This TikTok Trick Will Prove That Your Wooden Spoons Are Super Dirty

updated Apr 15, 2021
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Wooden spoon sitting in a measuring cup with hot water
Credit: Sarah Crowley

I learn something new on TikTok almost every day, from how to make my own frozen frappe (it only takes 30 minutes in the freezer) to how to release pent-up aggression on a head of lettuce (it sounds weirder than it is, I promise). And then there’s cleaning TikTok. 

Many of the tricks I stumble upon are ones I already know about (but are probably news to people who aren’t stay-at-home moms in their 30s). For example, it’s no news to me that baking soda can absorb stinky smells in the fridge, or that Bar Keepers Friend works like magic on just about every surface in your home. 

What I didn’t know, however, was that I could de-grease one of my most commonly used kitchen tools with one, simple ingredient — and that it would only take five minutes. 

Here’s the trick: Apparently, putting a wooden spoon in a glass of boiling water for a few minutes pulls out all the grease that’s hiding in the spoon’s tiny cracks and crevices. 

Of course, I had to try it myself to see what would happen. First, I grabbed my oldest, most-used wooden spoon — the one I use for stirring soups and stews on the stovetop and in my slow cooker. I’ll be honest: This spoon has seen better days (and from the looks of it, either my toddler or dog has gotten ahold of it at one point or another). 

Typically, I follow standard kitchen rules and simply wash my wooden spoons with dish soap and water, rather than exposing the wood to the dishwasher, as excessive heat exposure (and the dry cycle) can crack and warp the wood. That said, I went into this process wondering how deeply I was actually cleaning the wood each time I scrubbed it — especially knowing that because wood is porous, it’s more likely than other materials to hold onto grime.

Credit: Ashley Abramson

It was time to find out whether the TikTok universe held my new favorite cleaning hack. So I boiled some water, filled up a small Mason jar, and allowed the wooden spoon to hang out in its very own hot tub for about 20 minutes. I saw results in just a few seconds: Tiny grease bubbles emerged from the spoon as soon as it was exposed to the hot water. Twenty minutes later, the glass was incredibly murky and greasy, so it seems the TikTok hack actually worked — and my trusty wooden spoon was a lot grosser than I thought.

My verdict: I liked this trick because I got the germ-killing benefits of boiling water without the risk of putting my wooden spoon at risk in the dishwasher. I also oddly enjoyed seeing the oily grime exit the spoon’s pores and fill the glass. I’ll likely try the hack on my other wooden tools, but definitely in tandem with some good old-fashioned soap and water — a hack that will never go out of style.