How To Clean Food Odors Out Of Wooden Spoons

When it comes to versatile kitchen utensils, wooden spoons sure do top the list. Similar to their metal and plastic counterparts, they can stir and scoop like the best of them. However, they do come with a few added perks — namely, they're heat-resistant, so they won't become too hot to handle or melt when left in the pan, and they're gentler on cooking surfaces, so they won't scratch up a stainless steel pot when you scrape the bottom of the pan. But, the handy spoons aren't without their downsides. Due to their porous nature, wooden spoons can absorb flavors and odors from food, but the good news is that these can be easily removed with a little bit of lemon and baking soda.

It's no secret that the best way to naturally clean your kitchen is with baking soda, from freshening up your fridge to ridding ovens of tough, burnt-on food residue. Lemon juice is another powerful natural cleaning agent that can tackle everything from dirty cutting boards to food-splattered microwaves. Combine the two, and you have the perfect odor-fighter, allowing you to rid food unappetizing smells from wooden spoons with ease.

Banish odors with lemon and baking soda

To prepare your wooden utensils for the baking soda and lemon rub down, first, wash any gunk or food remnants away by hand using hot water and mild dish soap. Once the food residue has been washed away, pat them dry and prepare the odor-busting concoction: Sprinkle the baking soda directly onto the spoons and then squeeze the juice from a lemon on top. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before washing it away with water, and then pat it dry.

Since baking soda and lemon juice are exceptional odor neutralizers, using the two ingredients in conjunction to remove pesky smells and leftover flavors from wooden utensils is not only easy but highly effective. Plus, they can also help to rid any stains lingering on your spoons, so long as you use the natural cleaning solution and give them a good scrub with a pad or even the cut side of a halved lemon.

Don't forget to regularly oil your wooden utensils

Another secret to longer-lasting wooden spoons, as well as other wood-based kitchen staples like cutting boards, is to oil them on a regular basis in order to keep them from drying out and cracking or splintering. This step is incredibly simple: All you have to do is lightly rub a food-grade mineral oil or other food-safe drying oil like tung or walnut oil on the spoons about once a month, which gives them a nice sheen in the process.

In addition to regularly oiling them and hand-washing them with baking soda and lemon juice, other simple tips for maintaining your wooden utensils include avoiding running them through the dishwasher — as prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause the wood to warp or even crack — and never storing them while they're still wet, which can result in mold, for wooden cooking tools that still look as if they're brand new.