Do your wooden spoons and cutting boards need a little love? Rub them down with this natural all purpose wood butter to revive them back to life
It’s no secret that I love my wooden kitchen utensils. You can see them displayed in vintage crocks sitting on my countertops. From rolling pins to spoons and cutting boards, I have a decent variety of wooden kitchen tools that I use on a daily basis.
Caring for your utensils is vital if you want them to last. And if they are taken care of properly, like cast iron, they can last generations. With constant using and washing, it’s guaranteed that they will lose their natural moisture over time. And sure, you can go online or to the store and buy a thing of mineral oil to freshen them up. But why when you can make your own all natural wood butter with ingredients you probably already have on hand?
How to Care for Wooden Kitchen Utensils
Since we’re on the topic of caring for wooden utensils, I’m going to give you a few good tips that I’ve learned in the few years of caring for mine.
Tip # 1 – Hand Wash In a Natural Detergent. Hand washing ensures gentle / thorough cleaning and a natural detergent will be easier on your utensils. A lot of commercial detergents are made to strip grease, therefore also stripping the oils out of your utensils. The heavy washing of a dishwasher will have the same effect. Sometimes it can even cause the wood to crack. It’s far too extreme for your them. My favorite dish soap is a simple combo of Castile soap, essential oils, and water. You can find that recipe here.
Tip # 2 – Dry Immediately & Thoroughly. This tip is so important. If wooden utensils are not dried well after washing, there is a chance they can get mold spots. Ask me how I know. I’ve since learned that they need to dry not laying against other dishes. So a good wipe down with a clean dish rag works well in addition to leaving it out for air drying.
Tip # 3 – Oil Them Often. This tip is key to the longevity of your wooden utensils. Just like with the drying issue, I learned this one the hard way as well, wondering why my utensils looked fuzzy. Wooden utensils need to be coated with oil often. Especially if you use them frequently. Between the heat of cooking and washing them regularly, a lot of the oils are extracted. So giving them a good rub down when you start to see signs of the wood being dry is ideal.
How to Make Natural Wood Butter
Properly oiling your wooden utensils not only helps them to last longer, but it also helps to keep them sanitary. Wood is porous, so when you apply the oil and wax rub on them, it helps seal the surface of the wood so food and liquids are not fully absorbed in. The wood butter acts as a barrier, if you will.
This recipe, as well as most recipes you see floating around, incorporates beeswax. Which, incase you haven’t heard, beeswax contains antibacterial properties. This is one of the multiple reasons this is used in this recipe.
To make your own all purpose wood butter, you want to first set up a double broiler. Basically all this is is a small saucepan with several inches of water in it and a mason jar sitting in the middle. No fancy equipment needed.
After setting up your double broiler, you want to turn the meat on a medium low temp and let the water heat up. Next, add bout 1/2 cup of unrefined coconut oil. I used unrefined to prevent a coconutty taste. Once the coconut oil has melted down completely, add 1/4 cup of organic beeswax pastilles. Stir together as this melts.
Once the wax and oil has melted down to form a complete liquid, pour it into a clean 6 oz glass jar and that’s it. This stuff is seriously so easy to make. And one batch lasts me a good while.
To use the all purpose wood butter, using your hands or a cloth, rub down what ever it is you’re trying to revive and let it sit overnight to a few hours so that the wood can soak it in. In the morning, or if you chose to do this for just a few hours, wipe down the utensils and they are good to use.
How to Deep Clean Wooden Utensils
I mentioned some tips already for caring for your wooden kitchen items. I also want to add how to deep clean them.
To deep clean, first give it a good wash. Then, simply soak whatever it is you’re choosing to clean in a solution of equal parts distilled white vinegar and water with a couple drops of lemon juice. This works great at removing any funky smells or taste your utensils have soaked up over their time of being used. I’m looking at you sautéed garlic & onions.
Soaking your utensils in this solution also helps to remove and build up the has accumulated on the surface as well. Once you have soaked and dried well, give the item a rub with this all purpose wood butter.
- 1/2 Cup of Unrefined Coconut oil
- 1/4 Cup of Organic Beeswax Pastilles
- In a double broiler over medium heat, melt the beeswax and the coconut oil
- When fully melted, stir together and add to a glass jar
- Once cooled and solidified, using a rag or your hands, rub down the wood item generously with the wood butter and let sit for a few hours to overnight
- After letting the item sit, rub excess butter off of wood surface