means it’s time to chuck it to the trash.

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