Advice online can be a dodgy business; one person’s goat is another person’s pet, junk vs. treasure, and all that. As with anything, it should be taken with a pinch of salt. Or in cyber world terms, with a bit of personal research tossed into the recipe.
Pictured here are a set of spoons I use regularly, made from olive tree wood. Now if you’re like me, you’ve had wooden spoons or other utensils over the years that, after a lot of wear, tear, washing and drying, they start to look splintery, dry, and even cracked; a good curry or dish of black rice can stain the wood next to permanently. Just doing a Google-Image search for “recycling wooden spoons” gives you ideas galore; but it also tells me that there are a lot of wooden spoons out there that have been used beyond their prime, and most chances are they were never cared for to keep them in their prime.
There are websites that recommend either a mineral oil or a beeswax rub for wooden spoons, as vegetable-based oils can go rancid. I don’t know about you, but a) I’m too pragmatic to go out and spend money on another oil just for that purpose, and b) if I have so many wooden spoons that one sits unused long enough to go rancid, then I should recycle it into a crafty bit anyway. The label attached to these olive-wood spoons recommended a periodic rub-down with olive oil. Olive is not technically a vegetable, but a fruit; and if you’re using a high-quality oil, chances are it won’t be going rancid any time this decade…
To give the spoons a treatment, this is what I do: After using, wash the spoon and let it air-dry thoroughly; I usually leave it in the drying stand overnight. Before putting it away, take a paper towel and a drop or two of olive oil (you may need more, depending on how thirsty your wood is), and rub it into the entire utensil – top to bottom, sides, and if it’s a fork like the one shown, fold the paper towel between the tines. Take a fresh paper towel and give the utensil a good rub to remove any excess oil. If your utensils have already begun to splinter or are stained, you can smooth them down again with a piece of fine sandpaper before washing them.