Can You Dishwash Wooden Spoons: Debunking the Myths

In today’s fast-paced world, convenience and time-saving solutions have become paramount in our daily lives. When it comes to kitchen utensils, we often rely on our trusty dishwasher to handle the task of cleaning. But what about wooden spoons, those versatile and essential tools in our culinary adventures? Can you safely toss them in the dishwasher, or is it a recipe for disaster? In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of washing wooden spoons in the dishwasher and uncover the truth behind the myths.

Wooden spoons have been a kitchen staple for centuries, cherished for their versatility and gentle touch on cookware. However, as the convenience of dishwashers has become more prevalent, questions about whether wooden spoons can endure the dishwasher’s heat and forceful water jets have arisen.

The Versatility of Wooden Spoons

Before delving into the dishwasher dilemma, let’s appreciate the role wooden spoons play in our culinary endeavors. They are perfect for stirring, scraping, sautéing, and even serving. Their non-reactive nature makes them ideal for working with various ingredients without imparting unwanted flavors.

Understanding Wooden Spoons

Why are wooden spoons popular?

Wooden spoons have several advantages. They are gentle on delicate surfaces, less likely to scratch cookware, and do not conduct heat, preventing your hand from getting burnt during cooking.

Types of wood used for making wooden spoons

Wooden spoons are crafted from various types of wood, each with its unique properties. Common choices include beech, maple, cherry, and olive wood.

The Dishwasher Dilemma

The common misconception

Many people believe that since wooden spoons are sturdy, they can withstand the rigors of a dishwasher. After all, the dishwasher’s primary purpose is to clean, right?

Why people want to dishwasher wooden spoons

The allure of saving time and effort is a compelling reason. But is it worth it in the long run?

The Truth About Dishwashing Wooden Spoons

The dangers of using a dishwasher

Dishwashers use high temperatures and powerful water jets, which can be detrimental to wooden spoons. The heat can cause the wood to warp and crack, while the forceful water can strip away their natural oils, leading to drying and splintering.

How dishwasher affects wooden spoons

Repeated exposure to the dishwasher can significantly shorten the lifespan of your beloved wooden spoons. They may become rough, brittle, and unsafe to use.

How to Clean Wooden Spoons Safely

Hand washing: the preferred method

To ensure the longevity of your wooden spoons, it’s best to wash them by hand. Use mild detergent, warm water, and a soft sponge to gently clean them. Remember to dry them thoroughly after washing.

Tips for maintaining wooden spoons

Regularly oiling your wooden spoons with food-grade mineral oil helps maintain their luster and prevents them from drying out.

Alternative Cleaning Methods

Vinegar and baking soda solution

For stubborn stains or odors, create a paste with equal parts vinegar and baking soda. Gently scrub your wooden spoons with this paste and rinse thoroughly.

Boiling water method

Boiling your wooden spoons in water for a few minutes can help sanitize them without causing damage. Ensure they are completely dry before storage.

Preserving Your Wooden Spoons

Oiling wooden spoons

Apply a thin coat of food-grade mineral oil to your wooden spoons periodically. This preserves the wood and prevents it from absorbing food odors.

Storing wooden spoons

Store your wooden spoons in a dry, well-ventilated area. Avoid leaving them in a damp or humid environment, as this can promote mold growth and warping.

The Environmental Angle

Sustainability of wooden utensils

Wooden spoons are environmentally friendly as they are biodegradable and come from renewable resources. Choosing wooden utensils supports sustainable forestry practices.

Eco-friendly alternatives

For those looking to reduce their ecological footprint further, there are eco-friendly alternatives such as bamboo and stainless steel utensils.


In the age of convenience, the question of whether you can dishwash wooden spoons is valid. While it may seem tempting to save time, the truth is that dishwashers can harm these valuable kitchen tools. To preserve the beauty and functionality of your wooden spoons, it’s best to stick with the gentle touch of hand washing and follow proper maintenance techniques.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I put my wooden spoons in the dishwasher occasionally?

It’s best to avoid it altogether to ensure the longevity of your wooden spoons. Hand washing is the safest method.

How often should I oil my wooden spoons?

Oiling your wooden spoons every few months or as needed will keep them in excellent condition.

Are there any signs that indicate my wooden spoons need replacing?

Yes, if you notice splinters, cracks, or a rough texture, it’s time to replace your wooden spoons.

What type of oil should I use for maintaining wooden spoons?

Food-grade mineral oil is the best choice for preserving wooden spoons.

Are there any wooden spoon alternatives that are dishwasher-safe?

Stainless steel or silicone utensils are dishwasher-safe alternatives if you prefer the convenience of a dishwasher.

Remember, your wooden spoons are valuable kitchen companions, and with proper care, they can serve you well for years to come.

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