People Are Dunking Their Wooden Spoons in Boiling Water—Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

Updated: Mar. 23, 2023

You may want to think twice before trying out this TikTok hack.

TikTok is good for so many things—the recipe for a McFloat at Mcdonald’s, cleaning advice—we’re still not over the whole dishwasher filter thing—and, of course, all the TikTok dances. For those of us who enjoy spending time in the kitchen, some of the hacks we’ve discovered on the app have been legitimately helpful. And others aren’t as effective as they may seem.

Now, experts are warning against TikTok’s viral tip on how to cleanse one of the most-used types of cookware. It turns out, the trend of boiling our wooden spoons, ladles, spatulas and whatever else in boiling water is actually one to be wary of. Here’s why.

The Wooden Spoon TikTok Hack Taking the Internet by Storm

From these popular TikTok videos, on the surface, it seems like a ton of grease is lurking inside wooden spoons. I mean, look at the particles that appear to bubble up! It makes sense why this trend went viral with millions of combined views.

@mattadlardI’m never using wooden spoons again 🤢 (INSTGRAM: @mattdlard) ##fyp ##hack ##learnontiktok ##clean♬ original sound – mattadlard

Yikes! However, while it seems like plenty of dirt is hiding within wooden utensils, it’s not actually the case. In fact, there are much more constructive ways to thoroughly clean all of your favorite wooden kitchenware pieces.

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Boil Your Wooden Spoons

Although the trend certainly seems effective, experts argue that boiling your wooden kitchenware is not actually the most effective way to clean them.

“A common misconception when it comes to cleaning wooden kitchenware items is that they are less hygienic than plastic and therefore you may need to use a higher temperature to clean them,” Joe Authbert, buying manager at ProCook, tells Ideal Home.

“This is untrue,” Authbert continues, “and, in fact, can even lead to damaging the wood.”

Even if the video makes it seem as if wooden cookware is full of germs, the cookware actually contains natural antibacterial properties. As a result, wooden utensils can be significantly more sanitary and even more sustainable than alternative materials.

How to Revive a Wooden Spoon

So how can we avoid damaging our wooden utensils?

According to cleaning expert Jane Wilson, one easy way to clean your wooden spoons while lengthening their lifespan is to hand clean them. Simply use warm water with soap and a soft sponge or cloth while gently scrubbing your wooden cookware.

And, to avoid stains or discoloration, a mix of baking soda and water will do the trick! Your wooden utensils can rest in the mixture before being scrubbed and rinsed.

Wilson adds, “After cleaning, you may condition the wood with food-grade oil or wax to maintain its integrity and prevent it from drying out or cracking.”

Ultimately, wooden spoons are definitely an essential kitchen tool. That’s why disregarding this TikTok trend may be for the best. And if you’re looking for even more advice on cleaning them, check out our tips on how to bring wooden spoons back from the brink.