If you are like me, you prefer old-fashioned wooden utensils to plastic ones. I just do not know, but there is something about wooden spoons and cutting boards that makes it seem more like home cooking. However, the problem with wooden utensils and cutting boards is that regular cleaning is often not enough to get them truly clean, which is why you will need to disinfect them on occasion to ensure you are cooking with safe cooking tools.
In a sink or large pot, add bleach and hot water. A safe ratio of bleach is one part bleach to 20 parts water. Allow the utensils and cutting boards to soak in the solution for about one hour. When the time is up, drain the sink or dump out the solution and rinse thoroughly. Refill the sink or pot with hot water and dishwashing soap. Place utensils into new solution and allow to soak again for 15 minutes.
The wooden utensils will more than likely have a raised wood or fuzzy feeling to them. This is natural from the soaking. Use a steel wool pad or an abrasive dish scrubber to remove this from the surface of the utensil. If you do not have either of these, you can also use fine sandpaper. Rinse the utensils and clean them again in warm, soapy dishwater and dry them completely.
If the utensils are beginning to look aged, you can use a mineral oil to improve the aesthetic appearance of them. Mineral oil is safe to consume, but it is considered a laxative, so you may want to allow the oil to fully soak into the utensils and then clean them again before using. This will remove any access oil.
On a daily basis, cleaning your wooden utensils with hot, soapy water as you do with your regular dishes is more than adequate. However, every now and again and utensil finds its way to the back of the drawer or under the microwave and needs some additional cleaning so you know it is safe to use. This method will disinfect the utensil properly and get your favorite wooden spoon back in your hand again!
*Photo Courtesy of Alan Levine via Creative Commons License