If you’re on a Zero Waste journey or just trying to reduce your use of plastic you’ve probably got quite a few wooden kitchen and bathroom items. Wood is a wonderful natural altenrative to plastic but it does need to be taken care of. In this blog I’ll give you some handy tips on how to care for your wooden utensils to ensure they last as long as possible.
Why switch to wooden utensils?
I think everyone is now begining to realise what a problem plastic has become, and the harm microplastics are having on our waterways and oceans. Switching to wooden utensils is therefore a great way to reduce plastic and help the environment.
Here are my reasons for switching to wooden utensils:
- Reduce plastic pollution
- Wood is fully biodegradeable
- Wood is one of the most sustainable and environmentally favourable materials – (choose FSC marked products)
- Wood doesn’t leach harmful chemicals
- Wood is naturally antibacterial
- Looked after properly wooden items will last a long time
- Wood is aesthetically pleasing
General Tips for Caring for Your wooden utensils
Wooden items look lovely and are much better for the planet but they do need to be taken care of to ensure they stay in good condition and last.
These are my top tips for keeping your wooden items in good condition:
- Never let them sit in water
- Wash by hand in warm soapy water
- Never wash them in the dishwasher
- Always dry your wooden utensils after use
- Clean and sanitise your wooden items regularly
- Oil your wooden items regularly – I love using homemade Beeswax Butter
Caring for your wooden utensils
As well as my general tips for caring for your wooden utensils; here are some more spcific tips for various wooden items you may have around your home:
Wooden Chopping Board
As well as washing your wooden chopping board with warm soapy water then rinsing and drying thoroughly another great way to clean it is with a lemon and salt.
Sprinkle your chopping board with some table salt and use half a lemon, cut side down. Scrub the chopping board with the half a lemon squeezing slightly to release the juice. Once you’ve scrubbed the board leave it 5 to 10 minutes and the rinse with warm water. This will remove stain and odours from your chopping board.
Regularly treat your wooden board with a DIY Beeswax Butter to stop it drying out and cracking.
Wooden Dish Brushes
Wooden dish brushes are quite easy to take care of. Rinse them out after use and dry them with the bristles down to allow the water to drain away.
Once a week give them a wash in warm soapy water and rinse. To sanitise them soak the bristles for 10 to 15 minutes in a cup of white vinegar, rinse and dry.
Wooden Spoons and Spatulars
Again, your wooden spoons and spatulas should be washed in warm soapy water, use an eco friendly washing up liquid, rinse and air dry.
If your wooden utensils have absorbed any strong odours from cooking you can eliminate these by either using half a lemon to rub over them before washing. Alternaively apply a bicarbonate of soda paste (mix a couple of tablepoons of bicarb with warm water to form a paste) to the utensils and leave for a few minutes before washing in warm soapy water.
If your utensils are starting to look dry you should oil them to prevent cracking.
Here’s a simple way to make your own Beeswax Butter which is great for oiling your utensils:
Beeswax Butter (Recipe from Carolina Honeybees)
- 40g Beeswax Pellets
- 200ml Coconut oil
- Couple of drops of Vitamin E oil (optional)
- Glass jar
- Large saucepan
HOW TO MAKE:
- Melt the Beeswax – the easist way is in a double boiler. Basically place a bowl with pellets in a saucepan of hot water and simmer gently until the wax has melted. You can do this directly in the jar you’ll be storing the Beeswax Butter in.
- Add the Coconut Oil and sir gently until it’s combined with the Beeswax.
- You can add a couple of drops of Vitamin E oil once you take it off the heat, this helps to preserve the butter.
- Pour into glass jars while warm and seal – this will last 6 to 12 months.
HOW TO APPLY:
- Apply liberally to wooden utensils by hand
- Leave the Beeswax Butter to absorb into the wood for a couple of hours
- Remove the excess and buff with a cotton cloth
Wooden Toilet Brush
Here are some tips on how to clean your wooden toilet brush, if you use one.
Once you’ve finished brushing your Loo during it’s weekly clean, rinse the toilet brush under the clean flush water. Spray with Natural Oxygen Bleach, do this in the Loo and leave under Loo seat to dry.
Note: To make the Natural Oxygen Bleach dissolve 2 tablespoons of Sodium Percarbonate in 300ml of hot water and allow to cool. As it dissolves the sodium percarbonate may bubble up so always mix in a larger bottle to allow for this. Use within a couple of hours as it loses it’s effectivenenss after 4 hours.
I hope you found this post useful and will use some of my tips to care for your wooden utensils to help keep them in great condition for as long as possible.