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The Dos and Don’ts of Caring for Your Wooden Kitchen Items

20 February 2024

House of York is all about providing the best quality wooden household items. They’re durable, beautiful additions to any home and kitchen, but they can also be difficult to clean and need to be properly cared for to last. Wooden kitchen utensils can quickly become stained and all wooden items eventually start looking old and worn.

We’re here to help! We explore the dos and don’ts of cleaning wooden household items and keeping them looking almost new for as long as possible.


  • Wash your wooden kitchen utensils in the dishwashing machine – While popping everything in the dishwasher is a great way to get everything clean in one go, it is recommended to not put your wooden kitchen utensils into the dishwasher too often. The high temperature in water and steam, along with the strong blasts of water can cause your wooden kitchen utensils to split and fade sooner.
  • Use abrasive sponges to clean your wooden items – This is especially tempting when you’ve got something crusted onto the wood, but it causes scratching and fraying to the wood which depletes its quality and appearance faster. Rather soak the difficult-to-clean areas in a mixture of warm water and mild dishwashing soap. For household items, you can use a spray bottle to spray the area that needs a little more attention.
  • Don’t soak your wooden items for long periods – While this seems to contradict the advice given above, soaking your wooden items throughout the day, or overnight, can also lead to cracking and fading. The trick is to soak the hard-to-clean area to just the point where the dirt has lifted just enough to remove the dirt with a soft sponge.
  • Pack a wet, or damp, wooden utensil away in the cupboard or drawer – Your wooden items are, essentially, a natural product. Placing wet, or damp, items into a dark space creates the perfect conditions for mould to grow on your wooden items.



  • Wash your wooden kitchen utensils by hand – Washing your wooden kitchen utensils means that you can reach every area on the utensils. It also means that you can wash them in warm water, which helps avoid cracking and splitting.
  • Use mild dishwashing soap – Using harsh soaps or chemicals, like bleach, can seem like the best way to disinfect your wooden items, but they can also deplete the quality of your wooden items significantly. A mild dishwashing soap, in water as hot as you can handle, is sufficient to keep your wooden items clean and germ-free.
  • Dry your wooden items with a dishtowel and stand them up to air dry – This ties into the “don’t” of placing your damp wooden utensils into a dark drawer or cupboard after washing. Once you have washed your wooden utensils, gently dry them off with a dish towel and let them continue air drying, in an upright position, on the dishrack. This ensures that your utensils will be completely dry before storing them away.
  • Oil your wooden items – For your household wooden items, this could be a regular wood oil bought at a retailer or hardware store. Your kitchen utensils will need something less harsh that doesn’t leave any harsh taste when cooking. You can use olive oil, coconut oil or beeswax to keep your wooden kitchen utensils in tip-top shape.
  • Sand down your wooden items – This can be done every 6 months to one year. Sanding your wooden items keeps the wood healthy and helps to avoid cracking and splitting. Sanding should be done with fine-grit sandpaper that won’t leave deep scratches and it should be used lightly. After sanding, you can apply oil to your kitchen utensils and good wood oil to your wooden household items.

Wood is truly a wonderful material for household items and, if cared for properly, can give you decades of use. Have a look at all of our wooden items in our product catalogue and start, or add to, your wooden items collection.

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